Fit for the future

Refurbishment by ECE

Whether for modernization, extension or repositioning, ECE continuously cooperates with owners to always keep the shopping centers it manages up to date. That way, the centers don’t only remain attractive to customers and tenants, but also maintain their value for investors. For ECE, refurbishments are one of the core areas of expertise. Only companies who ensure that their centers are up to the latest standards will be successful in the long term – a simple principle, perhaps, but one that is often ignored.

According to a survey conducted by the market research experts at Gesellschaft für Markt- und Absatzforschung (GMA), about half of all shopping centers in Germany are in need of revitalization. And they don’t just mean a new coat of paint; they’re talking about complete restructuring of the retail properties – starting with the architectural concept to the branch and tenant mix. The study states that there are many reasons why modernization is delayed, ranging from insufficient awareness of the need for revitalization and complex ownership structures to a shortage of funds and a lack of know-how. Shopping center operators who are slow to respond soon find themselves caught in a downward spiral driven by falling customer numbers, declining turnover, vacancies, and the loss of value of the entire property. In certain cases, entire urban districts can be affected by a center which needs renovation, with the negative impacts on the entire city or region. Especially small and medium-sized cities can be hit hard.

Every third center flops

Even in the case of “younger” shopping centers, however, things do not always run smoothly. According to a survey by GfK GeoMarketing, one in three shopping centers in Germany has failed in the market, showing an inadequate sales area productivity. The most frequent causes are poor layouts, false positioning of the anchor stores, and a branch and tenant mix that is not tailored to the location in question. Nearly one in two ailing centers simply isn’t large enough and therefore lacks sufficient drawing power. One in three centers has too many floors, while 11 percent fail as a result of management mistakes. Not infrequently, however, the need for action comes almost overnight: when a department store closes, for example, rendering it necessary – or possible – to restructure a center.

The positive effects of a successful refurbishment frequently extend way beyond the modernized center. In line with the principle “competition is good for business”, the revitalization of a shopping center generally triggers a variety of subsequent investments in the surrounding area and thus serves as a driving force for the entire urban development. Private investment can significantly spur sustainable urban development, especially public funds are scarce. Some examples of “Refurbishments by ECE" include Hamburger Meile in Hamburg, Europa-Galerie in Saarbrücken, Marstall in Ludwigsburg, Loom in Bielefeld (opening fall 2017) or MyZeil in Frankfurt am Main (completion spring 2019).

Modernize, extend or convert retail spaces

ECE puts together interdisciplinary teams of project developers, leasing specialists, center managers, architects as well as marketing, financial and legal experts who pool their knowledge to analyze and plan a refurbishment project. The team has expertise in obtaining building permits as well as in repositioning and rebranding. No matter if it’s for developing, financing, leasing or marketing a project, ECE can draw on many decades of experience. As a result, ECE is equipped for every type of refurbishment: for comprehensive modernization, management takeovers, converting retail spaces, as well as for highly complex projects where all aspects combine.

Adding value through refurbishments: that’s the credo of the ECE Funds. The ECE European Prime Shopping Centre Fund I and II thus focus on the acquisition of existing shopping centers with value-add potential which is realized through extension or re-positioning of the center or optimization of the branch and tenant mix. On behalf of its investors, the ECE Funds currently manage a portfolio of 15 shopping centers in Europe with a total value of over 2.5 billion euros.

  • Refurbishment by ECE

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  • Fit for the future - Refurbishment by ECE

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Refurbishment Hamburger Meile & Marstall Ludwigsburg

  • Hamburger Meile in Hamburg: successfull thanks to complete modernization

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  • Prior to its refurbishment, the center was named "Hamburger Straße"

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  • Once again worth a visit: the new Hamburger Meile shopping center

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  • Shining in new splendor: Marstall in Ludwigsburg

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  • Interior view of the new Marstall shopping center

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  • Sampede of visitors in Marstall Ludwigsburg after its refurbishment

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  • The former "City-Center" in Bielefeld gives way to the new Loom shopping center

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  • Interior view of Loom Bielefeld

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  • Foodcourt of new Loom Bielefeld

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  • MyZeil in Frankfurt receives a new food area: “Foodtopia"...

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  • ...with restaurants and bars...

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  • ...as well as catering on terraces with spectacular views

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