Mills Corp. has completed work on its mega-mall in Spain, dubbed Madrid Xanadu, with a weekend grand opening that drew approximately 250,000 people. The retail and entertainment complex boasts 220 stores, 30 eateries, and a 15-screen movie theater. Other amenities range from indoor go-carts to a high-tech bowling alley to the world´s second-biggest snow down for winter sports.
Mills officials hope the 1.4-million-square-foot Madrid Xanadu will clear the way for at least five similar Mills mall projects throughout Spain and Italy. The Virginia-based developer has 20 such projects up and running in the United States, but has long felt that its unique brand of 'shoppertainment' is lacking throughout Europe. Indeed, less than six malls in all of Europe compare with Madrid Xanadu in size. Analysts agree with the company that parts of the continent, especially the two target countries, are ripe for new retail development. They add that fewer new malls have been built in Europe than the U.S. because the approval process has traditionally been so much more difficult.