Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vegas! The Mall

Reader/listener Stuart Poyner of Russia spotted this one, and it's a doozy: In Moscow on June 1, the Crocus Group opened Vegas, a $535 million shopping mall that is, according to a breathless report by The Moscow News, "is slated to become a success story in Moscow’s commercial property market." It's 4.3 million square feet, of which 1.4 million are already leased. The Crystals, owned by MGM Whatchamacallit, was immediately jealous.

Our city's name isn't the only thing they ripped off here. The Luxor Entertainment has 9 movie screens adding up to 1,318 seats. The headline the piece, predictably, is "What happens in Vegas." And there's an M electronics store, but I suspect that predates and is unrelated to our internationally unknown M Resort.

There's also a 53,000-square-foot amusement park with a 5D movie theater (aside: what the hell is 5D?), an indoor pond, an indoor ice rink and -- a country after Gary Loveman's own heart! -- a Ferris wheel. Check out some interiors, courtesy of photos posted on both Flickr and a Flickr-like site where they're public domain:

Vegas! The Mall has an Oriental Bazaar, Fashion Avenue and Jewelers’ Street, which "is something that hasn’t been done in Russia before," the press release, err, the news report said. That explains the extreme variance on decor and architecture. But there's some America in there, too -- that's a Subway's in the food court, right?

Loads more pix are found on this site, along with some snark from Russians that included:

If Russia wants inspiration for mall design, they need look no further than Poland. Some of their new malls are great. I guess they going for the gaudy circus look? They even called it 'Vegas'. Couldn't a big country with a long rich history like Russia come up with something Russian

aaaaaaai! it's disgusting! really... taking abit of Las Vegas to russia? all of the kitch elements added together... Indeed a great example of non-architecture... People may like this and talk about it :P but not in the Architecture sub-forum :P

Poland is the new world king of mall architecture! Who knew?

Here's the best part of the Moscow News piece:

Meanwhile, Crocus Group also said that it is going to develop the brand Vegas, and the developer plans to open similar shopping and entertainment centers in Kuntsevo and in Crocus City.

I did a similar story in China way back when because a housing developer named their subdivision in Beijing the Orange County Homes. But this is goes a lot further. I thought Vegas equaled gambling, but here the developers are banking on it to equal excess, materialism and fun of other sorts.

No word on whether casinos or legalized prostitution is in the offing, but with a name like Kuntsevo, it would seem likely, no?


Anonymous said...

The place looks as empty as Crystals, so they've absolutely nailed that bit of imitation. Or were these shots taken before the place opened to the public?

Gotta love the restaurant shell that's labeled "Good beef." Now that's marketing.