Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

All change (again) at Gedimino 9



TP1010283he signs were there: they said change was already happening at Gedimino 9, Vilnius’s flagship shopping centre on Gedimino pr..

It’s been needed for a while. When the store opened with a great fanfare in 2008 Marks and Spencer’s first store in the Baltics was an anchor shop alongside Body Shop, Rimi, a Danish design shop, and others I have forgotten.

DSCF1383On my last couple of visits it was becoming an empty shell.

The top floor, from where I’d previously taken photos over the city, was completely closed off.

DSCF1386The next floor down, the third floor, had only the Vagas bookstore and coffee shop. The stationery shop had gone.

DSC01031The 2nd floor had only the soup cafe. The Danish shop (from where I’d bought several beautifully designed household items) had long gone to be replaced by a bra shop and Body Shop had gone.

And more importantly perhaps Marks and Spencer left in 2011 to go across the road to Gedimino 20 (the building with St George on the roof).

DSC01029There was a restaurant stretching outside under canvas which looked quite inviting in the hot weather (this was June).

The 1st floor had an electrical shop but the watch shop in the corner had gone. Note for Brits: In Lithuania there is no ground floor – it’s the first floor.

DSC01033Rimi was still there on the lower floor along with Lindex clothes shop (with signs to say they were moving upstairs)  but all the small kiosks had gone. To put it bluntly the store guide was out of date!

On the Sunday before I flew back I made one last trip there to show my colleague something I’d been debating buying. I was too late! The workmen were in dismantling shelves in the shop and packing up the goods.

It will be interesting to see what they do with it. Rumour has it that H&M are moving in in 2014 but they’ve been saying that since 2007!

So I’m looking forward to checking it out on my next visit later this year.

Historical note: The building was originally built by Aleksej Polozov for the offices of the Vilnius Municipality in 1893. It was later reconstructed  by Antanas Spelskis in 1948 for the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party.

It was bought by an Irish based Asset Management company for €13 million in 2004 who spent €35 million developing the 18,000 sq metre site. They offered it for sale in 2007 for up to €100 million.

A Stockholm-based Baltic property fund is investing in the reconstruction of this wonderful building which will be phased with a grand re-opening in Spring 2014.

Author: mikethepsych

He says he's a psychologist but aren't we all?

6 thoughts on “All change (again) at Gedimino 9

  1. Well, good thing I just read this. During my short business trip to Vilnius in autumn, the only time I’ll have available for some sightseeing will be Sunday. I had already planned that any souvenir would have to be bought at the airport, as I wouldn’t have time for shopping. Plus, on a Sunday I’m not sure many shops will be open… This shopping centre was an option, but well, scratch that 😉 I’ll just walk around sightseeing 😀 Thank you for the info! A bit sad for the building though…

    • Gedimino is nice and they are working on it. On Sundays you’ve still got VCUP and the Europa shopping centres pretty much opposite each other on Konstitution Avenue and if you don’t mind a 30 min walk or a bus ride further up Konstitution there is the Panorama shopping centre just past the Baltic Way memorial wall. If you are staying in the Old Town there are the market stalls on Pilies and several souvenir shops with the usual mix of stuff. The stalls sell amber, leather, military regalia, wooden toys, jewellery, and linen. I’ve bought several linen scarves on Pilies g. which I think are good value. There’s also a book and souvenir shop inside the university where you can get t-shirts and book marks etc and also a shop which sells prints but not sure if university shops are open on Sunday. Whatever you do I know you will love it.

      • Thank you so much for the tips! I had a look at the map and I’ll be staying in the VCUP area, so that’s an option. I definitely want to see the Cathedral. I think it’s a must. Then hopefully I’ll have enough time to walk around the old town. I just wish I had a proper holiday this time because the more I look, the more I find Vilnius absolutely fascinating! I’ll have to plan a proper holiday there soon 😀 Thanks again for the tips. You’re an encyclopaedia of info on Vilnius 😉

      • Glad I could be of help. If you’re staying near VCUP (Radisson Blu?) then the restaurant inside Swedbank is good value. From VCUP you’re 10-15 minutes walk from the Old Town. Cross the river and you’ll soon see the cathedral bell-tower. Hope you enjoy your trip!

      • Yep, will stay at Radisson. I had a look on the map and everything seems pretty close, so I think I should have enough time for at least a quick stroll in the old town 🙂 Thanks!

      • My colleague and I stayed there for several trips and liked it (this is pre-Radisson). Old Town was a brisk 15-20 minute walk (albeit very cold by the river in Winter). When recession hit they cut back on lounge bar services and some outstanding staff left so we moved to different hotels for a few years until we settled on The Shakespeare in the Old Town which was recommended by British Chamber of Commerce and Vilnius university. Excellent service and so convenient for university for us. I can happily recommend it if you go again. btw not sure what you’re doing about currency but we now just take sterling (or euros) and change it at banks as we get a better rate than in UK. Enjoy Vilnius!.

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