IE School of Architecture and Design launches an exciting new Real Estate challenge!

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IE Real Estate Competition II Edition

THE NEW OXFORD CIRCUS, LONDON

IE School of Architecture and Design launches an exciting new challenge about the world of retail and how it is expanding into city making—and we want to hear from you. Submit your answers to our questionnaire regarding Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group new development project for the chance to win one of three scholarships to the IE master’s in real estate development of your choice, part-time or full-time.

So what are you waiting for? Think creatively about the future of the city and your future.
We hope it will be at IE!

BRIEF

The pandemic has altered the way we use public spaces: retail is no longer the same, the city is not the same and its inhabitants have other priorities and different behavior patterns.

In some countries it’s not compulsory to work from the office for more than two or three days per week, online retail has increased and the local shops around the neighborhood have more demand.

Companies like Ingka Group (IKEA Retail) are taking note. They are rethinking their physical spaces and relationships with the city, identifying central urban spaces as key players. This is not only to interact with their clients, but to live with them and become a part of the day-to-day city center ecosystem.

This year, at the end of February 2022, Ingka Group opened its first inner city London IKEA shop in the Hammersmith commercial mall, (changing the name from Kings Mall to LIVAT) and becoming the company first mixed-use project in a London downtown location, easily accessible by both private and public transport.

The IKEA city — located in the heart of the Hammersmith and Fulham borough—marks a shift in the brand’s strategy to go beyond simply retail and to meet consumers’ evolving needs.

LIVAT was designed as a new meeting place that goes far beyond shopping. It is driven by the needs of the local community and “co-created” with local authorities to become a go-to destination for people to shop, socialize and relax. According to IKEA’s People & Planet Positive strategy—the company’s sustainability agenda—will be at the forefront of the redevelopment, with a special focus on the social aspect of the ESG, with the creation of a green space on the rooftop, which is the first floor of a social dwellings building.

What could Ingka Group next challenge in one of the most vibrant cities in the world be?

Discover it with us, we are calling for your best ideas!

CONTEXT

LOCATION in the heart of London:
Oxford Circus - corner of Regent Street and Oxford Street
(241 Oxford Street.)

In November 2015, the Ingka Group was in discussions with the building’s owners, Topshop, to sublet the first floor of the store, without success. IKEA would take over part of the space for a click-and-collect store: “Over the coming year we plan to test three order and collection points in the UK, exploring slightly different formats in each selected market,” the retailer said. “We will use these tests as an opportunity to find out more about how customers want to shop with IKEA in these areas.”

The Topshop building became available after the fashion brand’s parent company, Arcadia, went into insolvency proceedings last year, highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February 2022, Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group bought the former Topshop store on Oxford Circus, one of the busiest retail locations in Europe, as the Swedish home-furnishings giant expands into city centers to gain urban customers, creating a headline-grabbing London West End home for the Swedish mega-brand.

Ingka Investments, said the group had agreed to acquire the seven-story building at 214 Oxford Street in London for £378 million ($522 million).

The company bought the leasehold on the building, which encompasses the 100,000 sq ft former Topshop store, London’s famous Nike Town store and a Vans footwear store.

The move reflects the ongoing change in direction for Ingka Group (IKEA Retail)—which has begun building out an urban format store portfolio across the world—but also, the final death throes of one of the UK’s most influential and, at one time, successful, fashion groups: Arcadia-Topshop. The site, made famous when supermodel Kate Moss brought traffic to a standstill posing in the window to launch a clothing collection in 2007, will host one of IKEA’s urban stores.

The decision to buy the property confirms the company confidence in the future of London’s real estate market, said Krister Mattsson, managing director of Ingka Investments, in an emailed statement. “Securing ownership of properties in prime locations instead of leasing will preserve value on a long-term basis,” he said, adding that the deal was built on recent investments in British location technology company what3words and Winnow, a company that tries to reduce commercial food waste.

“Societal changes in how people shop and live are changing the retail industry as a whole,” said Peter Jelkeby, country manager for IKEA UK and Ireland. Lucy Stainton, the commercial director at the high street analysts Local Data Company, said: “Fashion has been consistently retrenching from the high street for a number of years, compounded by the pandemic with people investing less in their wardrobes as we were at home for such a prolonged period. With a number of high street fashion brands rationalizing their estates either organically or through a restructuring, many units have been left vacant as a result.”

The Swedish furniture group has had several attempts at shifting to the high street, some of which have run aground, but the timing could now be right. Patrick O’Brien, of Global Data, said IKEA’s shift to the high street was also driven by sustainability concerns, which are increasingly on consumers’ minds. The handier locations enable shoppers to get there by public transport rather than by car. IKEA’s move into Topshop’s former store will be closely watched. If it is a success, it could pave the way for other brands.

The retail company said of the acquisition that it plans to open its Oxford Street store in Fall 2023, focusing on homeware and accessories, while the retailer’s full range of furniture will also be available for home delivery. This represents the most significant step yet in its increasing focus on urban locations, with an IKEA-anchored lifestyle center in nearby Hammersmith, west London.

Announcing the acquisition, IKEA’s UK and Ireland business leader, Peter Jelkeby, said: “Even though online shopping continues to accelerate at a rapid pace, our physical stores will always be an essential part of the IKEA experience. Bringing IKEA to the heart of Oxford Street—one of the most innovative, dynamic and exciting retail destinations in the world—is a direct response to these societal shifts and an exciting step forward in our journey to becoming more accessible.”

 

Oxford Street Long In Decline

The new, high-profile tenant is a welcome boost to a retail street that has suffered hugely during the pandemic, after some previous years of decline. Department store chain Debenhams has closed down, while both Marks & Spencer and John Lewis intend to convert some of their store space to offices or housing, downsizing their retail offer.

