Start of construction on the new shopping gallery in downtown Aachen: On May 16, 2013, the project partners ECE and STRABAG Real Estate together with the Lord Mayor of Aachen, Marcel Philipp, broke the ground on the project, worth €290 million, at Adalbertstrasse.
At the same time, the new name for the center, Aquis Plaza, was revealed. 130 specialist stores on three floors are planned as well as a food court with various gastronomic services on the second floor. The center has a sales area of approximately 29,200 m².
A total of 600 parking spaces will be constructed on two levels above the shopping gallery for visitors arriving by car. The opening of Aquis Plaza has currently been scheduled for fall 2015/ spring 2016–depending on the progress of the ongoing archaeological excavations. After the opening of the shopping gallery, more than 700 people will find work there. The long-term management of Aquis Plaza lies in the hands of ECE. The final investor of the major project is KG Farmsen. The company has been an investment company of the Otto family and other institutional and private investors for several decades.
Marcel Philipp, Lord Mayor of the city of Aachen: “I am looking forward to the start of construction and I am very happy that ECE, the European market leader in the field of shopping centers, has committed itself to Aachen. With the new Aquis Plaza our city center will gain yet more quality.”
Alexander Otto, CEO of ECE: “With Aquis Plaza, Aachen receives a modern destination for shopping, activities, and gastronomy which is well-integrated into the inner city. With its great attractiveness, Aquis Plaza will sustainably strengthen Aachen’s position as a shopping metropolis in the triangle region.”
As regards to urban development and architecture Aquis Plaza will integrate harmonically into the present structure of the inner city. The shopping gallery reflects the spirit of optimism of Aachen with its high-quality and elegant design. The main entrances are planned to be constructed at Kaiserplatz and the pedestrian zone of Adalbertstrasse. In the interior of Aquis Plaza large glass domes will allow much daylight and transparency as well as interesting insights and views over several floors for visitors.
The leasing experts of ECE will consider the wishes and needs of the 1.2 million inhabitants of the catchment area in regard to the selection of the retail tenants. Besides national and international chains, especially many local and regional concepts as well as single-outlet retailers with innovative ideas are to be attracted. By establishing a scaling of rent depending on performance the stores, who otherwise cannot afford rents in the top locations of pedestrian zones, get a chance.
Being home to more than 40,000 students, Aachen is one of the most important college locations in Germany. In addition, Aachen has many visitors from the neighboring countries of Belgium and The Netherlands who come to the city to do their shopping.
As a contribution to the protection of the climate Aquis Plaza will, among other installations, have a sophisticated natural ventilation system so that an electric ventilation of the malls will not be needed. Beyond that, Aquis Plaza will receive a specific lighting and energy concept with dynamic control. The illuminants are controlled during the day which optimizes the use of energy. In addition, latest state-of-the-art energy-efficient light sources and certified green power electricity are used.