Resolution adopted by the city council after a zoning plan process lasting just 11 months

At the end of June the city council of Baden-Baden approved an amendment to the "Cité retail park" zoning plan with 23 yes votes to 12 no votes and with two abstentions. This means that the requirements have now been fulfilled for the Shopping Cité to be modernised. In just 11 months the zoning plan applied for by the firm MEC METRO-ECE Centermanagement GmbH & Co. KG was implemented in close coordination with the owner's representative TH Real Estate and the municipal administration.

Cautious relaxation of the product range upper limits
With the zoning plan that has now been officially adopted, the total permitted area of the property of 24,700 m², which was approved in 2006, remains unchanged. Only the upper limit for the total sales area has been increased by 5% from 17,900 m² to 18,800 m². On the basis of a compatibility report drawn up by the GMA (Market and Sales Research Organisation), MEC has also been able to achieve a relaxation of the upper limits of the product ranges together with the owner in coordination with and as a result of negotiations with the administration, politicians, representatives of the local retail and wholesale trade and the neighbouring municipalities. In order to further develop Shopping Cité in the interests of customers, the key product ranges of clothing, shoes/leather goods, baby products and food and luxury can now be expanded by 1,500 m², 500 m², 800 m² and 800 m², respectively. "These planning law adjustments fulfil the requirements for future-oriented and sustainable development and also form the framework for responses to the ever shorter cycles of change in the retail trade," says the Head of Retail Assets at the owner's representative TH Real Estate, Kathrin Andres.

Sustainable restructuring and modernisation
"This lays the foundation for a sustainable contribution on the part of Shopping Cité towards securing the key importance of Baden-Baden as a regional centre in the increasing competition, without jeopardising the existing commercial structures of the city centre," adds the mayor of the city of Baden-Baden, Werner Hirth.
The precondition for sustainable restructuring and modernisation is the relaxing of the upper limits of the product range which has now been adopted and prepared in close coordination with the city of Baden-Baden, the Regional Association of the Middle Upper Rhine Region and the competent regional authority. From the decision to draw up the plan, which was adopted on July 20, 2015, through two participation rounds to the resolution adopted by the city council on June 27, 2016, the entire process was carried out in the form of a structured and transparent cooperation between all of the parties involved in less than a year.
"Due to the increased flexibility in terms of product range adaptation, everyone involved has brought about a forward-looking result," explains the Head of Strategic Development M & A at MEC METRO-ECE Centermanagement, Jörg Wege. "The increasing importance of the retail park as a local shopping centre in conjunction with the very positive development of the Cité district also plays a crucial role in this," adds the Center Manager of the Shopping Cité, Manfred Schneider, from MEC.

Competitiveness of the location secured
The reason for the initiation of the process by TH Real Estate and MEC was the strongly increasing competition, e.g. from SchlossGalerie Rastatt and the Factory Outlet Center in Roppenheim (France). The changing purchasing behaviour of consumers was a further important reason, since the competition from the Internet is also putting the bricks and mortar retailers in established locations under pressure.