Opinions

The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran

December 2, 2015
3 min read
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran
The Brand New Mega-Malls of Tehran

An Iranian citizen journalist, who writes under a pseudonym to protect her identity, wrote the following article on the ground inside Iran.

Sam Center, Palladium, Kurosh, Hyper Star — these are the names of some of the newest and most luxurious shopping centers to have been built in Tehran over the past few years. The majority of them were built and opened when Iran was suffering its worst economic crisis because of runaway inflation and heavy sanctions, which badly hobbled the economy.

But in the days following the nuclear agreement, hopes that sanctions might be lifted are stronger than ever, and inflation — which had risen to nearly 50 percent — is under control. So these shopping centers are sprucing themselves up in expectation of a boom, although, as a deep recession continues to weigh down the commercial economy, business people say that business remains in a less than good shape.

Nevertheless, these huge shopping centers are filled with luxury shops carrying well-known brand names including Nike, Adidas, Benetton, Reebok, Tommy Hilfiger, Massimo Dutti, Solomon and Geox. And every day, new branches open. A field trip would illustrate that every day, a large number of customers frequent these shops. The boom is particularly strong on the days when stores offer special discounts.

An especially striking feature of the new shopping centers is their immense size. Until a few years ago shopping malls like Tirazheh, Milad-e Noor, Donya-e Noor and Boostan-e Vanak were considered big and thriving, but now they are dwarfed by the new centers.

A good example is the newly opened Palladium in northern Tehran. It is built on 10,000 square meters with a total under-construction area (on all floors) of 100,000 square meters. It has 13 floors on its south side, 11 floors on its north side and a six-level basement.

On top of this, there is an area of 22,000 square meters under construction; over 120 shops; 25 restaurants, coffee shops and food courts sprawling across an area of 4,000 square meters. There is also a 2,500 square meters supermarket, a gym and a swimming pool covering 2,000 square meters.

Add to this the fact there are 150 office units covering an area of 15,000 square meters and 60,000 square meters worth of service area that includes 1000 parking spaces over six floors and 200 store rooms — the center is big to say the least.

Equally, the Kurosh shopping center in western Tehran has a staggering 18 floors – of which four are used as movie theaters and attract a vast number of moviegoers — and 500 commercial units.

The complex is built over 9,500 square meters with a total floor space of 23,000 square meters. There are also 1,600 parking spaces —600 for business owners and the remaining 1,000 for visitors – and nine stories below ground.

Many of the new, modern shopping centers in Tehran have huge numbers of parking spaces, which is unlike the rest of the city where parking spots are difficult to come by. These new shopping centers are hoping to attract greater numbers of customers by offering them ample space to park their cars.

After the nuclear deal was signed, business people - who hoped to cash in on an economic boom after sanctions were lifted — rented many of the commercial units out, shopping center officials have said. And walking around the malls only confirms the claim. Now, a lot of the big brand names have opened stores or have banners and posters emblazed across doors, reading “Coming Soon!”

By Melody Khachaturian, Citizen Journalist, Isfahan

 

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