News 3 questions APSYS

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For Apsys, 2024 is marked by two major emblematic sustainable urban projects that embody our expertise in retail and our commitment to serving the city and the region: firstly, the autumn opening of Neyrpic in St Martin d'Hères, the only new retail, restaurant and leisure development to open in France this year; and secondly, the development of our Canopia project in Bordeaux, one of Europe's largest urban projects, with the transformation of a pivotal district between the St Jean railway station and the Garonne River, due to open by 2027.

Neyrpic is the culmination of an ambitious urban project that has been constantly adapting since its launch to meet residents' expectations. Conceived as a hybrid, experiential place, Neyrpic will be a true heart of the city, designed with respect for the metropolitan balance, the historic industrial heritage and the demands of environmental transition. With this in mind, Maison Edouard François has developed an architecture that is both creative and respectful of the site's memory, and particularly well-suited to the challenges of better living in the city.

Neyrpic embodies the new face of shopping and leisure centers, a true living space that contributes to the attractiveness and dynamism of downtown St Martin d'Hères. Its multi-faceted programming has been designed to complement the existing offer, and will feature a 50,000 m² mix of innovative leisure concepts, restaurants, shops, services, events and high value-added spaces, as well as a third-party community center run by AFEV and outdoor event spaces. Neyrpic will feature 80 stores, 20 restaurants and bars, 10,000 m² of leisure facilities, as well as attractive services and public spaces, with particular attention paid to the customer journey designed by RF Studio.

The desire for more sustainable and experiential consumption will be reflected in this project, which integrates second-hand, short circuits, eco-responsible brands, phygital, ephemeral and event-based commerce in partnership with local associations, particularly in terms of artistic and cultural activities.

Finally, this is a virtuous project in more ways than one: located in the heart of the city and accessible by public transport, rehabilitation of a brownfield site and maximum re-use of materials from the former factory. The project is at the cutting edge in terms of energy efficiency, with a connection to the district heating network, a 6,500 m² photovoltaic farm comprising 3,300 modules with a production capacity of 1,800 mWh, soft mobility with a large section dedicated to nature in the city, and much more.

As for Canopia, it reveals another facet of our expertise: the management of an unrivalled urban planning operation designed in partnership with the architectural firm Maison Edouard François and RF Studio, and in co-construction with players such as Bordeaux Euratlantique and the SNCF.

The program will involve the creation of a 600-metre-long, 19-metre-wide “park street” between the station and the Bordeaux quays, which will accommodate some 45,000 m² of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, 6,400 m² of housing and 7,200 m² of offices. A first phase dedicated to demolition has begun, and construction work will start in the first half of 2025, with opening scheduled for 2027.

Can you share with us an innovation/initiative or news item that you found interesting/surprising in our sectors?

We welcome the Government's transformation plan to revitalize urban and rural areas considered “ugly” or neglected in France, which will enable 74 towns to benefit from more harmonious and aesthetic development.

We are fully committed to this approach of urban requalification to create pleasant, sustainable places to live.

The transformation of commercial spaces is the theme chosen for our 24th edition of Siec: how does this translate within your company/organization?

Tomorrow's retail spaces must, above all, symbolize hyperconnectivity and diversity, by recreating a “centrality” in the city.  This means offering a varied range of shops, services, restaurants and leisure facilities, connecting them to soft mobility and giving nature a generous place in the city.

We have always demonstrated this: our ability to design pleasant, experiential, mixed-use living spaces - which increasingly tend towards the city of “immediacy” - while sublimating the city of tomorrow is our raison d'être. Our strength lies in the expertise we've built up over almost 30 years: anticipating issues and constraints from the outset of our projects, respecting local heritage, surrounding ourselves with the best partners and guaranteeing particular attention to the aesthetics of our developments. Every project is unique.