By 2009 the opening of a rival mall, St David’s, with double height stores and the next generation of fashion retailers, had rendered it almost a ghost town. NewRiver, a progressive listed property developer and leader in regenerating distressed commercial properties, acquired the site in 2016. Through extensive research it became clear that its competitor, whilst the largest shopping and entertainment district in South Wales, catered for a mid-mass market audience, leaving its abundant student population and a young-minded consumer wanting.
As specialists in placemaking, creating and reinventing urban districts, H:F were brought in to identify a new role for the Capitol Centre. H:F’s strategic positioning and new brand identity decoupled the Capitol Centre from its past and reinvented it as a bleeding edge new-lifestyle centre for a younger audience, epicentred around students, tourists and young office workers. A place to hang out and meet, with a sophisticated app and discount system whose language is exclusively designed to speak to the new generation of consumers, in a progressive capital city.
The centre is also awaiting the result of a planning application to build a new residential tower with student accommodation, which would create the beating heart of the scheme.