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Ingka Centres opens 4M-sq.-ft. mixed-use center in China

Al Urbanski
Livat Changsha's Ikea tops 1 million sq. ft.; the entire development totals 4 million sq. ft.

Ingka Centres which has embarked on a plan to place mid-sized Ikea-anchored “meeting places” in the United States and Canada has just opened a massive mixed-use center in China.

The international retail real estate development company—like Ikea, part of the Ingka Group—claims that Livat Changsha “sets a new global benchmark for large-scale mixed-use destinations.” It’s a claim that’s difficult to dispute when you check the blueprints. Added on to an already gargantuan 1.3-million-sq.-ft. Ikea store, the project’s 380 stores, 500 flexible work-live units, green spaces, restaurants, and entertainment options total more than 4 million square feet of gross leaseable area.

“Livat Changsha is an exciting new chapter for Ingka Centres, as we are adding a new lifestyle concept to one of our meeting places for the first time,” said the company’s new managing director Cindy Andersen.

Ingka invested more than $660 million to develop the project, which is located in the Hunan capital of Changsha, a city of more than 10 million people. The core concept of Livat Changsha is centered on socializing, leisure, entertainment, and food. Its Light by Livat work-live units represent the first time Ingka Centres has brought what it calls its Small Office Home Office (SOHO) concept to one of its projects. They were designed in collaboration with IKEA to give Changsha businesspeople and entrepreneurs a place to entertain, work, or sleep.

“In a market study we conducted before construction, the Changsha residents named ‘relaxed’ and ‘enjoyable’ as the two most important feelings they wanted their new meeting place to convey,” Andersen said.

Ingka Centres first entered China in 2009 and currently has five Livat branded meeting places in Wuxi, Beijing, Wuhan, Fuzhou and now Changsha. The Livat brand translates to “a lively happening” in Swedish. Located mostly in China and Russia, Ingka owns and operates 45 malls and centers in 15 markets.

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