Redevco’s Tale of Two Cities

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Redevco’s game-changing approach to complex urban retail projects is lending new life to city centres.  After the success of Promenade Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux, a unique chance to transform the heart of The Lanes in Brighton is next…

 

The days of building purely retail-focused shopping centres downtown are over, according to Redevco, whose latest city retail projects inject life into urban areas by embracing residential, leisure and offices alongside stores in a user-friendly, attractive space.

The investment manager’s award-winning Promenade Sainte-Catherine project in Bordeaux, which opened in 2015, encapsulates this philosophy perfectly, according to Thierry Cahierre, managing director of Redevco France. Comprising 28,000 m² of space, including 19,000 m² of retail, it is located in the city’s historic centre and hosts brands including Lego, Bershka, Starbucks, Blue Box and Citadium.

Transformational

‘The Bordeaux project had at its heart the refurbishment of a former printing press,’ Cahierre said. ‘Our primary vision was to ask – how can we re-imagine the concept of inner-city retail in such a dense, magical, and historically important area. We have to bring people back to the heart of our cities, and residential is also linked to retail. Equally, closed shopping centre environments where you have to push open a door would not have worked here – so we decided to create an open-air space with mixed-use elements.

‘There was a chance to create a new, public square in the heart of Bordeaux, with the benefits of a private managed building,’ said Cahierre. ‘So there’s a wonderful space with the kind of paving used in the public realm.’

‘If I had to do it over again, I would perhaps have been even more patient with the leasing process. When you’re creating a great project, a lot of excellent brands want to get involved as the scheme approaches its completion date. We started the leasing process early but we could have been a bit more relaxed about that as the centre was oversubscribed in the end.’

Brighton rocks

These kinds of lessons are being applied in a different way in the UK city of Brighton, where Redevco purchased a key 1.3 acre site in 2015 which will add another shopping street to the city’s cult leisure destination, The Lanes.

‘The Hannington Estate project is a fairly unique opportunity to control quite a sub-stantial bit of the city,’ said Andrew Foulds, portfolio director at Redevco United Kingdom. ‘You normally get fragmentation of ownership with high street assets, but this is a significant part of Brighton – which is compelling before you even start looking at the fundamentals.’

‘For Redevco, placemaking is about providing physical spaces that people actually enjoy being in. The Lanes comprise traditional, unique properties – many are old fishermens’ cottages – so every store has a bespoke design. For the portion that we’re regenerating, historic paving is going in, alongside residential and small offices, so it will have a real community feel,’ Foulds said.

‘In terms of the leasing, we’re looking largely at brands that aren’t already in Brighton.’

‘Construction has been incredibly challenging, but that’s part of the beauty of the project – it’s like a giant jigsaw. The completion will be phased, but we’ll start handing over between September of this year and January 2019.’

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