Updated: Oct 30, 2020
Ken Gunn is very impressed with the Paddock Paris project, scheduled to open at Romainville this October. Following an invitation from project director Karim Lacheheb, we donned hard hats for an exclusive tour last Tuesday.
Paddock Paris occupies the site of a former pharmaceutical factory and is a key element in the wider regeneration of the N3 corridor of Eastern Paris. The site is a short distance from Boulevard Périphérique and just 15 minutes from Gare du Nord on Metro line 5 (to Pantin – Raymond Queneau station).
Paddock Paris is one of a new generation of mixed-use, urban outlet centres and will combine a 4-star Accor hotel, restaurant quarter and apartments, alongside the outlet shopping.
The retail space comprises an attractive mix of new build units and original industrial workshops, linked throughout the scheme by bold modern finishes and glass frontages. The lasting impression is of an attractive, coherent, high quality environment, which superbly unifies the site’s industrial heritage with the bright future of Romainville.
Light years from the cold, functional and uninspiring ‘destockage’ centres across Île-de-France, Paddock Paris clearly has ‘village’ in its DNA. The location may be urban but the appearance is more reminiscent of The Mall at Florence than One Nation Paris. Visitors will discover an urban oasis which is human in scale, welcoming, relaxing and which elevates the brand shopping experience.
Groupe Fiminco however, has not stopped at building Paddock Paris. Across Avenue Gaston Roussel and close to the Canal de l’Ourcq, former industrial buildings are being repurposed to create a new hub for contemporary arts. When it opens this Autumn, Fondation Fiminco will combine workshops and rehearsal spaces with a program of residencies, exhibitions, performances and events. Exhibits at this new ‘Bankside’ will include works by French artists, purchased by the regional government and stored for future generations.
Fondation Fiminco is generating intense interest and the district is fast being labelled as the 'Brooklyn of Paris’. The arts at Fondation Fiminco will attract a global audience and, with culture a leading visit multiplier amongst outlet guests, the opportunity for combined visits will create a unique experience, amplify trading success and make Paddock Paris a much sought after location for outlet brands.
It is terrific to see the outlet community continuing to rise to the challenge of new locations and changing consumer needs, through innovative projects such as Paddock Paris. While leisure has long been recognised as a benefit, it is all too often valued in terms of direct revenue. This approach has relegated arts and cultural experiences in favour of the rather limited and functional entertainment often found at shopping malls and made it easy for leading outlet operators to dismiss 'leisure' as incompatible with a brand shopping experience. Thinking of leisure in terms of footfall generation, an 'experience elevator' or simply a state of mind however, allows a much wider range of guest needs to be considered, promoting interests which are much more compatible with brand shopping for example, heritage, the arts, culture, the environment and well being.
For today's consumers, arts and cultural spaces can enhance the visit experience, provide an important distinction from functional leisure trips and are influential in choosing destinations. Once open, we are certain that Paddock Paris and Foundation Fiminco will benefit strongly from their close association and applaud the team at Groupe Fiminco for their vision in delivering this exciting project.