Some real estate agents estimate that there are currently around 85 vacancies out of the circa 350-400 stores that line Oxford Street. There are plans for the junction upon which IKEA will sit to be transformed into two car-free piazzas with trees and seating, led by Westminster City Council and the Crown Estate, with an international design competition held by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Westminster has already committed £150m to kick-start the OSD programs and attract inward investment, taking full advantage of the Elizabeth Line opening in 2022 and the area’s links to the wider West End and beyond. The project forms part of a wider redesign of Oxford Street, responding to changing shopping and working habits hastened by the pandemic, a need for greener public spaces and the arrival of the new Elizabeth Line underground route.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the area’s business district organization New West End Company, said: “We predict that around a third of the retailers along Oxford Street will be different within the next five years”, while he believes that the future strategy has to be “pedestrian first, because everyone wants clean air.”

Krister Mattsson, managing director of Ingka Investments, the real estate arm of IKEA’s parent group, said the acquisition of the store was an “opportunity to create a more accessible, affordable and sustainable IKEA for our customers.” “This property offers great potential for retail space, and we firmly believe in the long-term value of the real estate market in London”. Mattsson said that despite a “quite dramatic increase” in online sales at IKEA, which rose from 7 percent of total revenues in 2019 to 30 percent this year, “we are still very linked to our bricks and mortar.”

 

PRIZES

First Place (one winner)

** Please remember that while we have a rolling admissions process, places are limited. Candidates who participate in this competition must have at least started their online application process for the program while you participate in this award selection process. Start the application for the MRED or the GMRED. ** 

 

The IE Real Estate Competition II Edition will award the following prizes to the winners:

Will be awarded consisting of:

Pending admission to the IE Master in Real Estate Development of your choice (part-time or full-time), with a scholarship of 40% off towards tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year.

PLEASE NOTE: The prize can only be destined towards tuition fees for MRED and GMRED 2022-2023 academic year, and cannot be substituted by money. You do not need to be in the process or have admission to these programs to participate, but you will need to apply and get accepted if you do win, in order for the scholarship to be applied. These scholarships are not compatible with other or existing scholarships inside of IE University. They may be complemented with external scholarships but not IE Foundation scholarships. If you currently have or are granted a scholarship, the highest one will be the only one applied. This includes alumni bonuses. These scholarships can not be used for dual degree options inside of IE University. They are only for the single degree options.

Second Place (two winners)

** Please remember that while we have a rolling admissions process, places are limited. Candidates who participate in this competition must have at least started their online application process for the program while you participate in this award selection process. Start the application for the MRED or the GMRED. ** 

The IE Real Estate Competition II Edition will award the following prizes to the winners:

Will be awarded consisting of:

Pending admission to the IE Master in Real Estate Development of your choice (part-time or full-time), with a scholarship of 30% off towards tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year.

PLEASE NOTE: The prize can only be destined towards tuition fees for MRED and GMRED 2022-2023 academic year, and cannot be substituted by money. You do not need to be in the process or have admission to these programs to participate, but you will need to apply and get accepted if you do win, in order for the scholarship to be applied. These scholarships are not compatible with other or existing scholarships inside of IE University. They may be complemented with external scholarships but not IE Foundation scholarships. If you currently have or are granted a scholarship, the highest one will be the only one applied. This includes alumni bonuses. These scholarships can not be used for dual degree options inside of IE University. They are only for the single degree options.

REGISTRATION

There are no registration fees for the IE Real Estate Competition II Edition.

Submissions must be sent directly to Victor Aleñar, Senior Manager Global Recruitment Team at IE University

Email: victor.alenar@ie.edu

Please book a call with Victor if you have any doubt.

DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED

  • Candidates must also submit their CV.
  • Optional: If you would like to submit additional material, you can send one horizontal slide—16:9 or 4:3—in .jpg or .png format.

 

Please note that all text must be in English. Font, sizing and layout must be consistent with the given template.

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Files must be named as follows: surname_name_ courseletter.pdf

Example: John Smith, candidate for “MRED”: Smith_John_MRED.pdf

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**IMPORTANT INFORMATION**

Documents must be submitted to Victor Aleñar, Senior Manager at Global Recruitment: victor.alenar@ie.edu

JURY

Profile - Margarita Chiclana Margarita Chiclana

CEO UNEXUM Real Estate and Director of the Global Master in Real Estate Development at IE School of Architecture and Design

Profile - Lola Ripollés Aguilar Lola Ripollés Aguilar

EMEA Program Manager, UK CPM Atlantic Cluster at IKEA Group

ABOUT OUR REAL ESTATE PROGRAMS

Global Master in Real Estate Development Part-Time

Global Master in Real Estate Development Part-Time

The Global Master in Real Estate Development (GMRED) was designed to explore the relationship between real estate development, investment and city infrastructure in a holistic, comprehensive approach—with a special focus on technology and sustainability. Leading professionals and academics in the sector will guide you through case studies that delve into the facets of residential and commercial architecture, land use, offices, hospitality and logistics. In this program, you will learn the skills and knowledge needed for the future of real estate and boost your career prospects for leading the sector.

• Duration: 15 months (intake: October) • Format: Part-time • Language: English • Location: Madrid + Mexico City + Online


Barcelona’s regeneration on a virtual trip | IE A&D

Master in Real Estate Development Full-Time

The Master in Real Estate Development (MRED) provides the skills and insight to help define our urban future. Rooted in finance, this one-year program explores the relationship between real estate and city development to gain a profound understanding of the development process and its future implications.

• Duration: 10 months (intake: October) • Format: Full-time • Language: English • Location: Madrid


Questions?

If you have any question dont hesitate in contact us!

Admissions.Architecture@ie.edu

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