Hamburg, 25 October 2019 – 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 yesterday celebrated its grand reopening. 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 yesterday, 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.”
Three days of reopening festivities
The grand reopening celebration, together with the shopping centre tenants association, will take place until 26 October. The program includes activities for the whole family and performances by such entertainers as Ross Antony, Hot Banditoz and drum trio Stamping Feet. Many of the retail tenants will, in addition, be holding their own special events. The festivities will conclude on Saturday evening with a major fireworks display.
About Madison International Realty
Madison International Realty (www.madisonint.com) is a leading liquidity provider to real estate investors worldwide. Madison provides equity capital for real estate owners and investors seeking to monetize embedded equity, to replace capital partners seeking an exit and to recapitalize balance sheets. The firm provides equity for recapitalizations, partner buyouts and capital infusions; and acquires joint venture, limited partner and co-investment interests as principals. Madison invests only in secondary transactions and focuses solely on existing properties and portfolios in the U.S., U.K., and Western Europe. Madison has offices in New York, London and Frankfurt, Germany.
The redos Group is a leading independent retail property specialist. It focusses on investment, asset management, fund management, redevelopment and advisory. As an investor and active asset manager, the company covers the entire value chain for large-scale retail properties – for hybrid and conventional shopping centres as well as for retail parks and hypermarkets. redos serves all risk classes and offers all types of investment vehicles for institutional investors. In addition to acting as a co-investor, the company has strong ties to its tenants and extensive revitalisation expertise. redos looks back on a long track record in the field of restructuring and value optimisation. The retail property specialist currently manages a portfolio worth around EUR 2.65 billion at 87 locations throughout Germany and a total of more than 1.3 million sq.m. of rental space. With its property database ROB, the company has access to detailed information on more than 18,000 retail locations nationwide. redos has 47 employees at its head office in Hamburg and in Lohmar nearby Cologne. For further information visit www.redos.de.
HLG Gesellschaft zur Entwicklung von Handelscentren with its head office in Münster has been developing commercial real estate for more than 25 years with a particular focus on retail properties. The company is active throughout Germany and has developed and constructed more than 100,000 sq.m. of retail space in Berlin/Brandenburg alone. Managing directors of HLG are Christian Diesen, Dirk Brockmann and Patricia Lohmann. More information can be found at www.hlg-handelscentren.de.