MADRID-based Eurofund Group is to launch what it describes as its “urban resort” format in Italy, with the creation of the Go. Torino shopping centre with grocery retail development partner Mercato in Turin.
Eurofund Group president Ian Sandford said that he hopes the construction phase will begin in June next year for the hypermarket-anchored 25,000 sq m scheme, with completion expected in late 2020. Eurofund Italia has been established to develop this project as the first of a number of such schemes in the country, he said.
“The idea is to take the philosophy from our large, out-of-town retail resorts in Puerto Venecia and the planned intu Costa del Sol [where the company is joint venture partner]and apply the idea to smaller, urban locations,” he said. “Go. Torino is very close to a new student residential tower and university and about a 12-minute walk from the historical centre of Turin, so the focus will be on a youth-oriented and fashionable retail, leisure and F&B mix.”
When complete the project will include a 6,000 sq m hypermarket, 80 stores, 10 MSUs, 25 restaurants and bars, a Virgin health club, and a craft brewery bar. Scarpe & Scarpe, Terranova, Calliope, Pinalli and Cotton & Silk are among the confirmed retailers, while specialist 7Fun will provide an exterior climbing wall attraction.
The project is also directly opposite an 18,000 sq m park, which the partners will manage. Sandford said that this has provided the “ideal opportunity” for the scheme’s restaurants to face out into the park, with large terraces, and for a series of events including open air cinema in the summer.
“Many local authorities no longer have the budgets to create new public realm, so it’s up to the private sector to do it,” he said. “We have to stop thinking about malls as simply for shopping and connect on an emotional basis. They should be about health and happiness.”
Eurofund Group hopes to develop more such centres in Italy and Sandford described the initial joint venture, benefitting from Mercato’s local knowledge of the market, as the “perfect way to go into Italy”.
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