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edition 12 (236)
December 2018
New shopping centre

Well matched

Aneta Cichla Interviewer

Well matched
Zbigniew Nowak, Gemini Park Tarnów

Gemini Park Tarnów is an example of a shopping centre which has an established position on the market and yet is constantly following customers' expectations. Zbigniew Nowak, the director of the centre, presents plans for its development

Aneta Cichla, ‘Eurobuild Central & Eastern Europe’: In 2017 Gemini Park in Tarnów was awarded a distinction during the awards gala of the Polish Council of Shopping Centres for a campaign aimed at collecting signatures for the building's extension. Do you have plans to enlarge the centre?

Zbigniew Nowak, the director of Gemini Park Tarnów: It was a very positive campaign that allowed us to get to know the opinions and expectations of our customers with regard to our building. The signatures were also a confirmation of the regional character of the shopping centre, which has a catchment area of almost 1.3 mln people. The questions were: Are you for the extension? If so, in what form and with what tenant mix? We collected 43,000 signatures in the last few weeks. It showed how much our customers value this place. The results of the survey indicated that visitors want Gemini Park Tarnów to provide even more. A great number of customers emphasized that Gemini Park was very well integrated with the fibre of Tarnów, signalling that they expected expansion, with the assumption that it should not worsen jointly developed good neighbour standards. This was especially true for the large residential estates surrounding the building. Unfortunately, the town council blocks the extension for now. The original plans envisaged the extension of the building by even 7,000 to 15,000 sqm. We also planned e.g. a green facade facing the residential estate, which would be an extension of the park opposite the centre. It would cover the car park and mute the noise. Such a design has been submitted to the town and, despite adversity, we are open to negotiations.

But you have not abandoned your plans to expand the building and improve its tenant mix?

We want to attract new tenants, especially from the entertainment segment. We intend to build a cinema as part of the restructuring. It could be developed from the north. There is an area suitable for the expansion, which is not limited by the local development plan in this respect. Keeping up with the changes in retail trade we are considering with Tesco a change of the format of the food trade and consequently working on the restructuring project regarding this part of the centre. It would be a great opportunity to meet the expectations of our customers who want a broader product range, especially in the women's fashion sector. We are convinced that brands such as Quiosque, Tatuum, Taranko, Bialcon and Vis aVis would be successful with us. At the same time, we must take into account a very strong trend i.e. enlarging the area of ​​rented units. At least eight companies are currently waiting for a larger area e.g. Deichmann, Ochnik, Greenpoint, Lavard, Orange, Home & You or Big Star which is already fitting out a new, almost 200-sqm unit. The building is 99-pct leased. It should be emphasized that e.g. jewellery brands do very well in Gemini Park Tarnów. We have the three largest players in this segment: Apart, Yes and W. Kruk. Such a set-up of the product range has been attracting customers for a long time as well as producing very good results and increasing the sales year on year.

Gemini Park Tarnów has been present on the market since 2010. What modernisation work have you planned for this building?

We systematically carry out the modernisation of the centre. We operate in stages. We have already exchanged the lighting in the entire building for LED lighting. We have also completed construction work in the food court and we have renovated car parks. The corridors with the landscape architecture and toilets are still to be refurbished. We are currently working on the modernisation of the entrance zones, which will be complemented by rest areas including sofas with the option of charging electrical devices. We will also exchange travelators and refurbish the corridors. We actively participate in the design work and we supervise the construction process ourselves, which makes the process more effective. Basic modernisation will cost us around PLN 2 mln.

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