VARENA, Austria's most modern shopping center, opened its doors on Wednesday August 25, 2010. It is the 24th mall by SES Spar European Shopping Centers. The company has invested 82 million in this location and created 750 jobs. It is the single largest private investment ever made in Vöcklabruck.
VARENA has been fully leased for months. Only the very best international, national and regional merchants have taken up occupancy in the shopping center.
The shopping center also demonstrates a good carbon footprint. An innovative and environmentally friendly energy concept utilizes groundwater-pumps to both heat and cool the building.
The location adjacent to Bundesstrasse/Highway 1 in Vöcklabruck has been a retail location since the 1960s. INTERSPAR opened its hypermarket at this location in 1995. A new and wholly integrated project has been in the planning since 2002.
The new and modern world-class VARENA shopping center was built over a period of 29 months. SES is the developer, constructor, investor and operator of the shopping center. The renowned architectural firm ATP Architekten & Ingenieure designed the center. The mall was constructed as a joint venture between the companies Alpine, Strabag and Dywidag. The neighboring property owners were kept informed about the development of the shopping center from the very beginning.
Enhancing Vöcklabruck as a commercial center
Most shopping centers in Upper Austria are geographically concentrated around Linz, Wels and Steyr. Local purchasing power has also been diverted to Salzburg. VARENA strengthens the capital city of Vöcklabruck as a retail center and increases its significance throughout the region. The Mayor Mag. Herbert Brunsteiner confirmed this when he commented: "VARENA dramatically increases the value of our city as a commercial center. Vöcklabruck has risen to become a match for other cities with large retail centers."
The broad catchment area and customer base of Vöcklabruck encompasses the area between Linz and Salzburg. The large number of second homes and its significance for the tourism industry makes Vöcklabruck an ideal location for a shopping center with supra-regional appeal.
According to a study by RegioPlan Consulting, shopping center density in Upper Austria after the opening of VARENA , with its 300 m² per 1,000 residents, lies well within the Austrian mean.
The state of Upper Austria is also excited about the project, as Governor Dr. Josef Pühringer relates: "This large investment by SES Spar European Shopping Centers is an important sign in financially difficult times. It is a sign that our state is on the path to improvement. It is an optimistic economic signal because investme