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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » November 12, 2008
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Small Is Profitable
November 12, 2008   
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Developers plan to build a further 2.6 million sq m of modern retail space in Poland by the end of 2010. The largest number of projects is planned in cities with populations of less than 400,000.

Poland's modern retail stock totaled 7.77 million square meters at the end of June, according to real estate services company Emmerson. In the first two quarters of this year, 180,000 sq m of modern retail space was delivered to the market across the country.

Poland is one of Europe's most attractive retail markets, with modern shopping centers being built in large urban centers such as Silesia, Wrocław, the coastal Tricity area, Poznań, and Warsaw. However, cities with populations of less than 400,000 will attract more projects than the biggest conurbations in the next few years, according to international real estate consultants Colliers International. The reason is simple: customers in smaller towns want to do their shopping at malls and do not want to travel miles to do so.

Despite the growing interest in small and medium-sized towns, large conurbations continue to see many new shopping centers being built. Warsaw remains the unquestioned leader in this area. In the first half of this year, the total supply here was 1.32 million sq m. Last year almost 100,000 sq m of retail space was completed in the capital. Projects announced for the next three years will give Warsaw and its close environs another 230,000 sq m of modern retail space, according to Emmerson data.

Compared with other markets, Silesia has the largest amount of modern retail space, over 700,000 sq m in the conurbation and 980,000 sq m in the region as a whole. The runner-up is the Tricity area, with 462,000 sq m, and Wrocław is third, with 457,000 sq m, according to Colliers International.

The Pogoria shopping center was built in the very heart of the Silesian city of D±browa Górnicza, on Jana III Sobieskiego Street, near Wolno¶ci Square. The investor for the mall, which was completed Nov. 7, was Mayland Real Estate.

The total space available for lease is 30,000 sq m. Pogoria is home to the Helios movie theater, D±browa Górnicza's first multiplex, and a Real hypermarket.

The more than 80 stores and service points in the mall include brands such as H&M, New Yorker, Monnari, Smyk, Empik, and Euro RTV AGD. The food court includes Sphinx, KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Dominium, Van Hellder, Empik Cafe, and Ice Cafe.

The Centrum Felicity mall in Lublin is the biggest retail and entertainment project in eastern Poland. This two-level complex with a total space of 220,000 sq m, of which 100,000 sq m is available for lease, is being built in the district of Felin. The developer and leasing agent is Gray International, and the investor is Centrum Handlowe Felin Sp. z o.o. The planned opening date is the spring of 2010.

The mall will include about 260 stores and boutiques, 25 cafes, bars and restaurants as well as leisure and entertainment facilities, such as a fitness club and a 10-room Multikino movie theater. The biggest tenants at Felicity will be a Real hypermarket and a Leroy Merlin home improvement store.

Galeria Słupsk, in the heart of the coastal city of Słupsk, opened Oct. 23. The investor is Polimeni International. The mall's 36,000 sq m is home to a Delima delicatessen run by the Emperia Holding SA group, one of the largest players on Poland's fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market; and clothing brands such as C&A, Reserved, Cropp, Orsay, Sunset Suits, Pierre Cardin, Pabia, Molton, and Monnari. The mall also has a Vobis computer store, an Euro RTV AGD home appliance store, a 4Sport sports equipment store, and a Vision Express optician's. The project cost over 30 million euros to build.

Focus Park in Zielona Góra in western Poland is a modern shopping center set up in former textile factory buildings in the city center, at 17 Wrocławska St. The mall was built by Parkridge Retail Poland, a company specializing in converting former industrial buildings into modern retail and entertainment centers.

The investor renovated the historical facades, and the Polish Wool Museum was set up in the mall.

Opened Sept. 17, the center offers 48,000 sq m of space. There are two floors with a total of 111 stores, service points, cafes and restaurants as well as a nine-room Cinema City multiplex.

The mall is home to an Alma delicatessen, a Pizza Dominium pizzeria, and many brands that were not available in the city until now, such as Aldo, Bata, Boutique, C&A, Douglas, Esprit, H&M, New Yorker, and Media Markt. The project cost about 100 million euros.

Work to expand Galeria Echo on ¦więtokrzyska Street in Kielce, south-central Poland, is due to begin by the end of the year. The new center will be almost triple the size of the current one. The investor is Echo Investment.

The expanded mall's 66,000 sq m will be home to almost 300 stores and service outlets, in addition to 2,300 parking spaces, and an entire floor devoted to leisure and entertainment. Customers will be able to enjoy a gym, a fitness club, a 12-lane bowling alley, a disco, restaurants, cafes, and fast-food outlets as well as a play area for children.

The seven-screen movie theater will stay where it is. The plans are for a partial conversion of the existing mall and the construction of a three-story shopping and service gallery, and a seven-story garage.

Echo Investment plans to start the expansion project before the end of the year. Parking space for 2,300 cars and the access system will be built first. The opening of the new Galeria Echo is planned for 2010, and the total cost will be about 80 million euros.

Magdalena Fabijańczuk
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