Credit: Etele Plaza
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Etele Plaza: Hungary’s first smart plaza opened today

The brand new Etele Plaza opened its doors to the public at 10 AM on September 17, 2021. Budapest’s latest shopping and entertainment center located in the immediate vicinity of Etele square, Kelenföld will offer an outstanding range of stores and services, featuring unique digital and architectural solutions. The €300 million development is also the first smart plaza in Hungary.

The next-generation plaza developed by Futureal gives visitors an unprecedented visual experience. The exterior design of Etele Plaza is dominated by the largest curtainwall structure of Hungary above the main entrance, and the retracted metal boxes that jump out from the facades. Meanwhile the soft tracing creates a unique environment in the internal area. The interiors including the fashionable corridors, an elegant lobby, attractive decor, and an outstanding food court directly connected to the green-roofed terraces, brings the latest generation of shopping center design to Hungary. The building has been designed by Paulinyi & Partners and Dyer Group (interior design). The complex features numerous fashion stores, a supermarket, restaurants, cafés, a multiplex cinema, a gym, a children’s play center and a wide range of other services. 

Etele Plaza is located at the largest multimodal transportation hub in Hungary. Built at the meeting point of Kelenföld railway station, metro line 4 and the approach section of M1-M7 motorways, Etele Plaza can be accessed in just ten minutes from downtown Budapest. Due to its location, Etele Plaza is expected to attract thousands of customers every day from the capital, the suburbs and the further towns that are easily accessible via the transport hub. The immediate catchment area of the new center is one of the most densely populated areas of Budapest, where some 235,000 people live. Residents of this district represent 125% of the nation’s average purchasing power with a relatively low retail supply. 

Customers may choose from a variety of well-known brands in Etele Plaza such as the fashion retailer Peek & Cloppenburg that opens its first store on the Buda side in the shopping center. Spanish Inditex group is present with all their brands available in Hungary, including Zara, introducing its latest store design concept to the local market. American clothing company, GAP, opened its first store in the country here, and the largest Müller can also be found in the shopping center, with a special nature and a large perfume section available for the visitors. The greatest flagship store of eMAG also welcomes the customers in the new smart plaza, with an exceptionally huge inventory and a showroom full of exciting products. 

The most spacious food court in the country

The food court in Etele Plaza covers almost the entire third floor of the building, allowing over 1,000 people to dine comfortably and safely at any one time. The interior dining area seats 950, while another 150 seats will be installed on the roof terrace. A direct roof terrace connection opens the space towards nature, both literally and atmospherically. The various seating systems and furniture are being selected after close consideration of expected guests’ ages and their various dining preferences. Families have a dining area designed just for them, where tables and chairs sized for children are placed next to a playing mat, a TV set and interactive toys. A sense of community is enhanced by an open kitchen concept where gastronomy events headlined by celebrities, food tastings, and culinary training programs can be organized. 

Smart shopping

Hungary’s first smart plaza is able to provide a personalized shopping experience from the moment the costumers leave their home, through its proprietary mobile app and cloud-based services. The next-generation shopping and entertainment center not only helps visitors navigate and find the ideal parking space, but also leads them to the selected shops while offering tailor-made deals for each customer. There are 1,300 places in the car parks accessible from all directions, and almost 130 slots include stations ready to charge electric cars, the price of which is easily paid for via the app, added to the parking fee. 

At both entrances to the plaza, the longest continuous interactive LED wall in the capital has been installed, there are several benches with USB ports and a large digital play mat is also available. At the information desk, a Hungarian-speaking Pepper robot is guiding customers on their way. The plaza will also introduce Ariadné to the public, a ground-breaking Hungarian invention to help the blind and visually impaired, developed by the engineers at Óbuda University. The grand opening was also the world premiere of the special mobility tool, since this is the first time it had been utilized in a commercial environment after being successfully tested by the Hungarian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted.

Green spaces and safe environment

Nearly 4,000 sqm of green space, ornamental grasses, shrubs, and trees await visitors at Futureal’s new, environment friendly shopping and entertainment center with a rentable area of 55,000 sq m. In line with the BREEAM certification, special attention is paid to ensuring easy accessibility, minimizing light pollution as well as direct environmental impact, incorporating durable materials and promoting waste reduction and reuse. 

State-of-the-art equipment is also available to ensure the safety and health of visitors. In line with Futureal’s Stay Safe initiative the interior areas are almost completely touch-free. The HVAC systems of the building include UV sterilizing filters. By using an environmentally friendly technology based on biological filtering, the systems provide almost 100% efficiency in killing viruses and bacteria in seconds, without the use of chemical disinfectants, providing fresh and clean air inside. The escalators are also fitted with a built-in handrail sanitizer system. The surface of all the furniture is made of a special antibacterial, virus eliminating material and the sinks can be used without touching them. 

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