5 July 2018 – Voz Pópuli
The market for the construction of shopping centres is soaring again. In Spain, there are currently 18 projects under construction with a combined gross leasable area (GLA) of 650,000 m2 and another 12 assets in the pipeline, spanning another 648,000 m2. That brings the total surface area to 1.3 million m2 across 30 projects between now and 2020, according to data from CBRE.
Although it is still too soon to talk about pre-crisis figures (when 800,000 m2 of retail space was constructed per year), the reality is that the sector is growing at rates that have not been seen since 2009.
Last year, five new shopping centres were inaugurated with a combined gross leasable area of 211,000 m2 and a surface area of more than 30,000 m2 each. Highlights included shopping centres in Madrid (Plaza Río 2), Gran Canaria (Alisios) and Melilla (Parque Melilla), the first ever shopping centre in the autonomous city.
In Spain, although there is a high density in general terms, there are still cities with a shortage of retail space. For example, Lleida lacks any offer and so there, Carrefour Property is promoting a new 55,000 m2 complex, which has secured demand from many retailers that do not currently supply that market. Nevertheless, the majority of the developments currently underway are located in Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona.
Another trend is for the renovation of existing complexes. During the crisis, the people responsible for retail premises were more concerned with surviving than with renovating their spaces. Now, refurbishments are being carried out in several shopping centres, led by huge firms such as Carrefour Property, Carmila and Merlin.
With the arrival of the internet, shopping centres have had to adapt and they are now looking to offer differentiating experiences to become meeting places and social spaces for communities.
The restaurant sector is the horse pulling the cart, given that the sales of traditional fashion is stagnating. Previously, the sector sought out fast-food operators but now restaurants are becoming attractions in their own right.
Original story: Voz Pópuli (by David Cabrera)
Translation: Carmel Drake