In 2007 Culverwell were appointed as joint letting agent by Hammerson following a competitive pitch to advise and implement the letting strategy for the proposed Union Square Shopping Centre.
At the time the retail market was difficult, yet the client had the strength of conviction to proceed and has been rewarded as the Centre is now recognised as one of the most successful in the UK.
The key challenge was undoubtedly persuading retailers that this new destination would become part of Aberdeen's retail fabric and attract significant footfall. At first glance the site appears remote relative to the established prime retail pitch, however, located on Guild Street and Market Street, it is in the heart of the City with direct links into Aberdeen railway station, the new bus station and the largest city centre car park with 1,700 spaces.
£2.5bnspent annually on non-grocery retail in Aberdeen
£19mannual retail income
We recognised early on it was essential to meet with retailers and restaurant operators in Aberdeen. It was only by meeting them on site and walking the City that we could really highlight the benefits of the location and its pivotal position. In addition we had excellent marketing collateral and were able to present to occupiers through film and CGIs the quality of the environment being created by Hammerson, which was light-years ahead of anything else in Aberdeen.
This appealed greatly to the many brand-conscious retailers we were targeting. During the letting campaign we met with retailers several times a week and were rewarded in our efforts by securing several firsts for Aberdeen: M&S Home and Food, Apple, Hollister, Zara, Fossil, Pandora, Dune, Sole, Rox, Superdry, Wagamama, Giraffe, Yo! Sushi and Handmade Burger.
Costing £275m the 700,000 sq ft mixed-use retail-led scheme opened in 2009. The mall houses more than 50 shops, over 20 restaurants, a 10 screen 2,300 seat Cineworld cinema (the largest in Aberdeen) and a 3-star Jurys Inn hotel with 203 rooms.
Union Square has become firmly established as the prime fashion pitch in the City and now boasts retail brands such Hugo Boss, MAC, Michael Kors, North Face, Joules, Cath Kidston and The White Company. Culverwell acts as the sole retail agent on Union Square and we are very proud to continue to be part of this retail and leisure success story.