Luxembourg is set to be the scene for an exciting new high-end shopping center, in the Cloche d'Or district.The development is being handled by the property developer LCO1, and is the result of a link-up between Immochan and Promobe. Interestingly, the catchment area of the project includes 1.7 million people across 4 different countries: Luxembourg, France, Germany and Belgium.
We caught up with Eric Mathieu, the Project Manager of Cloche d’Or, and Elise Thibert, Commercial Director at Immochan Luxembourg, to find out more about the plans. The first thing we were told is that the mall will be “the heart of a new district” in the south of Luxembourg City. The new district will be largely based around office and residential accommodation, as well as functional buildings such as schools. The complex will generate jobs and big economic benefits: by 2025, 45,000 people will live, work, study and do their shopping in this new district.
The excellent location of the mall sees it sitting just 1 kilometer from the main railway station in the city, and 3 kilometers from the city center.
Residential Towers on TopInterestingly, that the Cloche d’Or shopping complex will have “2 residential towers on top of it”, meaning that they will have up to 500 potential customers living right there.
There will be no other shopping center in the area to act as competition, although the new neighborhood will have the likes of convenience stores, opticians and banks as part of the plans.
In terms of dimensions, we were shown the plans which reveal a mall of 75,000 square meters, with “about 120 shops in it”. Included in the plans are a 12,500 square meter Auchan hypermarket on the lower level. This will be the second branch of Auchan in the city.
Overall, there will be 3 levels of retail activity in the center. Apart from the hypermarket on the lower level, the rest of the retail activity will be “organized in a single loop” on the other levels.
Big Name Retailers ExpectedWhen we asked about the other brands that are expected to form part of this new shopping center, we were told that they have “just started the letting process” and that they can't announce anything yet. However, they expect to be working “with the main retailers on the market in fashion, in culture, in home interior, and in toys and all different activities”. The developer aims to “close with those brands in the first quarter of 2016 at the latest”.
The idea behind this shopping center is to “have a medium to medium high price range”. To achieve this they will be looking for premium brands bringing “contemporary fashion” and other high level retail offerings. The developers “don’t want to do a mass market shopping center”.
The developers said that they want to bring “something unique” to Luxembourg. Currently, all of the top premium and contemporary brands are located in the center of the city. This means that Cloche d’Or will provide “an option to move out of the city center and open a second location in Luxembourg”.
Food and Entertainment PlansWe were interested in finding out about the entertainment options that are planned for the new mall. In response, we were told of the plans for a “3,300 square meter food hall”, with 15 different service points. The food hall will be a mixture of food kiosks, table based restaurants and other options, in order to “create a destination". In fact, with a dense office area around the mall, the food hall was described as “one of the key differentiating factors of the center”.
There will also be a “very large program of events” at the center in a 400 square meters zone where the firm will “always have something happening”
The number of people living and working within walking distance of the center means that the retailers based there should have “people recurring every day”, for lunch or for convenience shopping. This should lead to “very loyal and very recurring customers”.
We were told that there are no plans for a cinema in the center. In terms of uniqueness, it offers “architectural ambition”, with a large, illuminated “iconic entrance” and a transparent sky dome. The bright interior will be helped by facades that will “go as high as 6 meters” in some areas. The overall look as described as “extremely modern, extremely high-end”.
A Unique Assortment of Premium BrandsFurther, the developer is convinced that the “brands will also be very special”, with a “unique assortment of premium brands”, the likes of which has never been seen before in a Luxembourg shopping mall. They also plan to “bring new brands to the market”, in order to give their customers something new and exciting.
As for the current project of the project, we were informed that the initial digging and excavating works have already started. The actual building plan is currently scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2016. The center should be completed by October of 2018.
We were told that Inditex brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti are “part of the assortment that we would like to have in this center”, as they fit nicely into the positioning of the mall. Another large fashion retailer that they see fitting in with their strategy is the H&M Group, which was described by the developer as “extremely interesting”.
We wanted to find out about the plans for local brands and stores in the Cloche d’Or project. In this case, we were advised that their aim is to look around in Luxembourg and “find the local champions”. They want to find with “retailers with experience of the market” and an established customer base in the city.
Letting the Sun InAfter this overview, we went on to speak with the architectural team behind the Cloche d’Or project. We were told that work began on this idea back in May 2014. The idea was to bring a shopping mall that “sets new standards”, as there currently aren’t many malls in Luxembourg. The fact that the sun isn’t always particularly strong here meant that they have to find ways of getting the sun and the light into the interior.
In terms of the exterior design, “it has very clear lines” while the interior is described as a “universe that is very fluid”, with no dead-ends to stop customers from getting around easily. The entrance will include an overlapping, mirrored roof and a long perspective through the building.
It was confirmed that the “shopping center is green certified” and only uses very high quality materials, as well as having a green roof. The fact that many surrounding buildings will look upon the mall means that more attention than usually was paid to the exterior appearance.
22 DECEMBER 2015, France