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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » November 30, 2010
Summing Up 2010
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Shopping Malls As Public Space
November 30, 2010   
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Agata Brzezińska, Leasing Director, Neinver Polska

The development potential of Poland’s consumer market indicates that there is still room for new shopping centers. This becomes particularly evident when the retail space to population ratio in Poland is compared to that in Western European cities.

The number of new commercial projects took a plunge in 2008-2009 and a new cash injection appeared on the market only this year. The result is an evident revival on the developer market, triggered by more easily obtainable funding for new projects. That, in turn, will result in new shopping centers coming online in 2011 and 2012.

During the economic slowdown, most efforts were concentrating on optimizing existing channels of distribution, while development plans were put on hold. These plans have been revisited this year, but decisions concerning new locations are now being made with much more caution. The market is thus developing in a much more balanced way and in order to succeed, a shopping center needs good transportation links with the city it is located in, high potential for attracting customers and an attractive range of stores. As much as possible, contemporary shopping centers have to cater to all kinds of needs and demands on the part of potential customers. Consequently, a growing number of new malls have multiple roles and have all sorts of stores.

A good example is the Galeria Katowicka shopping mall in Katowice. Located in the heart of the city, it is integrated with a railway station, a bus station and an office building and it comprises stores, recreational facilities and cultural facilities. Apart from offering a wide selection of stores, shopping malls these days are places where people come to spend their free time, in search of entertainment and culture and where they can have a good meal. Malls have also become public spaces that offer new quality in terms of architecture.
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