Unibail-Rodamco will build the most sustainable shopping center in Europe in the Alicante city of Benidorm. The French real estate giant will invest around 210 million euros in this complex which is expected to open its doors in the first half of 2020.
With 58,388 square meters of gross leasable area (GLA) spread over three floors, with 120 locations, and 2,500 parking spaces, this center will be the largest in the region and will generate 1,700 direct job places and another 1,000 indirect ones. “Its opening will also mean the arrival of new brands in the city of Benidorm, which has a very limited historic center and where large operators can not find spaces according to their needs,” explains Javier Solis, Development and Investment Director of Unibail-Rodamco.
Its design “aims to be a transition between the sea and the mountains with three stepped floors, to be built as an open center to take advantage of the climate of Benidorm”, says the manager. Thus, in the first level an anchor hypermarket and fashion brands shops will be located, fashion brands shops will also occupy the second floor, while the third floor will be dedicated to the restoration and leisure, including a summer cinema.
The area dedicated to gastronomy will occupy a prominent place, with a careful outdoors design and with views of the bay of Benidorm. This space will be the part of the Dining Experience concept that Unibail-Rodamco has already developed in other centers such as La Maquinista, Splau, Glòries in Catalonia and the Madrid-based Parquesur, which consists of creating architecturally unique spaces in which will offer gastronomic based mostly on different local brands.
Following the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, Unibail-Rodamco decided to take a long-term commitment to the environment with the creation of an ambitious roadmap: Better Places 2030, whose main objective is to reduce by 50% its Carbon dioxide emissions in Europe before 2030.
“This complex will be the first one designed in Spain to comply with this plan and aims to also become the first shopping center developed from scratch in Europe with Outstanding qualification (outstanding) of Breeam”, which according to the director is the maximum Note on this type of certificate that measures the sustainability of a construction. The firm also points out that currently in Spain there is no shopping center that has obtained the highest rating of Breeam.
The Benidorm shopping center will optimize energy efficiency and encourage the use of less polluting transport by visitors and its employees. Specifically, the new complex will have renewable energy integrated into the building and 30% of the landscaped plot with native vegetation. “It will also have a Construction Waste Management Plan with the aim of recycling 95% of them and a water consumption system that will save 60% more than in a standard shopping center.” According to Solis, “the reduction of water consumption in the center equals 93 Olympic swimming pools per year.”
The works to develop this center, which is in a strategic location, with good visibility at the junction between the AP-7 and N-332, have already started. This will be the second center of Unibail in the Valencian Community, where it starded 18 years ago with the inauguration of the Bonaire shopping center.
Benidorm is one of the four major developments that the French group is currently projecting in Spain, where it wants to continue growing also through extensions, with a plan until 2024 that will involve a total investment of 800 million. The main development zone is Benidorm, Alicante province, Spain.