New international brands, proximity to Tirana city center, top-quality services and a high dose of innovation make Tirana Ring Center stand out.
Michel Brule, the Administrator of the newest trade center – Tirana Ring Center – to be inaugurated by the end of 2014, highlights in the following interview the top priorities of this prestigious project and why people must see it.
How did you come up with the idea of Tirana Ring Center?
When you contemplate the idea of building a shopping mall or a hypermarket, first thing, you look for the opportunity to find a good location because there is no sense to create a business if you don’t have A) a good location and B) a parking area which are keys to success. Tirana Ring Center is located at Zogu i Zi, which is one of the most frequented areas by the first zone of catchment area.
Unlike other hypermarkets and shopping malls, Tirana Ring Center is very close to the center of Tirana city. Only 500 meters far from the administrative heart: ministries, opera, grand hotels etc. Tirana Ring Center is situated at the cross of most important axes, just at the roundabout of Zogu i Zi, which is the most frequented area of the city. It is located in the same axis from the airport to the city center, very close to the rail station and the main avenues of Tirana.
I think that in a very fast future, the axis between Skanderbeg and Zogu i Zi will be turned into a very good business street and a pleasant promenade for the people. This axis is wide and this will give us the possibility to radically change the view of this road and the shops as well in 3-4 or 5 years. In a word, it will serve a lot to the community as well.
Please, can you make a “fact sheet” of this brand-new complex in Albania?
It is a shopping mall and an international chain hypermarket. Its total building construction area is 55,000 square meters. It offers office space, a panoramic restaurant, more than 50 apartments, spa center, a 1000- square meters children entertainment area, a hotel of 52 spacious bedrooms and suites different services and more than 500 parking places. Offer area is 4,200 square meters of new offices as well as new habitation development area including business buildings and flats. Tirana Ring Center is characterized by a very high purchasing power of possible customers in the primary area.
People will be amazed by more than 70 stores with international brands. Stores vary from 30 square meters to 2000 square meters. WiFi coverage of course. Natural light, full security installation, design style ( a mix of inox, glass and wood) and the availability of 22 lifts and escalators.
What about its façade? It is a pure innovation…
This new technological transparent media façade will be the largest in the Balkans. The building complex is ice/mirror with parts of granite. It is built according to the latest high technological innovations. This is the most innovative system in the world able to be integrated directly in the glass façade as part of the building complex. Two big LED screens technology, 280 square meters are incorporated in the main façade with different angle strategic view. This two giant LED screen offers a triple advantage: the best viewing and technological quality for a perfect screen configuration; a normal glass façade view when the system is turned off; and highest respect to the existing design as well as to the whole urban environment. Zogu i Zi, with the installed panels, will be the new Times Square or Picadilly of Tirana.
What are the novelties this investment will bring to Albania in comparison with the previous investments?
It is very close to the city center. It is the biggest shopping mall in Tirana city. It is four levels with 72 shops, with cafes, restaurants, panoramic view on the roof. Definitely it will be one of the best buildings of Tirana. It is an area with a huge traffic. The building is equipped with a biological panel, high quality isolation and modern constructions. I definitely want to bring new brands, not present so far in Albania. I am in negotiations with 9 brands, mostly German, French, Italian and Spanish. It is time for the Albanian customers to go and buy at shopping malls and hypermarkets where quality and fashion are guaranteed.
But in Albania, we face a handicap. No international brand wants to open a store in Albania. This means that we need to find shopkeepers for all the new brands we would like to bring to Albania.
How do you fight off competition because you are operating in a very fervent competitive environment?
With Tirana Ring Center, we offer the maximal potential of Albania in terms of shopping malls for the next 5-6 years. And actually there are no any new projects going on. As I said if you don’t find a good location, suitable for successful shopping malls and supermarkets, it is catastrophic. I see in Albania some shopping malls which are small, not enough parking area, not so much international brands. All these elements are crucial to the success of a shopping mall. So I can say that we are a very strong competitor in Albania market for now and for the years to come.
What have you done in Albania since 2004?
I met an Albanian businessman in 2003 and invited me to discuss projects on the building of hypermarkets and shopping malls. I arrived to Albania in September 2004. I remember that the process of buying and selling properties was very difficult at that time. We opened Euromax in 2005. It was a real success.
Tirana Ring Center
Tel: +355 (04) 4504251
Address: Aba Business Center,
Papa Gjon Pali II Str,
Tirana – Albania