AM to develop Spain’s biggest shopping centre

AM (Amstelland MDC NV) is developing a shopping centre in Madrid which will be the biggest in Spain. The El Cañaveral centre will comprise 130,000 m² of retail space and will incorporate a hypermarket and leisure facilities. The total cost is estimated at € 300 million. AM development Spain is planning to start building in early 2004, with completion scheduled for late 2006.

AM development and the consortium of landowners have signed the contract for the 22 hectare site of the future shopping centre. AM’s proposal was selected by the Madrid municipal authority and the consortium on the basis of a competition among several European developers.

Part of a major expansion plan
El Cañaveral is located eight kilometres from the centre of Madrid on the M45 motorway. Its catchment area has a population of 500,000. The shopping centre is part of a large-scale urban expansion project. Around 15,000 homes will be built in the immediate vicinity of the shopping centre in next few years.

Growth in shopping centre development
The El Cañaveral project is consistent with AM’s strategy of growth in shopping centre development in Europe. There is a strong demand in Southern Europe in particular for large-scale shopping centres incorporating leisure facilities, and these projects generate better margins than those in the more mature markets in Western Europe. AM´s income from shopping centre development is expected to increase to around 40% of its total income in 2003. By developing high-quality shopping centres, AM is meeting the needs of Spanish consumers, international store chains and property investors.

Including the new project in Madrid, AM development Spain is currently developing shopping centres in Leon, La Coruña, Vigo and Girona with a total retail area of around 400,000 m², at a total capital cost of about € 840 million. AM Development Spain is also developing an office park in Valsolana. AM has established this position with its powerful design and development approach, which follows through from concept to handover - thus conferring a substantial competitive advantage in securing assignments - and has proved itself as marketable export.

As well as economic and financial considerations, design was also a major factor in the selection of AM Development’s proposal, the concept for which originated from AM’s in-house designers of T+T Design. The shopping centre, which will have a sculptural, organic form, will be located within a landscaped 22-hectare site incorporating parks, water features and carefully designed public areas. El Cañaveral will not be a single massive building: it will consist of a number of connected elements, two squares, malls, a courtyard with a pond and water features and distinctive winding streets. Art works will feature prominently in the project. The centre will also incorporate leisure facilities, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and cafes and will have parking for 4,600 cars.

A successful concept
Although El Cañaveral has its own distinctive architecture, the concept is similar to that of the successful Almada Forum, AM development Portugal’s 110,000 m² shopping centre in Almada (Lisbon), which has already won several awards (MIPIM, ICSC). Almada Forum, which opened in September 2002, is expected to attract 20 million visitors in 2003 and generate turnover of € 400 million. The centre, which is fully let, has been sold to property investor Commerz Grundbesitz Investmentgesellschaft (CGI) for € 250 million. CGI recently also acquired AM’s project in Montijo (Portugal) for just over € 100 million.

Source: AM

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