ECE Retail Insights, February 2019

“We’re creating an upscale shopping destination”

Leasing Director Sebastian Beck is convinced that the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping center in Berlin is currently the most exciting retail project in Germany. Lease agreements will soon be signed with the first premium brands.


What makes Potsdamer Platz Arkaden such a special project?

The location! Potsdamer Platz is located in the heart of Berlin and therefore in the very center of Europe. This location embodies both the urban lifestyle and Germany’s history like no other place in the country. That’s why more than 100,000 people visit it every day. Potsdamer Platz is also one of the best addresses for office space in the city, with 30,000 people working here. But the location also has a lot to offer culturally. At the same time, the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping center has to contend with fierce competition from the nearly 70 other malls located throughout Berlin. To ensure its success, we have developed a radically new, unique concept for the 20-year-old shopping center, and are going to position it completely differently.

What is at the heart of the new concept?

We are going to create an upscale, indoor shopping destination consisting of six different areas, each with its own theme. We are completely removing the upper level of the mall, meaning the center will only feature individual flagship stores with huge facades over two or three floors, allowing brands to effectively showcase themselves and their products according to their very own DNA. A spacious and modern 4,000 m² food and beverage area will serve as the centerpiece and heart of the building. To put it in a nutshell: We want to implement a concept here unlike anything that currently exists in Germany.

Sounds like a completely fresh start. Why the massive changes?

We are convinced that an upscale shopping destination will appeal to the existing and very international clientele as well as the local office users much more than a traditional mall. Due to its outstanding location and variety of shops, Potsdamer Platz already competes more with places like Ku’damm and Alexanderplatz. In contrast to these, however, we can completely determine the retail mix ourselves. We can now implement the latest trends and continuously fine-tune them in the future. In a time of constant change, this flexibility is, of course, a major advantage of the location.

In addition, Berlin is currently at the top of most global brands’ expansion lists. These brands only want to move to select locations, however, and need very specific types of space – which is exactly what we can offer at our new upscale shopping destination.

Has the leasing process got off to a good start?

We officially presented the project at MAPIC last November and subsequently held around 50 one-on-one meetings with select customers. The response was truly overwhelming. They are all extremely interested and everyone immediately understood what we’re planning there. It seems that the concept is in tune with the zeitgeist, which we are obviously quite pleased about. All in all, we intend to attract around 90 shops from the Technology, Sports & Entertainment, Science & Beauty, and Mobility & Leisure segments, including up to 15 flagship stores. Many retailers have expressed interest, particularly international brands. Now we are beginning to enter lease negotiations with specific tenants.

Can you provide any more details at this time?

We are currently negotiating with a very large American sports label that is planning to open a flagship store in Berlin. Its search criteria are very clear: it must be an international, high-footfall location with an upscale brand environment. At the same time, the label needs a very large space with state-of-the-art technology and a facade that allows the brand to present itself perfectly. And this is precisely what we will be able to offer in the future with the new concept at Potsdamer Platz. By the way, we have already made significant progress with the heart of our upscale shopping destination: the new indoor market hall. We will be able to announce the name of the operator in the next few weeks. The concept doesn’t exist in Berlin yet, so we are really looking forward to it...

PICTURE GALLERY

FACTS ABOUT THE PROJECT

Potsdamer Platz is one of the most urban neighborhoods in the heart of Berlin. During its rebuilding, which was initiated by Daimler AG in the 1990s, Potsdamer Platz was redesigned according to plans and designs by a team of renowned architects headed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Hans Kollhoff. Today, Potsdamer Platz combines the history, culture, and economic diversity of Berlin with entertainment and events. Thus, the area attracts more than 110,000 visitors every day. Today, the neighborhood consists of 17 buildings, ten streets, and two squares, which are managed by the Asset Manager Brookfield Properties Germany GmbH.

The Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping center currently has 130 shops spanning approx. 40,000 m². ECE has managed and leased the space in the shopping center since it opened in 1998. In cooperation with Brookfield Properties Germany, the asset manager of Potsdamer Platz, ECE is planning to completely reposition and extensively refurbish the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping center and is responsible for planning and design, project management, leasing space to new tenants, and the overall rebranding strategy.

ABOUT BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES

Brookfield Properties is a fully-integrated, global real estate services company, providing industry-leading portfolio management capabilities across the real estate investment strategies of Brookfield Asset Management — a global alternative asset manager with over $330 billion in AUM. Brookfield Properties develops and manages premier real estate with a focus on maximizing the tenant experience in addition to the investment and operational performance of the asset. We also focus on integrating leading-edge real estate technologies which enables us to be at the forefront of innovation and sustainability – benefiting not only our tenants and business partners, but also the communities in which we operate. For more information about our approach to operating and developing best-in-class real estate, please visit www.brookfieldproperties.com.