The movement of masons entering and leaving the shopping Villa del Parque It started around March. Some were seen moving materials, others hanging in the front painting. The image was strange: the mall had been abandoned for a year and a half, after its final closure in June 2019.
“There were different rumors: that a supermarket was coming or that they were going to demolish and build a building. But when the arrangements began We saw that it was not the type of work that is done in a demolition “, says Elisabet Piacentini, president of the Villa del Parque Merchants Union.
She and the rest of the neighbors had been warning that Nazarre Street at 3100, where the shopping is, it had become a dark and unsafe area due to the closure of the shopping mall and the low circulation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The reactivation of space was then good news. So it was for a while.
The mall has been closed for two years and, at night, Nazarre al 3100 became a dark and unsafe block. Photo Luciano Thieberger
“Until the rumor arose that an outlet or a saladita was coming. There we became concerned and began to find out. “On May 6, Piacentini contacted the manager of the shopping mall and on May 18 they invited her to review the progress of the work.
What Piacentini found was a shopping in the process of set-up and some large premises, such as one where the Arredo chain used to be, divided. “It caught my attention but at the same time it seemed logical to me,” he says. In a context of economic downturn in which shopping malls also open and close according to how the number of infections progresses, it was understandable to him that due to a cost issue the spaces were shrinking.
The mall closed in June 2019. It could not resist the sharp drop in sales that it had been registering for two years before. Photo: Silvana Boemo
The tour calmed her down. “We are happy – he says and immediately clarifies – but also we are going to be very attentive that the shopping has the commercial quality of the area“.
For Sebastián Umansky, director of Rotar Propiedades and who is in charge, together with Matrix Propiedades, of the commercialization of the shopping center, there are no doubts about the future hierarchy of the space.
The Villa del Parque shopping mall was inaugurated on October 5, 1995. Photo: Silvana Boemo
“We want people to access any activity they need in shopping, from making a clothing purchase, withdrawing money from an ATM, cutting their hair or enjoying a very good food court,” says Umansky. The focus, he explains, will be on in service, consumption and gastronomy.
At this time, your real estate is in conversation with different commercial areas, such as pharmacies, pet shops, banks to install ATMs, extra-bank payment channels (Easy Payment), hairdressers and different clothing brands, both for children and adults.
The future shopping will bring together different items and will have gastronomic options. Photo Luciano Thieberger
“There will also be a great transformation on the second floor, where there was a food court that became impoverished over time.” For that area plan two great places, one for pizza and the other for pastas, and in the entire extension of the plant add other gastronomic options: Mexican food, Arabic, cafeteria, ice cream parlor, brewery, yogurt shops and businesses specialized in the sale of salads, among others.
The three-story building is under construction. There are still 45 days of repairs and the reopening will depend on the epidemiological situation.
In the third floor there were two movie theaters, which belonged to the CPM chain. “We are in conversation with them, seeing how this area is today, and we are also considering another alternative: a theater, in which there are functions and classes can also be given.”
For Umansky the opening would be between August and September, although it will depend on the epidemiological situation. Meanwhile, there are still 45 days of work remaining. So far, a new electrical circuit has been made, escalators and elevators have been changed, ceilings have been raised and the entire space of almost 9,000 square meters has been painted.
Future distribution will offer between 75 and 80 main stores, plus 20 small businesses and located on movable platforms, located in corridors. In total, they will add at least 20 businesses, compared to the number that was before.
The last days of shopping in Villa del Parque, in June 2019. Photo Lucía Merle
Behind the reactivation of shopping, is the Punto brand. “It is a group of Argentine businessmen who have always been dedicated to commercial activity,” explains Umansky. The firm rented the Villa del Parque shopping mall in March and also manages other commercial properties: Punto Nazca, Punto Avellaneda, Punto Caminito and Punto Once.
Some of the spaces are fairs or walks with a high number of venues, arranged one after the other. Hence perhaps the confusion has arisen regarding what type of business would replace shopping.
The reopening of the Villa del Parque shopping center would be between August and September. Photo Luciano Thieberger
“I suppose they have related it,” says Umansky for the neighbors, “but an outlet does not go with the neighborhood or with the Villa del Parque consumer. The group evaluates the business according to each sector and develops it according to the consumer who is there. It’s not going to be an outlet shopping “.