UK retail and leisure focused REIT NewRiver has done a deal with car park operator APCOA which will provide an “urban mobility hub” concept across the company’s £1 billion portfolio of community shopping centres and retail parks.
Urban mobility hubs will provide customers with access to a range of services and facilities including electric vehicle charging, cycle parks, lockers for customers and local businesses as well as car maintenance within car parks, valeting and so-called “dark kitchens”.
New River said the concept has been developed in response to evolving consumer habits, accelerated by the COVID pandemic. Shoppers are seeking amenity-rich environments as part of multi-purpose trips, the firm said.
The partnership is a UK first for APCOA although it launched the concept 18 months ago. NewRiver is the first retail property owner to form such a partnership with APCOA.
Making use of car parks and empty exterior space
The hubs will be located in external spaces and car parks surrounding the company’s shopping centres and retail parks.
“Demand for new services and amenities that meet the needs of local people in a single convenient place has only accelerated following the pandemic,” said NewRiver’s head of asset management Emma Mackenzie.
“We’re creating a sustainable future too. APCOA has committed itself to be fully electric by 2030. Car sharing is likely to become the norm and there will be plenty of car charging points available to customers as we move away from petrol and diesel vehicles. All of this will contribute to the creation of a brighter, sustainable future for the next generation.”