Economy, Business And Markets

Charsou Bazar Opens

Charsou Bazar OpensCharsou Bazar Opens

Tehran’s largest technology mall called Charsou meaning four-ways has opened as the Iranian New Year is approaching. The mall primarily selling technology items and home appliances has touted itself as a new center for entertainment, with a new Cineplex and food court on its upper floors. The lobby area of the centrally-located mall will in the coming weeks has coffee shops and play areas for children.

The new mall covers 68,000 square meters, with over six floors and 330 individual units and parking underground for 1,000 cars.

The cineplex level has five halls with a total capacity of 900 seats, all equipped with the latest audio-visual technologies for 3D projections and future movies, ISNA reported.

The Financial Tribune made a quick visit to the new center and found that only 10 percent of the retail units are currently occupied. Many more are likely to join in the coming Persian year. Flagship stores currently include the over 1,000 meter LG store on the corner of Jomhouri and Hafez streets and a Samsung store at around 400 meters, whilst inspecting the ground level we noticed that many large Iranian tech retailers had begun to fit-out their stores including Sony’s representative in Iran.

Prior to the soft opening of the mall, many property developers and tech experts expected Apple or Microsoft to purchase some of the prime real estate; however, neither has officially entered the mall yet.

Charsou Bazar is located in Tehran’s unofficial electronics district of Hafez-Jumhouri junction. The area has traditionally been – for the past 30 years – the home of independent home entertainment cameras and mobile phone vendors. However in the past fifteen years developers have moved into the area with developments of various sizes and success.

The most notable and oldest is the Aladdin Bazar, originally opened in 1999, the shopping center has faced numerous challenges during its time including threats of closure from authorities over security, health and safety, and illegal construction. The most recent incident in the building was a fire in summer 2014, when old electrical wiring ignited causing damage to the upper levels of the building. The local municipality has also ordered the seventh floor of the mall to be removed as it wasn’t part of the plans and causes “significant risks to the structural integrity of the building.”

The second largest and newest development is Iran Mobile Center further down Hafez Street. The development was funded during the latter years of the former Ahmadinejad administration when mall building became a popular area of investment for Tehran’s property developers.