Deerfields Townsquare, a community mall on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, is about 60 per cent leased and will open the first phase within weeks.
The mall, located in Al Bahia, a few minutes from Khalifa City A, Al Reef and Al Raha Beach, is targeting an opening date of May 6 for its anchor Carrefour.
It will feature about 162 stores, a family entertainment centre, restaurants and a cinema, with 80,000 square metres of leasable space.
Deerfields carried out market research in surrounding areas to ask residents what they wanted before approaching the brands. A hypermarket, restaurants, family entertainment centre, and high street fashion all came high on the list.
“They based the retail mix on the needs of the community,” said Berna Ramey, the marketing director of Deerfields. “They’re not going to buy a Gucci or a Fendi every day. They wanted H&M. They wanted Carrefour.”
Centrepoint is expected to open soon after Carrefour and others are expected to follow in May, June, and again in Ramadan, totalling about 70 stores by October, when it hopes to stage a grand opening.
It aims to be 85 per cent occupied by the end of the year.
“Ideally we would love to open everybody at the same time, but just given the way things operate, not everybody is going to be ready at the same time and so we want to open them as quickly as we can,” said Tom Miles, the mall manager.
“Naturally the hypermarket is the thing that is in most demand here and so they were the first to come in, the first to pound the first nail and the building will be finished at their side with their parking and that stuff.”
Other brands will include H&M, Starbucks, Mothercare, La Senza, Aldo, Tim Hortons and Charles & Keith. In the food court, there will be a McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway, among others, while restaurants include India Palace, Johnny Rockets, Shakespeare & Co and Chili’s. Deerfields is working on a deal for Grand Cinemas to operate the mall’s cinema.
“I think it is more like Mercato than anything else that is in this market that I’ve seen before. It’s not a mega mall. It’s bigger than typical community centres but it is positioned as a community centre,” Mr Miles said.