Friday afternoon and yesterday, De Gaard shopping center in Utrecht was festively reopened. The shopping center has recently been thoroughly overhauled for modernization, sustainability and future-proofing. We would like to take you into the metamorphosis / transformation that De Gaard has undergone and we report on the festivities that took place - all in line with the guidelines of the RIVM of course. First a look back at how it all started for the shopping center.
A household name in Utrecht Tuindorp for over 50 years
De Gaard has fulfilled an important function in Utrecht's Tuindorp district and surroundings for decades. The shopping center was opened in 1966 by then Alderman T. Harteveld, under the watchful eye of many local residents and interested parties. In the 54 years since its opening, De Gaard has become a household name when it comes to doing the (non) daily shopping and a place where local residents meet and entrepreneurs form personal relationships with their customers. The innovations that have been realized reinforce these qualities of the shopping center.
Shopping is experiencing: a modern, more sustainable, future-proof Gaard
During the redevelopment, the shopping center has undergone a number of extensive renovations to both interior and exterior. The look and feel has been adapted to the contemporary feeling of comfortable shopping and the number of branches has been expanded. The shopping center has also almost doubled in size.
Official opening invitees
On Friday, September 4, the shopping center was officially opened to invitees. During the official part, speeches were given by representatives of the parties involved. Frank van Kessel of Top Vastgoed, Sico van Ammers of Van der Vorm Vastgoed and chairman of the retailers association Martijn v.d. Mheen have all told something about De Gaard. In addition, the Koningshek was opened by Alderman Verschuure and introduced with an Argentine Tango, which fits in with the partly Argentine Royal House and represents the transformation of art in corona time. After that - with due observance of the current RIVM measures - a toast was held while enjoying live music.
Official opening visitors
On Saturday 5 September it was the turn of various groups of visitors to experience the renewed Gaard. Given the current situation regarding Covid-19, this was a very organizational job, with a very successful reopening as a result.
Divided into different target groups according to age, several events took place during the day during which the shopping center was presented in an appropriate and festive manner.
A fertile future
All in all, we are very pleased with the final result. De Gaard shopping center is ready for now and the future and the reopening was a true feast for everyone. We would like to thank all those involved and partners who have jointly created this wonderful result with us for the great collaboration. Top Vastgoed, Association of retailers De Gaard, Cushman & Wakefield, Municipality of Utrecht, Moke Architecten, De Vries en Verburg, FanWorks Events, FiMek, partly thanks to you De Gaard will have a wonderful future and it will remain a place where people come together for shopping and social interaction.