“Croatia is a promising market, scoring with a strong return of economic growth as well as rising disposable income and consumer confidence. We have been invested in this country for many years and have also been present with our STOP SHOPs since 2018. In doing so, we receive very good feedback from the local communities and our tenants,” says Dietmar Reindl, COO of Immofinanz.
Retail parks in high demand by both tenants and customers
“We sound out new locations very carefully and take advantage of free market capacities. In addition, the Covid pandemic once again confirms that retail parks with a local supply character, very good transport links and a varied tenant mix are in high demand as clear winners among both tenants and customers,” says Reindl.
The investment volume for the new locations in Croatia will total around €250.0 million. The new sites were acquired via the local development expert ENS and have a total area of more than 730,000 sq m; the retail parks built on them will have a leasable area of more than 190,000 sq m.
As of the end of September 2021, the four Croatian STOP SHOPs in the cities of Valpovo, Osijek, Ludbreg and Nasice are fully leased with an area of around 21,000 sq m. The location in Ludbreg is currently being expanded by around 3,000 sq m, and this space–as well as the new retail park in Kastela with 7,000 sq m–is scheduled to open before the end of the first half of 2022.
High ESG standards
Both construction and operations will meet high ESG standards: Photovoltaic systems will be installed at all locations, covering a total area of 150,000 sq m. Charging stations for e-vehicles at the parking lots will contribute to the promotion and support of electromobility in these regions.
In green space design, the focus is on biodiversity, with Immofinanz piloting projects on the use of service water. The construction of the STOP SHOPs will be carried out with local Croatian companies, and a total of up to 5,000 jobs can be created in the medium term through the new retail properties.
Immofinanz’s STOP SHOP portfolio comprises 99 retail parks (existing properties) with a leasable area of around 750,000 sq m in ten countries: Slovakia (16), Slovenia (14), Hungary (14), Serbia (14), Austria (13), Czech Republic (12), Poland (10), Croatia (4), Italy (1) and Romania (1).