The project of “Voronezh” Retail Park in the village of Otradnoye in Novousmansky District was presented at the public hearings in the village administration building on Monday, March 12. The local residents voted for the construction of the trading venue. The project will be implemented in four stages. The construction should be completed in 2023.

The correspondent of RIA “Voronezh” has found out how the Retail Park differs from ordinary shopping centers and how the construction will affect the economy and infrastructure of the suburb of Voronezh.

What is a Retail Park?

Retail Park is a special type of trading venue. The stores are located not in one large building, as in a shopping center, but in separate building – one and two-storey buildings (big-boxes). Initially, retail parks included only big-boxes. The modern retail parks also mean shops with storefronts, which you can enter from the street. They are united by common parking and often a common architectural concept.

- An important difference between retail parks and the shopping centers is the absence of a shopping gallery, which requires costs for lighting, clearing, preparation and removal of air. In fact, shopping galleries are a loss-making thing, Sergey Ositsky, Chief Architect of “Fifth Season Group” LLC, which developed the retail park project, explained.

Typically, retail parks are located on the outskirts of the city or in the suburbs with good transport accessibility.

Who will build the Retail Park in Otradnoye?

The project will be implemented by specially established “Retail Park” LLC.

- We work with experienced consultants. They have studied more than 40 similar venues abroad. This wealth of experience, first of all European, allowed to achieve qualitative results in the architectural concept. In Russia, in pure form, retail parks have not yet been implemented, Svetlana Safonova, the company’s director, noted.

The concept was developed by consulting company “IDEM – Retail Real Estate Consultants,” which is the exclusive broker and consultant of the project. The architectural concept was prepared by International Architectural Bureau Portner Architects.

- We have been studying the world experience of retail parks for six years, the only retail format in Europe that has been doubling in size every year over the past few years, despite the crisis that traditional trade formats are experiencing. It’s a mystery to me why Russia already uses the term “retail park”, as the existing venues have nothing in common with European or Canadian retail parks by characteristics and business models. We did not want to implement this clearly structured format in Russia until we found the optimal site and met the customer ready to apply the Western business model, Sasha Lukich, Managing Partner and Chief Architect of Portner Architects said.

How will the Retail Park near Voronezh look like?

“Voronezh” Retail Park will be located on a 38 hectare site, where the new hypermarket Leroy Merlin is located, which will be part of the park. One-storey modular big-boxes of 9-10 m in height will be located on the perimeter of the site. They will house large tenants. A number of single-storey modular shops with a height of 7-10 m will be built nearby. A pedestrian path, closed in a ring, will go along the windows.

- Another difference from the retail parks, which were implemented earlier, are large comfortable pedestrian zones. They may be landscaped, have a fountain. Such sites are well suited for holding fairs, architect Sergei Ositsky explained.

What stores will appear in the Retail Park?

The second “Leroy Merlin” in the region has been already built as part of the first stage. The next stage provides for the construction of a convenience store. The third stage includes the construction of hypermarkets of furniture, sports and children’s goods. A clothing and footwear discount center, as well as a store for home products will appear during the final stage.

In addition, the concept provides a fast food restaurant, where you can buy food without leaving your car.

The exact list of tenants has not been disclosed, but during the public hearings it was announced that one of them could become Auchan hypermarket.

How can I get to the Retail Park?

The concept assumes a separate entrance for cars and trucks. All the buildings of Retail Park “Voronezh” will be combined with a parking for 5 thousand cars. There will be separate cargo yards for truck parking.

A public transport stop is planned in the center of the site. Presumably, a bus to the Retail Park will be sent from Left Bank District (Levoberezhny District).

Why in Otradnoye?

The plot chosen for the construction is adjacent to Levoberezhny District of Voronezh. According to IDEM, the indicator of the provision of retail space is low in this part of the city. And two large microdistricts with a total population of 85 thousand people are being built in the immediate vicinity.

- Retail Park “Voronezh” is located on the busy highway M-4 “Don”. The traffic reaches 72 thousand cars a day, Yekaterina Gress, IDEM General Director, explained.

How will the construction of the Retail Park affect the economy and the infrastructure?

Head of Otradnenskoye Rural Settlement Alexander Kokin believes that the appearance of the Retail Park has more advantages than disadvantages.

- One of the main advantages is the creation of jobs. The number of registered population in Otradnoye is 8,500 people. In addition, another 3 thousand people live here. They need work near their homes, the head of the settlement explained.

He added that the large retail facility will increase the taxable base, which will positively affect Otradnoye’s budget. In addition, the large trading venue will help to provide the Otradnoye residents with high-quality goods.

One of the disadvantage of the appearance of the Retail Park, Alexander Kokin called the aggravation of competition in the trade sphere:

- We have developed small outlets selling food or household goods. The stores owners started their businesses 5-10 years ago, and we supported them in every possible way. I suppose that due to inexpensive rent in the Retail Park, the prices for goods there may be lower than in the rural shops. It can hit the local entrepreneurs whom we value. We will try to track the prices and bring this information to the owners of the rural shops, meet with the Retail Park management. We will not leave our entrepreneurs alone in any case, Alexander Kokin promised.