KazanMall opening: without Lenta and stars but with new brands for Kazan

The shopping mall of UD Group will open in test mode today, while the official opening is scheduled for early December

KazanMall opening: without Lenta and stars but with new brands for Kazan
Photo: Maksim Platonov

Kazan’s biggest shopping mall has chosen the day of the official opening — the mall will open its doors on 5-6 December. The event has been deliberately stretched into two days — to divide flows of guests during the pandemic. The test opening will take place earlier, on 12 November, designed to troubleshoot all systems and networks. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report more about what’s going on in the shopping mall now, if we should expect a grandiose programme on the opening days and what tenants have left in the mall and who has already left it.

Opening in two stages

“A big programme for big money awaits the visitors on the days of the official opening planned for early December,” UD Group’s Development Director Valentina Sakhabeyeva promised during a tour in KazanMall. “I will note that we didn’t want crowds of people, this is why we have stretched the opening in time.”

Sakhabeyeva didn’t make the programme public in detail, however, she noted that they decided not to invite stars for safety reasons but invited the city’s management.

Sakhabeyeva didn’t make the programme public in detail, however, she noted that they decided not to invite stars for safety reasons but invited the city’s management

“The test opening of the mall will be three weeks before the official opening, on 12 November. This is necessary to adjust all systems. It is necessary that staff get used and everybody understands how to work with the managing company. Cash desks, security systems and reception of commodities, ventilation and other networks must start operating. The building will open and the shopping mall will welcome visitors,” Valentina Sakhabeyeva added.

A system controlling visitors during the pandemic will also be tested: panoramic thermal imaging that will measure the guests’ body temperature has been installed at all entrances of the shopping mall. Besides, the mall has disinfecting lamps and terminals with masks, gloves and sanitisers.

Lenta left the mall because of the coronacrisis

As Director of the Department of Regional Commercial Areas at CBRE (Editor’s Note: a realty consultancy cooperating with KazanMall) Mikhail Rogozhin told Realnoe Vremya earlier, despite the pandemic the management managed to save the tenants who signed rental agreements before the coronacrisis and invite more new brands. Moreover, Valentina Sakhabeyeva admits they had to make some concessions.

At this moment, tenants of the mall are completing the final assembly works on their areas

“Indeed, we had to change the policy on rental rates because of the pandemic, but this affected not only us but all players in general. It is hard to say what exactly changed — everything is very individual. I can just say that the agreements are mainly long-term, there are few short-term agreements,” Sakhabeyeva shared.

They didn’t manage to agree with the anchor food tenant — Lenta. The development director of UD Group says that the agreement between the chain store and mall was signed as early as 2018, however, “they decided to reconsider conditions a month before the opening considering they have severely suffered from the pandemic and offered much fewer commercial conditions”. This wasn’t fine for the management of the shopping mall, so it was decided to change the operator. They promise to say who will be the new anchor a bit later.

Exclusive tenants and lowered traffic expectations

By the moment of the official opening, the occupancy rate of the mall will be 70%. It is planned to reach 95% in the first and second quarter of 2021.

At this moment, tenants of the mall are completing the final assembly works on their areas: sounds of drills and hammers are heard across the building, workers are transporting construction materials in galleries. Some stores look like empty boxes of drywall, in other shops employees are filling shelves with goods.

One can see a lot of new players in the mall’s food court

The area of cash machines is starting to be assembled, islands haven’t appeared, rest areas haven’t been put into order yet. There is a huge empty terrace on the third floor of the mall: it will open only in spring, its function is kept in secret now.

“To give you an idea of what brands make us different from other shopping malls, I can enumerate some examples: we have Technopark supermarket with household appliances and electronics, which is the first in Kazan, Gold Apple, Teika Boom children’s playground, which will open by late December,” Valentina Sakhabeyeva shared.

One can see a lot of new players in the mall’s food court where still unknown in Kazan Milovita Organic Kitchen as well as Eshak and Tanuki restaurants by Bulldozer Group will be located besides McDonald’s, KFC, Mybox, Cinnabon, Shokoladnitsa, La Famiglia or Hot Pho. You can learn more about the other tenants from Realnoe Vremya’s recent review.

About 6 billion rubles were invested in one of the biggest shopping malls of Kazan with the total area of 137,000 square metres, while the expected payback period is 10 years. As for the mall’s traffic, it was considered before the pandemic it would be around 25,000 people a day. Now the plan has changed and waits for up to 20,000 visitors a day.

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By Lina Sarimova. Photo: Maksim Platonov
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