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Projects & Openings Europe

Hines has secured leading international fashion retailer Primark as the anchor tenant for its mixed-use development in Berlin.



The Irish clothing retailer has leased 6,500 of the 11,400 sq of retail space at Zoom located in the City West quarter between the Zoo railway station and Kurfürstendamm. The scheme will be completed in 2018. Primark has signed a long-term lease for the basement and first three floors of the building.

With its three-story glass facade, Zoom offers optimum storefront visibility and brand awareness, as well as extensive advertising opportunities on the railway side of the project. Primark will complement the wide range of existing retail offerings at this busy and prominent location and will have a positive impact on the development of the quarter and the further development of City West.

Christoph Reschke, Hines’s managing director, said: “Signing this lease is a confirmation of our development plan. The micro location is experiencing a considerable increase in footfall, which will have a positive impact for other tenants. Signing the lease with Primark underlines the fact that our Zoom commercial center is an excellent investment in the best location in the revived City West.”




Citycon has signed an approximately €78-million-agreement to acquire an office building in Bergen from Tryg Forsikring A/S.

The 19,000-sq-m-GLA building is located next to Citycon’s Oasen shopping center in the Fyllingsdalen region. The acquisition creates new opportunities to develop and expand Oasen from its current 31,500 sq m.

Image: Citycon
Image: Citycon

Plans include adding approximately 11,000 sq m of leasable area by converting the main part of the two lowest floors of the office building into retail space as well as constructing a new part that further connects the two buildings.

The conversion would significantly improve circulation in the mall and connect it better to the surrounding urban environment with a new main entrance. It will also provide space for new anchor tenants and a broader food and beverage offering. Tryg will remain an anchor tenant with a 10-year lease and the possibility of extension.

“Oasen fits perfectly with Citycon’s strategy of investing in urban shopping centers driven by daily needs and situated in locations with strong demographics. After acquiring the remaining 31% minority shares in Oasen in November last year, this acquisition is the logical next step to enable further development of the mall towards creating another flagship within our Norwegian portfolio,” said Marcel Kokkeel, CEO at Citycon.

The planned development work is expected to start in 2019.




The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is becoming an equity partner in the development of a new retail and entertainment center in Pula with a €10-million co-investment with the Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF).

With the funds, the EBRD and ENEF will become equity holders in EECF, the ultimate owner of Trgovački centar Max Stoja d.o.o., a limited liability company incorporated in Croatia to develop and manage this retail and entertainment center.

Image: EBRD
Image: EBRD

The complex will be built on the site of a brownfield cement quarry and create a mall with approximately 30,000 sq m of GLA and 830 parking spaces. The facility will contribute to fulfilling the unmet demand for international standard retail facilities in regional cities in the country and attract quality tenants to the local market.

Pula is a seafront city in western Croatia and the largest city in Istria county. Famous for its prehistoric excavations and the remains of Roman settlements, the city of some 60,000 inhabitants is a major tourist destination and an important port.

Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, EBRD Regional Director, Croatia, Hungary, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia, said: “We are pleased to become a partner in this important investment. It is good for Pula, good for the environment, good for retailers, and good for customers. Creating a new, state-of-the-art shopping and entertainment center will go a long way towards meeting the demand for first-class services.”




AFI Europe signed a lease agreement for AFI Brasov with the leading hypermarket chain in Romania, Carrefour, which will lease over 6,500 sq m on the ground floor.

The mall is situated in Brasov’s city center and includes 45,000 sq m of leasable retail area and 25,000 sq m of leasable office area. The project is currently under construction with its opening planned for 2018.

Image: AFI Europe
Image: AFI Europe

It will include international fashion brands, services, and a large entertainment and food offering, thus positioning the project as the dominant mall in Brasov.

“AFI Brasov represents an important project and milestone in the company’s development strategy and we are glad that, with the signing of this agreement, it is starting to take shape outside of the blueprint. We were looking for the perfect retail chain to partner with us and anchor the shopping mall in Brasov’s city center, and Carrefour Romania represents the ideal partner to help us develop the most exciting mall in the region and a future point of attraction within the city. At this moment, we are finalizing a blend of brands for all preferences in one commercial space to ensure that the project enhances the shopping experience for Brasov’s inhabitants and for the 1.6 million tourists who visit the area annually,” said David Hay, CEO AFI Europe Romania.

The first floor will host the food court and an interactive zone, while the entertainment area will be located on the second floor, which will also include the cinema.

Visitors will enjoy a large, green leisure terrace with views of the Carpathian Mountains that can host events and activities for families and tourists, and a medium-high to high-end offering of brands that are not present in the area.

The project will be constructed to be LEED Gold Certified.




Hammerson and Irish Life, joint owners of the Ilac Centre in Dublin, have announced that work has begun on the redevelopment of the Centre’s Moore Mall South.

Agreements have been exchanged for four of the five newly created units. BB’s Coffee & Muffins has committed to 156 sq m, serving a popular range of pastries, sandwiches, and coffee. A book retailer, The Works, will occupy 182 sq m, and a sport supplement store, So Nutrition, will occupy 52 sq m. The specialist catering equipment retailer, Nisbets, will complete the new leasing agreements, occupying 516 sq m.

