Back from Ashes: Capital's Retroville Mall Open Again

17.06.2022

On the night of March 20, a powerful explosion thundered in Kyiv. A Russian missile then hit the Retroville shopping and entertainment center. Now the mall is partially resuming work.

Once the new facade of the shopping center turned into a mutilated, and in some places completely burned, building. Vlada Molchanova, one of the investors of the Retroville project, remembers that day with horror:

"When I went there, there was a smoke everywhere. Impossible to see anything through. In the morning I was there to see that they hit almost inside our store. They destroyed Sportlife boutique, which was attached and connected by a corridor to the shopping and entertainment complex. There was a 25-meter swimming pool and a sports club. It was completely demolished. The missile damaged a 12-story office building and a large part of the shopping and entertainment complex itself. But this does not matter once we know that people died there,", she recalled developer and founder of the company Stolitsa Group Vlada Molchanova.

Nonetheless, the investors didn’t intend to give up on this, and embarked on the reconstruction of Retroville. For two and a half months, a part of the shopping and entertainment center was rebuilt and reopened. Among those who waited for this to come was Anastasia. An internal immigrant from the borderland Sumy region. She remembers the moment when Russian missile hit Retroville.

“So, at that moment I was not far away and heard when it all happened. Everyone was very frightened, but still believed that the shopping center will see its reconstruction,”, Anastasia said.

Not less glad to hear about Retroville revival was the director of one of the boutiques Olena. She says that the reconstruction began with shipping goods say that the store began to ship the goods and renovation.

"Everything was initially moved out and then back in. Everything was prepared before the opening. It took us a lot of hours, days, and efforts that the staff exerted. A lot of work was invested in it," Olena explained.

Renovation of the façade, new areas for shopping and shops wait its customers again. Though, this is only true for a part of the mall. The rest is still under maintenance. However, the renovated part is open not only for commodities and other services that you would expect from mall but also for renewing the documents such as passports and other services from the Ministry of Internal Affairs service center.

"It was exactly here where we wanted to host a presentation of this service center back on 24 of February. At Retroville. Since March, we reopened a few centers in various locations", the head of the center said.

At the center, people can register their cars, receive or update their driving licences. Lilia and her father came here for this.

My father needs to receive his driving licence that would be accepted in the EU and I am here to get my internal and international passports," Lilia added.

The director of Retroville says that more shopping and entertainment centers for young people are about to open in August.

"We closed on February 24 as the full-scale invasion broke out. After the explosion on March 20, we realized it was our mission to renew Retroville. We wanted this case to symbolise that just as Retroville the whole country can be rebuilt and prosper," said Renata Yakubcheniene, general director of the Retroville shopping and entertainment center and business center.

Renovation of the shopping and entertainment center is not just about business. It is a symbol that Ukraine will also reborn.

"We definitely didn't give up, and we definitely made a decision for ourselves, that we should renew our store, our mall, so it's more symbolic. Symbolic for Ukraine, symbolic for everyone who faced the same calamity. Unfortunately, there are many of those. But do not give up. Just as our Defence Force and people don't" shared her wishes Vlada Molchanova, the founder of the Stolitsa Group company.

Source: Apostrophe

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