Metro Medellin Debuts Colombia’s Biggest Shopping Mall: ‘Viva’ Envigado
Medellin-based multinational retail giant Exito announced October 5 the long-awaited opening of Colombia’s biggest shopping mall: the “Viva” center in the Medellin suburb of Envigado.
“With an investment of approximately COP$660 billion [US$217 million] and a commercial area of 137,000 square meters, Viva Envigado — the largest commercial and business complex in the country — opened its doors to the public,” according to Exito.
One-third of the commercially leased area is dedicated to entertainment and gastronomy, while 6,000 new jobs are created at the center, according to Exito.
“Global trends show us that shopping centers must evolve from a commercial building to a ‘human place’ where customers have experiences,” according to Exito’s Juan Lucas Vega, vice president of real estate.
Via a free internet connection, the mall also delivers a “digital layer that transmits segmented content and commercial ‘scoops’ directly on customers’ smart-phones, complemented by digital, interactive screens that allow customers to know locations and marketing activities,” according to Exito.
The shopping center includes four anchors:
1. Cine Colombia, with 16 movie theaters, including the first IMAX theater in Antioquia;
2. A renewed ‘Homecenter’ hardware super-store;
3. Exito’s ‘Wow’ hypermart, including office co-working spaces; and
4. Decathlon, “one of the largest sports stores in the world,” making a first-ever appearance in metro Medellin.
In addition, for the first time, Grupo Éxito’s private-label clothing lines “Arkitect” and “Bronzini” will have an exclusive store, while Exito’s “Finlandek” line of kitchen and home accessories – together with “Electrodigital” appliances – likewise will have a dedicated retail outlet.
“These two [clothing and home-appliance] stores, totaling more than 300 square meters, are the start of an innovation laboratory with which we want to reach our customers in a different way and provide a more personalized, superior experience,” added Jacky Yanovich, Exito’s vice president of sales and operations.
The new shopping center also includes “Viva Park,” described as “the largest amusement park located within a shopping center, with 6,000 square meters outdoors that will become a place of entertainment for the whole family,” according to Exito.
A “Bistró Street” section includes 21 open-air restaurants, in addition to a food court with 18 brands.
A “Viva Sports’ section includes a “Smartfit” gym, five synthetic soccer fields, a jogging track, a multifunctional play-court, a beach volleyball court and a climbing wall.
The building complex also incorporates a photovoltaic array covering 1,700 square meters, generating approximately 451 kilowatt-hours of power or around 20% of common-area power requirements during peak solar-radiation hours.
Besides having a direct connection to the zero-emissions “Metro” rail-line station, “the construction of Viva Envigado is environmentally responsible thanks to saving 35% of water in the bathrooms;130 bicycle parking lot spaces; 140 exclusive parking spaces for low-emission electric vehicles; and 70 carpooling parking spaces,” according to Exito.