The Pompadour crossroads apparently only has its name to seduce. This commercial area may interfere between the lake of Créteil and the Parc de Choisy, their greenery is beyond suspicion for the customer who comes to do his shopping there. It is nothing but roads, car parks, billboards and “shoe boxes”, those basic buildings with siding that house large retailers. 85% to 95% of the soil there is today artificialized, according to the Parisian town planning workshop. Customers go there by car, more rarely by bike. However, a cycle path is under construction. The roundabout is about to become “Dutch”.
This commercial area developed from the 1970s on the banks of the national 6 which links Paris to Lyon, then in the gaps left by the multiple road infrastructures which were gradually added. The 8th Decathlon of France was established there in 1980. In addition to the sports brand, which has remained faithful to the position, it today welcomes Centrakor, But, Action, Saint Maclou, Picard, Quick and Lidl.
Despite the disadvantages of this anarchic development and the competition from the Créteil Soleil shopping center located next door, the shopping area of the Pompadour crossroads remains attractive for retailers and customers alike. Cheap rents allow distributors to open large stores where the offer is wide. Akim comes, for example, from Corbeil-Essonne to shop for decoration and furnishings. “Centrakor, you don’t find it everywhere and this one is particularly large,” explains this thirty-year-old. At the same time, I am going to But and Conforama.”
Others appreciate finding an Action store there, the locomotive of many shopping areas. This is the case of Frédérique and her daughter Mathilde, who come from downtown Créteil to hunt for bargains, or of Nadia and her daughter Lyna. A sports fanatic, the latter took the opportunity to go to Decathlon. “We come from Bonneuil, where there is also a commercial area. We visit both regularly. In Bonneuil there is Intersport, in Créteil Décathlon,” explains Nadia.
The pitfalls inherited from 40 years of anarchic development are still harming trade. The road junction around which the commercial area has developed has gradually become denser. From 4:30 p.m., traffic jams become considerable, deterring customers from coming. “The infrastructures are not well maintained, deplores the director of a decoration brand. And the fact that there is not a single lessor owner but a plurality leads each store to offer different opening hours and days. It hurts business.”
In recent years, the area has become impoverished. La Halle, Gémo and Kiabi have left, giving way to discount and ethnic stores. “The La Romainville pastry shop, the Souk Addounia supermarket, the Istanbul supermarket, the Hallal butcher, the EM (Ethnic Market) wholesaler, Action, Centrakor and Cash Converters are now attracting residents from neighboring districts, particularly Créteil,” notes Apur. .
The Pompadour crossroads commercial area, however, has potential. The site could be much denser than it is today. The fact that the city was built around it is another advantage. Lake Créteil and Choisy Park are attractive. The Pompadour crossroads is today served by line 8 and the RER D. Tomorrow, it will be on line 15 of the Grand Paris Express. For the moment, however, it is difficult to imagine the construction of housing alongside Decathlon or Centrakor: the noise and air pollution generated by the numerous roads makes the intersection difficult to live in as it stands. The transformation of the area is thus “conditioned on the transformation of major road infrastructures, the reduction of nuisances and the evolution of mobility”, estimates Apur.