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1999 European Shopping Centre Awards


Farsta Centrum's network of interconnected retail revitalized the center

One of the best-known retail projects in Sweden, Farsta Centrum was the winner of an ICSC European Shopping Centre Award in the Refurbished Centres Category. Located in suburban Stockholm, the center offers 29,000 square meters of retail in a single-use project. But a happy ending didn't come easily.

7Farsta tiff

Stockholm's Farsta Centrum picked up a European Award in the Refurbished Centres Category. One of the greatest challenges faced by the design team was grappling with local permitting.

The center was developed in 1960 as a group of department stores with small shops on the ground floor. Declining sales and resulting tenant closures in the early '90s led the developer, Fastighets AB Stadsgården, to look at alternatives. Redeveloping the project meant linking five freestanding buildings using bridges, with stores on both sides.

Perhaps the greatest challenge, said Anders Lundh, manager, was dealing with local permitting.

"There were planning restrictions from local authorities in that they wanted exterior capped buildings. The stores dated from the 1960s, and they were considered a prime example of a retail center from that period," Lundh said.

The answer: connecting the buildings with bridges that still allowed a pleasant, though commercial atmosphere. The project also carved out some extra space underground.

"It is hard to to redevelop [when] 30 to 40 tenants, including two food stores, all were still going to be there. You have to shift them about," he added. One was completely relocated, while the other had its space drastically restricted during the construction process.

The center has a "happy'' feel to it now, while maintaining a strong shopping center appeal. Excavation allowed underground parking, as well as an entrance to the basement, for a retail storage area. Total gross leasable area was increased from 19,000 square meters to 29,000 square meters, and rental income has tripled.

Some further development may be possible, said Bjorn Johnson of Stockholm-based Atrium, the center's management company.

Farsta Centrum's 104 tenants include Konsum Extra, Hemkop, Åhléns, Intersport and McDonalds.

The center was leased by Fastighets, and designed by Arkitektkontoret Aakeroy, Moe & Bow. Fastighets has 21 projects in Sweden, with plans for more.

About ICSC
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its nearly 60,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more information, visit

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