The new St David’s shopping centre opened in 2009 with an extension of nearly 1 million sq ft to the original complex. Now with retail space of 1.4 million sq ft, the centre has helped to regenerate Cardiff and transformed the Welsh capital into one of the UK’s top retail destinations.
Replacing an old car park, ice rink, library and smaller retail units, the new centre drew the heart of the city south into an under-developed part of the community.
Pride in the community
The vast majority of our own team live nearby so have a vested interest in seeing St David’s become a success. Many have had the satisfaction of watching the centre grow from the beginning.
We didn’t build it alone, though. Development only took place after extensive consultation with local people so they could have a say in what it would include. They bought into our sensitive approach to updating what had been a dense and outdated area.
The community told us how much they loved pop-up shops, so 90 of these have opened in the centre in the last eight years. These help local start-up businesses and provide something new for customers every time they return.
Our commitment to the community has seen the centre support 20 Welsh charities. One appeal resulted in more than 13,000 toys being donated, whilst a new initiative that we set up – We Loves the ‘Diff – is now working with three local homelessness charities to raise awareness and funds. Once again, locals are responding magnificently.
We’ve even created quite a community of our own. There are 304 residential apartments sitting above the centre, surrounded by beautifully landscaped rooftop gardens – it’s a great place to live as well as visit.
It’s little wonder locals are proud of the centre and enjoy spending time there, whether to shop, play or meet friends and family. Some also work here – St David’s is responsible for creating 4,000 jobs.
Pride of place
As well as creating a fantastic focal point for Cardiff, St David’s has breathed life back into the city.
Visitors to the city’s heart have risen by one-third since the centre opened, drawing back footfall and spending that had previously been lost to out-of-town retail.
St David’s has changed Cardiff. The retail and leisure it offers appeals to those from the surrounding area because it’s varied, different and fresh. Both the day and evening consumer are catered for too so it’s no longer a city that closes early."
City Centre Manager
Proud to be different
How many shopping centres have an 18-hole mini golf course on their roof? This one actually has two of them, which prove popular for family outings.
There is also a library featuring an innovative sedum grass roof. It helps regulate the temperature, and is part of the innovative energy efficient design that means the building needs no heating or cooling at all.
Talking of roofs, the 60,000 residents who live on top of the main centre certainly seem to like it – they’re bees, and as well as producing delicious honey they’re used to teach local children about biodiversity.
Proud to be a successful collaboration
St David’s is a 50-50 joint venture with Intu Properties (St David’s Partnership), with Landsec providing direction and management.
Everyone involved is justifiably proud of St David’s. It’s grown into a big success story, regenerating the heart of Cardiff and it continues to support, inspire and be guided by the community it’s part of. It’s not just all those bees giving the Welsh capital a massive buzz.
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