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From left to right: Eckhard Knaack (Center Manager, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield), Dorit Stawecki (City of Brandenburg an der Havel, Economic Development Division), Carola Obermöller (Managing Director / Head of Investment Management, redos Group) and Michael Röther (Managing Director Modepark Röther). Credit: redos Group

Reopening of Brandenburger Einkaufszentrum Wust

Brandenburger Einkaufszentrum Wust, a popular shopping centre in the town of Brandenburg an der Havel on the western outskirts of Berlin, is shining like new and better than ever.

Following one and a half years of renovation works with minimal disruption to existing tenants, the new Einkaufszentrum Wust celebrated its grand reopening on October 24, 2019.

Through the comprehensive modernisation project, owners Madison International Realty in New York and Hamburg-based redos Group have created an attractive shopping and leisure venue for the whole family – and thus a gathering space where shoppers and visitors can not only shop but also enjoy pleasant surroundings. With total rentable space of some 40,000 sq.m., the redesigned shopping complex now offers space for 46 shops and restaurants, featuring a modern and friendly ambience which encourages visitors to shop, to linger and to enjoy their time.

The new complex also features an adjacent toom home improvement store. Following its reopening, Einkaufszentrum Wust offers more variety than ever, particularly with the addition of new tenant Modepark Röther, with its a wide selection of fashion brands, and occupying a total of 5,700 sq.m.

Steffen Scheller, Lord Mayor of Brandenburg an der Havel, welcomes the decision of the owners to modernise the shopping centre: “Their investment into Einkaufszentrum Wust creates added value, not only for shoppers and tenants but also for the many people who work there. This benefits the whole region.”

Modernisation investment of EUR 13 million

The goal of Madison International Realty and redos has been to make the shopping centre, which originally opened in 1992, fit for the future. To achieve this, they have invested roughly EUR 13 million to transform the structure into a modern, attractive, barrier-free, family-oriented centre within the community. With this vision in mind, the project participants worked closely together to develop a comprehensive new design and area utilisation concept, with overall planning by Münster-based architectural firm Maas & Partner. In addition to leading the new concept, project developer HLG, likewise based in Münster, has also been responsible for tenant and rental management. Much has been done to improve the shopping experience and to encourage visitors to spend more time in the centre, not only in the weeks ahead but also long into the future, including improved walking areas, new washrooms, a new ceiling design, new furniture throughout the mall and refurbished entrance areas.

Among the notable new retail tenants are not only Modepark Röther, which opened its doors on October 24, but also Jeans Fritz and OroVivo Jewellers. At the same time, existing tenants such as Kik and Tedi have expanded and modernised their stores, while Intersport has likewise introduced a new store concept. The needed space for the new retail areas was created by repurposing and reconfiguring various other areas which were underutilised or no longer needed.

Carola Obermöller, Managing Director and Head of Investment Management at redos, explains: “Our goal was to bring new energy and vitality into Einkaufszentrum Wust. To achieve this, some larger measures were also necessary. Now it has once again become an attractive gathering place for people of all ages from throughout the local area. This makes me very happy.” The plan now, as she explains, is to further expand the centre’s gastronomic offerings: “This venue should appeal to all target groups. In order to respond to their differing needs, we want to bring in more new concepts that can be enjoyed in the centre, thereby encouraging visitors to spend more time, or taken away as ‘meals to go’.”

The shopping centre already counts some 1.7 million visitors every year. Centre manager Anja Zihm, of shopping centre operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, says: “The fact that the extensive renovation works went so well, despite ongoing operation, is due in no small part to the excellent cooperation of all those involved as well as the forbearance of our long-time shoppers and regular visitors, who I would like to especially thank. I very much look forward to welcoming our visitors once again in our new and greatly improved surroundings.”