Futureal celebrates the opening of Etele Plaza
Futureal opened the Etele Plaza shopping center of 55,000 m² after several postponements of the project; 15 years ago, the developer acquired the brownfield site at a major railway, metro, tram and road intersection on the western outskirts of Budapest.
There has been no new shopping center development undertaken in Budapest for several years. The developers were concerned about the level of consumer spending in the wake of the financial crisis, planning regulations regarding the development of shopping malls, and subsequently the impact of COVID and the foreclosure and acceleration of retail sales. retail online.
Retail analysts see the arrival of the first mall in several years as a welcome refresh of Budapest’s retail market and a well-located development.
“Etele Plaza is a next-generation, carefully designed shopping center that meets the current needs of shoppers and visitors. For the past 10 years, our industry has been all about entertainment, and the whole shopping experience should be fun from the moment you leave home until the moment you come home, ”said Tibor Tatár, CEO of Futureal.
“We profiled a buyer, for example, a young couple with young children living in a building or a wealthy family in Buda with high purchasing power, to try to understand what is the shopping experience, what entertains them and what attracts them. their attention from a profile by profile point of view, ”he explains.
“All of these details were designed into the resort, and it includes several thousand elements of the tenant experience. It comes from a visual and digital experience and the way users approach the mall by public transport or by car, ”says Tatár.
“Thinking profile by profile and entertainment by entertainment, we tried to tick as many boxes as possible, and I think that was slightly different from the approach of previous mall developers. We even sacrificed the income of some tenants because we needed their function, and they could not afford to pay such a high rent, ”he added.
Etele Plaza was designed by Hungarian architects Paulinyi & Partners. It has around 180 points of sale, restaurants, cafes, a multiplex cinema, a gym and 1,300 parking spaces. The resort is Breeam “Very Good” certified; Futureal is also investigating WELL certification, although there is currently no accreditation system for shopping centers.
The development concept is that of a city center in the south of Buda with a commercial and office function. The project is located at the meeting point of Kelenföld station, metro line 4 and the approach section of the M1 and M7 motorways and is marketed as a brownfield regeneration project.
Tatár considers Etele Plaza to represent significant exposure in a project, even for a large-scale developer such as Futural. He estimates that this is the equivalent of six to eight office projects in terms of cost due to the size of the project. UniCredit and Erste Bank financed the development.
This article first appeared in the print issue of the Budapest Business Journal on September 24, 2021.