ECE opened Aquis Plaza in Aachen in October 2015. Image: ECE
Studies & Reports

Revitalized & quarterly oriented

The EHI Retail Institute recently presented the German “Shopping Center Report 2016.” It reports that only four new projects will be completed this year. Revitalizations and neighborhoods centers currently prevail.

The great boom of new openings in Germany is over for now. After nine shopping centers opened in 2014 and 13 did so last year, only four centers are expected to be completed by the end of the current calendar year. The industry remains dynamic, however. This is evident from the fact that a total of 26 new malls are planned from 2017. In addition, investors continue to rely increasingly on revitalizing existing objects to make them sustainable over the long term. Marco Atzberger, an expert on commercial real estate and a board member at EHI, presented these and other results from this year’s EHI study “Shopping Center Report 2016” before the “German Shopping Center Forum” on May 10 and 11 in Bonn.

Altogether, the EHI queried 476 German shopping centers with a total area of 15.3 million sq m up until January 1, 2016. The high shopping center density in Germany is currently providing for slower growth in terms openings. Center operators and developers are therefore increasingly promoting revitalization projects. It’s particularly striking that more than half of the current 28 revitalization projects involve the restructuring, modernization, or expansion of commercial properties built in the 1990s and at the beginning of the new millennium. “This development can be seen clearly in the highly dynamic nature of the market, which ensures that shopping centers must be modernized or adapted to the changing needs of customers in a 10-year cycle. Furthermore, it is readily apparent that the planning at that time was strongly oriented to the needs of the 1990s and 2000s,” said Atzberger.

Everything under one roof

According to the EHI report, planning for new shopping centers now concentrates, in particular, on the development of urban districts. In today’s world of short distances, centers are creating spaces for customers that combine shopping, living, and working under one roof. New concepts therefore include, in addition to the possibility of completing errands for daily needs, ever more additional services, such as hotels, apartments, offices, health centers, and cinemas, which ensure that centers remain lively even after closing time.

New openings in Germany in 2015

Center  City  rental space in sq m  total area in sq m
Holsten-Galerie Neumünster 22,800 27,000
BraWoPark Braunschweig 18,500 22,000
Minto Mönchengladbach 26,000 41,800
Forum Gummersbach Gummersbach 22,000 33,000
Aquis Plaza Aachen 29,200 35,000
Forum Hanau Hanau 36,000 43,000
WerkStadt Limburg Limburg 16,500 20,000
K in Lautern Kaiserslautern 20,900 25,000
Drei-Glocken-Center Weinheim 17,000 26,200
SchlossGalerie Rastatt 12,620 25,000
Glacis Galerie Neu-Ulm 27,800 33,000
Forum Stein Stein 17,800 20,000
Stadtquartier Neuer Markt Neumarkt 15,080 23,000
Source: EHI
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