At the end of 2021, the “Respublika Park” opened in the south of the city. The aim was to design a modern shopping, entertainment and community center. On a business area of around 300,000 sq m there are not only 500 shops, but also a virtual reality theme park, a green indoor park, a 525 meter long indoor roller coaster, a sky diving facility, over 15 cinemas and a 9,000 sq m food court.
Humanitarian aid as part of the new everyday life
The war also had a direct impact on Respublika Park and its approximately 5,000 employees. Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, the center was closed and only reopened for regular visitors on April 25. On the initiative of Trafin in Vienna and the Austrian Aid Community (aac) founded by Vassili Tolstunov, Managing Director of Trafin, and his team, resources were mobilized in Austria for the victims of the war. “As part of the aac, from March 2022 local entrepreneurs supported people who managed to flee to Austria and those who had to stay on site with donations of money and goods,” says Tolstunov. The venture resulted in the delivery of a total of 40 tons of relief supplies, which were delivered by truck from Vienna to the Ukraine.
This humanitarian energy can also be found in Respublika Park: At the end of 2022, one of the more than 5,000 “Points of Indestructibility” in Ukraine opened in the mall. These are places where people can warm up, where electricity generators can charge their cell phones during power outages, and where help is available for mothers with children. The measure is also part of the strategy to resume operations in Respublika Park under changed conditions, states Tolstunov.
Visitors are coming back
Since its reopening, the center has hosted concerts and fashion shows by Ukrainian artists, children’s parties, weddings and charity events. The commitment is worth it. Because in addition to the arrival of a total of 43 new tenants in the course of 2022 – including Bugatti, Gerry Weber, Oui, Marina Militare, Ultrashop, Levi’s and EA7 – the visitors are coming back to Respublika Park. In 2022, a total of nine million people found their way to the center. All shops are currently open. The occupancy rate is 74 percent.