Construction of Neinver outlet near Barcelona to start in May; opening in late 2016
Construction of the Viladecans The Style Outlets, the Neinver-managed outlet in Greater Barcelona, will begin in May. The official opening is planned for late 2016. The project represents an investment of €80 million on a 75,000 m2 plot located in Viladecans, near Barcelona El Prat Airport. It will house 130 stores and it is expected to generate a total of 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. The first phase of construction will entail the opening of 100 stores on an area of 19,800 m2. The second phase will begin in "two or three years when more than 90% of the first 100 stores are rented", said Eduardo Ceballos, Neinver's Country Manager for Spain. Once completed, the outlet will have 26,500 m2 of shopping space.
Barcelona (ACN).- Construction of the Viladecans The Style Outlets, the Neinver-managed outlet in Greater Barcelona, will begin in May. The official opening is planned for late 2016. The project represents an investment of €80 million on a 75,000 m2 plot located in Viladecans, near Barcelona El Prat Airport, Gavà and the C-32 highway. It will house 130 stores and it is expected to generate a total of 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. It will only sell surplus production from other seasons and at a reduced price. The first phase of construction works will entail the opening of 100 stores on an area of 19,800 m2; estimates say that initially 500 new jobs will be created. The second phase will begin in "two or three years when more than 90% of the first 100 stores are rented", said Eduardo Ceballos, Country Manager for Spain of Madrid-based Neinver. Once completed, the outlet will have 26,500 m2 gross of renting space, mostly occupied by shops. It will also have a direct bus connection with Barcelona city centre and aims to attract tourists visiting the city.
The project will be developed under a 50:50 joint venture agreement signed in January 2015 between Spanish company Neinver (the second-largest operator of outlet centres in Europe) and the international fund TIAA Real Estate Henderson. When the second phase of construction works is finished, the future outlet will have 26,500 m2 of gross leasable area (GLA), on a plot of 75,000 m2 that Neinver acquired in 2013 from Incasòl, the Catalan Government's land agency. 90% of its shops will be fashion, footwear and homewear stores while the rest will be restaurants, designed to serve shoppers.
According to a report by economist David Rodriguez, the stage of development and construction will generate 2,500 direct, indirect and induced jobs, having a positive economic impact on the area to the tune of €164 million. Once the shopping mall is up and running, it will generate some 500 direct jobs.
Between 15% and 20% of the brands will be Catalan
Although Eduardo Ceballos did not specify which brands will open their stores in the mall, he announced that more than 50% of them will be international, while between 15% and 20% will be Catalan. Neinver's Country Manager for Spain added that the macro outlet will only sell surplus production from other seasons and at a reduced price.
The mall will be an open-air shopping centre and is designed to make people feel as if "in an outdoor garden", remarked Enric Batlle, Head of the project’s architecture. "Many palm trees will be planted" in addition to "other flowering trees, fountains, benches, flowers and lots of vegetation". The company assures that Viladecans The Style Outlets will have "a unique design completely tailored to its surroundings", with architecture based on the criteria "sustainable construction and energy efficiency", said Batlle.
The shopping centre will be connected by a direct bus to the city centre
The shopping centre is expected to receive 2.7 million visitors during its first year, of which 20% will be tourists. The construction project includes 1,700 parking spaces and two main entrances (one for private cars and another for visitors who come by train or bus). The short distance train linking Barcelona city centre with Viladecans and the beach of Castelldefels will have a nearby stop. In addition, Ceballos announced that a bus 'shuttle' will directly connect the city centre with the outlet. The feasibility of installing a bus stop at the airport is also currently under consideration.
When construction of the new outlet is complete, Greater Barcelona will have two mega shopping outlets in its surroundings, with the new one joining the already existing La Roca Village located some 30km north of the Catalan capital. Neinver's Country Manager for Spain assured that the city has the commercial capacity to absorb "very well" two shopping centres of this type, being a top shopping destination for tourists. Moreover, he added, in Greater Madrid, 4 large shopping outlets coexist without any problems. "There is a market for both projects," which are also more than 50 kilometres away from each other, he concluded.
The macro outlet will have a "complementary" role to traditional shops
Ceballos argued that the presence of the outlet will have a positive impact on local businesses in Viladecans, as has happened with other malls across Europe. "It is a complementary offer" he said in response to a Catalan Government's study that estimated a 5.45 % drop in retail sales for local shops. This fall, he assured, will be offset by the arrival of tourists to the area. Neinver's Country Manager said that there are "open lines of dialogue" with local shopkeepers and some meetings have already been held.
The decision on allowing the mall to open on Sundays and holidays is still pending
As Viladecans is not listed as a tourist town, the stores located in this area are not allowed to open on Sundays or during bank holidays, contrary to what occurs in La Roca del Vallès where La Roca Village is located. In this regard, Ceballos acknowledged that he is working with Viladecans' Town Hall in order to have the town become recognised as a tourist destination, although it is not possible yet to speak of "how or when", he acknowledged. Currently, Neinver-managed malls in Madrid can open on Sundays and during bank holidays, but those in La Coruña and Seville, for example, are not allowed to do so. According to Ceballos, despite these differences, these latter malls also post very positive figures.
Viladecans is the first Neinver-managed outlet in Catalonia
Spanish company Neinver currently owns 5 outlets in the whole of Spain under 'The Style Outlets' brand: 3 in Greater Madrid, 1 in La Coruña and 1 in Seville (in addition to another 10 across Europe). It also plans to open 2 new outlets: in Amsterdam and Werl (Germany). However, the project at Viladecans will be built before them. The outlet centres managed by the Spanish company ended 2014 with positive figures for both sales and number of visitors. They attracted more than 41.48 million visitors, up 5% from 2013 and sales rose by 10% to more than €952.29 million. The 5 Spain-based macro outlets have also seen positive growth, despite the overall economic situation: their number of visitors increased by 4% to more than 13.3 million visits, and sales climbed by 5% compared to 2013.
Neinver bought the 75,000 m2 plot where the mall will be built from the Catalan Government in 2013. The land had initially been reserved since 2006 for the creation of a business hub for companies related to the aero-spatial and mobility sectors, but the project was finally aborted due to the economic crisis.