Lebanon’s ABC Verdun Mall to open in July

Rupkatha Bhowmick

Spread across 1.3 million sqft – with 538,195 sqft of GLA housing 230 stores across six levels, the department store alone spanning over 113,021 sqft – ABC Verdun Mall is the biggest civil engineering project in Lebanon worth $300 million. Scheduled to open on July 27 this year, it is creating more than 2,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

Construction of Verdun Mall started two and half years ago amidst challenging times, yet the mall is already 85% leased – the tenants include the likes of Alshaya, Al Tayer Group, Apparel Group, AZADEA Group, Chalhoub Group, Landmark Group and Majid Al Futtaim – with the fully leased department store.

“Almost 35% of our tenants have already started shop fitting. Of course, we had very long and robust discussions with our longstanding partners, especially those from the GCC, owing to difficult times. What makes it special nonetheless is the fact that there has not been such an exciting project in Lebanon, which will also go a long way in consolidating the positioning of the retailers. Moreover, since the Lebanese consumers are quite avant-garde in their food preferences, it allowed us to introduce several new F&B concepts,” shares Frank-Matthias Kuntermann, deputy CEO, ABC Group in an exclusive interview with Rupkatha Bhowmick.

What more, the mall will house a garden – a lush courtyard, the Central Park on the third floor – spanning around 21,528 sqft surrounded by al fresco dining options, a unique feature for the neighbouring community residing in the southwestern part of Beirut at Avenue Verdun. Around 53,820 sqft has been allocated for entertainment, while also ensuring enough space for parking, around 1,700, alongside three pedestrian and four car entrances.

“The mall has been designed as a porous structure connected to its predominantly residential fabric. Further it will reflect the new retail design of the department store that we’ve been working on in collaboration with design agency KKD,” Kuntermann reveals.

“We have worked with KKD before on our department store in ABC Achrafieh Mall. The central pavement has been designed keeping in mind the traditional Lebanese culture made of clear sandstone with enough room for circulation so that people can easily navigate through different segments of the department store spread across four levels. While people can access the department store from the mall, there are separate entry and exit points for customers who come to visit the department store only,” he explains.

“Besides, ABC Verdun will also have an inside-out structure, akin to ABC Achrafieh Mall, for which the Group has worked closely with the Seattle-based architecture firm called Callisson to improvise the design elements,” he concludes.

ABC Verdun Mall composition (per mall segment)

Mall segments GLA (sqft)
Retail 264,577
ABC Department Store 107,640
F&B 62,646
Cinemas 39,826
Junior anchors 38,750
Entertainment zone 24,757

Read about Lebanon’s first shopping mall, ABC Achrafieh Mall, in the May edition of RetailME