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In addition to speaking at REConLA 2016, I had the pleasure of joining the technical shopping centre visits before the conference. We toured the newest shopping centres in the Polanco neighbourhood of Mexico City.
The centres embody the ongoing trend in Latin America of using shopping centres as means of revitalizing urban areas. Antara Fashion Mall was built on an old General Motors car lot while Toreo Parque Central was built where the bull ring, Toreo de Cuatro Caminos, once was. El Palacio de Los Palacios was formerly a Palacio de Hierro department store.
Total selling space: 49,200 sq. meters
Visitors: Average 8,000 per day
When Antara Fashion Mall opened, it was the first open air shopping centre in Mexico City and that has become its defining feature. It was constructed so that a breeze flows through the main walkway, which has 5,335 sq. meters of common area.
Over time, the mall has incorporated more greenery and has a bike rack that holds 65 bikes (which is always full).
Interestingly, there is no traditional anchor tenant, such as one of the leading department stores. Instead, Inditex is the largest tenant with a group of its brands clustered near one of the mall’s entrances. The other significant tenant is Casa Palacio across the way from Inditex’s stores.
The mall has a lively dining area. The restaurants are a significant traffic driver, especially on weekend nights.
Total selling space: 90,000 sq. meters
Visitors: 9.5 million in 2015
Toreo Parque Central is a mixed use development with three office towers and a hotel that will come on-line in the next few years. This is an important element for the mall due to its difficult accessibility—it’s hemmed in by two major highways. The office buildings will provide traffic during the weekdays, especially for the numerous restaurants, and the hotel will likely bring in domestic tourists on the weekends who would like to spend a weekend, shopping, dining and watching movies.
Again, the mall is not dependent on traditional anchor tenants although one of Mexico’s department stores will be added. Inditex has a significant presence with its brands and there’s also a Gap and Old Navy.
Total selling space: 55,200 sq. meters
Restaurants: 16 vendors, 300 seats
Visitors: Average 3,000 per day
This flagship store is three times as big as the typical Palacio de Hierro department stores. Its first floor is filled with luxury retailers—some independent concessions, others managed by Palacio de Hierro. The rest of the floors are in a more traditional department store layout, organized by category with brands clearly visible.
Although the food court is smaller than the other two shopping centres, its outdoor patio is a huge draw with great views of the city.
The store emphasizes experiences for its luxury clientele. There’s a florist, a high end watch repair shop, a VIP room for jewelry shopping, concierge services, VIP personal shopping, among other amenities. There’s also a barbershop, beauty salon and an area for tea.
El Palacio De Los Palacios also features Ludoteca which is a 220 square metre space dedicated to Lego’s Next Generation Instore concept. In addition to purchasing Lego items, the space is available to host parties and events.