Image: Irish Life
Image: Irish Life

The redevelopment, which involves an investment of around €1.5 million, will be completed by summer 2017 and forms part of the owners’ wider plans to improve the tenant mix at Ilac. The scheme comprises 27,110 sq m of retail accommodation and its footfall reached 17.8 million people in the 12 months to December 31, 2016.

The center is adjacent to Henry Street, Ireland’s busiest shopping street, and is home to 85 retail and catering units, including H&M, River Island, and Argos. New brands introduced to Ilac in recent months include Tiger, Paese Cosmetics, and Chopped.

Simon Betty, Hammerson’s Director of Retail, Ireland, commented: “Investing in the retail experience and improving the tenant mix at Ilac will be a major priority over the course of 2017 and we look forward to working with Irish Life to achieve this. The center is well located in the heart of Dublin, benefitting from high footfall and sales, and through this refurbishment and other asset management initiatives, we will ensure that the center continues to offer our customers the right mix of retail and food & beverage.”

Deirdre Hayes, Head of Property Asset Management at Irish Life, added: “The start of the Moore Mall South refurbishment underpins Irish Life’s commitment to retail in Dublin’s city center and marks an important milestone for the Ilac Centre by enhancing the quality and mix of retail and leisure for the city’s considerable catchment area. We look forward to working with Hammerson on this and future projects.”




Uplace has been granted a new building permit. This means that the center is once again fully permitted and that building works in Machelen can start in 2017.

The new building permit is a logical continuation of the previous final approval by the Regional Spatial Implementation Plan for the Flemish Strategic Area around Brussels issued in January 2016 and the new environmental permit issued in June 2016. All these decisions confirm the consistent policy used by the Flemish Government with regard to Uplace.

Image: Uplace
Image: Uplace

“Finally, after the 11th public inquiry, we are able to focus on building our experience center,” commented Jan Van Lancker, CEO of Uplace. “Following the demolition of the old industrial buildings and remediation of the soil in 2012, we can now continue our work and start building in 2017. The road infrastructure works are already in progress. If all goes according to plan, we hope to open our doors to the general public in 2019.”

After 10 years, Uplace is now fully permitted for the second time. From a commercial point of view, the project is running very smoothly.

“Even before we put the first spade into the ground, more than half of the available space has already been leased. The market is clearly convinced that the unique combination of entertainment, shopping experience, innovative bars and restaurants, smart and modern offices, a concert and theater hall with 3,000 seats, a lifestyle hotel and wellness center, and a contemporary cinema complex is the perfect solution for what modern consumers want to do in their leisure time,” said Van Lancker.




Europa Passage in the heart of Hamburg’s city center is getting a refreshing makeover just 10 years after its opening. The heart of the planned remodeling is the new “FoodSky” on the center’s top floor.

It includes a food court with 15 gastro-vendors and nearly 400 common seats, as well as five other restaurants. FoodSky opens in the autumn of this year and will also be open on Sundays between 11 am and 6 pm. By the spring of 2018, all further modernizations to Europa Passage will be completed.

Image: ECE
Image: ECE

Europa Passage’s owner Allianz Real Estate has increasingly specialized itself in investments in retail real estate in recent years. It is investing around €14 million in the center’s refurbishment.

ECE has handled the center management since 2008 and is also responsible for the modernization measures. “Gastronomy is becoming an increasingly important part of the shopping experience. With our new FoodSky, we are now creating an absolute highlight to impress our visitors and guests again and again,” promised Center Manager Gerhard Löwe. The new restaurant area is planned as a place with high amenity value and quality of stay—a space to feel good and relax.

After completion of the new food area, gastronomy’s share in Europa Passage will be around 20%. The new pleasure oasis centers around a large, ellipsoidal food court with nearly 400 seats being built in the coming months. It will offer guests the opportunity to choose a favorite dish from one of the 15 vendors and sit at a table together with family, friends, and colleagues.




The expansion of the Galaxy shopping center in Szczecin that started in June 2016 is gaining momentum.

The total area of the mall after the expansion will amount to almost 57,500 sq m of GLA. The opening of the new part is to take place in the fourth quarter of 2017. Thanks to the expansion, Galaxy will become one of the biggest retail properties in the city and the whole region and one of the largest and the most modern shopping centers in Poland.

Image: Echo Polska Properties
Image: Echo Polska Properties

So far, lease agreements have been signed with such well-known brands as: Reserved, CCC, Fabryka Formy 1, Go Sport, Smyk, Deichmann, Rossmann, and House. At the moment, footfall at Galaxy has reached 10.7 million customers per year, leaving Szczecin’s other shopping centers behind. The scheme was opened on October 1st, 2003.

Visitors to the four-story building can enjoy an array of stores, boutiques, service points, and a rich gastronomy offer. A modern, multi-screen movie theater, a bowling alley with 14 lanes, a pool hall, a simulation games arcade called “Game Town,” and playgrounds add to the mall’s attractiveness. Galaxy is well located and easy to reach, with numerous transportation links to all parts of Szczecin.



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