Mixed-use is all the rage, but it is important to create the right mix and match it to the location, delegates told Real Asset Media’s Retail Trends Panel, which took place at Mapic recently.
‘Putting a hotel, offices or resi on top of a shopping centre is not enough, you have to get the mix of uses right,’ said Stuart Rough, Group Chairman, Broadway Malyan. ‘You have to activate the retail environment to its fullest, and that means bringing in extra uses that will bring footfall and generate business’.
This can be done by repurposing an existing shopping centre like Clerys or developing a brand new neighbourhood like Cherrywood.
‘We are creating a mixed-use development in Clerys, an iconic department store in the centre of Dublin,’ said Andy Watson, Partner, Europa Capital. ‘We are leaving 7,000 m2 of retail where there were 22,000 m2, but we are doing exciting things with the other 15,000 m2’. There will be a boutique hotel, co-working spaces, F&B and more.
Just South of Dublin a new retail-led destination is taking shape. ‘We are aiming to create a sense of place in Cherrywood and to bring in residential, co-working, libraries and medical centres, stitching it all together on the customer journey,’ said Derek Rossel, Development Director, Hines.
Retailers should not try to be an alternative to online shopping. ‘We need to complement e-commerce shopping, which people increasingly turn to, by providing focused and innovative solutions,’ said Ana Isabel Moita, Head of Marketing Europe & New Markets, Sonae Sierra.
‘I think the term shopping centre will disappear and will be replaced with lifestyle destination, with blended use as the key word,’ said Michelle Buxton, Managing Director, Toolbox Group. ‘In order to get it right, you need a proptech strategy’.
People are increasingly looking for a technology component wherever they go, but the challenge is ‘how to integrate digital into what is a very physical environment,’ said Grant Sonju, Business Development Director, Playtime.
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