A syndicated loan agreement in the amount of EUR 72 million has recently been signed to finance the construction of East Gate Mall, a real estate investment project belonging to Balfin Group Albania. The project is set to become one of the most modern shopping centers in the Balkan region. It is a 103-million-euro investment project located on the site of the former exhibition center of Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. The syndicated loan was financed by NLB Group, Komercijalna Banka Skopje, Raiffeisen Bank Albania, and Halk Bank Skopje.
Igor Davkov, CEO of East Gate Mall, commented: “We have signed the largest amount of bank financing in Macedonian history, in terms of project financing of a private sector investment. The signing of this agreement closes East Gate Mall’s financial structuring of the shopping center investment of more than 103 million euros, which marks the financial completion of the first phase of the entire project.”
Part of a Multi-purpose Complex
The shopping center is part of the modern and contemporary multi-purpose Skopje East Gate complex, which will also include a residential area as well as an office park – all covering a total area of 500,000 sq m. The objective of the project is to introduce new and modern standards of urban living and working.
The shopping center, an investment that comprises a total usable leasing area of approximately 57,000 sq m and counts some 250 tenants as well as individual premises for rent, is expected to completely change the image of the North Macedonian retail trade. Specifically, East Gate Mall will introduce more than 20 new global fashion brands to the retail market in Skopje on a retail area of more than 20,000 sq m, which amounts to roughly 40% of the shopping center’s total leasable space. It will allow for the opening of retail units of the same size and format as those in which the world’s biggest fashion brands open stores in capitals around the world, thereby providing the end consumer with a completely different offer in terms of quality and quantity.
East Gate Mall is scheduled to open in fall 2021. More than 150 tenants have signed commercial terms and lease agreements with the scheme. To date, more than a year before the mall is due to open, over 80% of the mall has been leased by tenants, under confirmed commercial terms.