Encuentro Oceanía: Engine for Social and Environmental WelfareBy Alessa Flores | Thu, 11/19/2020 - 18:54
Yesterday, IKEA announced it would delay opening its physical store in Mexico until February 2021. "We are preparing to open IKEA Oceanía in the first months of 2021," IKEA Mexico said in an official statement on Twitter. Encuentro Oceanía development will be Mexico's first shopping center anchored by Ikea, the largest furniture store in the world, and will house more than 150 stores in 85,000m2.
Encuentro Oceanía is being developed by Pulso Inmobiliario and will also house other stores such as Chedrahui, Cinemex, Energy Fitness and Forever 21. This new shopping center has been designed under an innovative and different concept, especially as Encuentro Oceanía is close to AICM and a few blocks away from Circuito Interior, making it the only shopping center of its kind in the area. "Oceanía Avenue is a great location because there are no shopping malls of its size in the area," said Enrique Villanueva, Development Director at Pulso Inmobiliario, to MBN. "Although there are many stores and services available, there are no mixed-use developments with large anchor stores or entertainment centers."
Traditional shopping centers are set up to offer products and services through continuous locations that provide a wide range of shops in one area, according to Yorkville University. However, times have changed. Now, people are looking for a more complete experience in shopping malls, not just merchandise.
Villanueva is confident that the traditional mall will continue to exist if it can broaden its offering beyond shopping. These days, he said, malls are increasingly offering diverse experiences, from dining to special cultural events. Adapting to the market also means collecting better intelligence on who is coming to the mall, where they live and what their intentions are. An advantage is that malls are still very popular across Latin America. “One reason is that going shopping as a social activity. A second aspect is security. Malls are considered safe areas where days can be spent with friends and family,” Villanueva explained.
Encuentro Oceanía is an example of what public-private collaboration can achieve. Claudia Sheinbaum, Head of Government of Mexico City, said in a live conference that "this development is the example of how the Mexico City government promotes private investment that complies with regulations and generates jobs. Encuentro Oceanía and the IKEA store will generate 14,000 direct jobs and represents an investment of more than MX$1.3 billion (US$64.6 billion).” Sheinbaum explained that this new development will boost Mexico City's economic reactivation.
In addition, at the conference the Legal Director of Pulso Inmobiliario and representative of Encuentro Oceanía, Galo Rosello, stressed that the mall will stand out for its social, environmental and economic impact. "At 100m from the mall, a PILARES point will be built that seeks to create spaces for Innovation, freedom, art, education and knowledge for young people in Mexico CIty," Rosello said. The PILARES Project, aims to generate spaces for the city’s youth to foster their development. This program offers educational spaces, skill workshops, professional training, art workshops, film clubs, book clubs and technical sports schools, among other options.
As for the environmental impact, the project was built in a sustainable way. "Just as it has parking lots, it also has bicycle parking, a significant number of solar cells to generate photovoltaic energy and a wastewater treatment plant," said Andrée Lilian Gui, Director of Impact Assessment and Environmental Regulations at Mexico City’s government. The shopping center will be more than a place to pay for services and products; it will seek to generate economic and social welfare for the whole area. In addition, Pulso Imobiliario and IKEA Mexico will be in charge of rehabilitating the neighboring streets and creating a free, safe space to exercise outdoors, according to Rosello.