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edition 7 (222)
July 2017
Retail & leisure

EPP sets out its plans

EPP sets out its plans
Galeria Młociny is the largest shopping centre under construction in Warsaw

POLAND EPP and Echo Investment have finalised the EUR 42 mln purchase from Rosehill Investments of the Galeria Młociny shopping centre, which is under construction in the northern suburbs of Warsaw.

The two companies unveiled their concept for the mall a few days later. “We are extending the food and entertainment facilities in the centre. We want the shape of Galeria Młociny to integrate well with the surrounding green areas. We’re also introducing significant changes to the car park, as a result of which moving around will be safe, very intuitive and easy. We have improved the access between the levels of the centre and changed the locations of the escalators. We are also planning to redevelop the area around the project,” says Marcin Materny, the director of Echo Investment’s shopping centre department. Michał Świerczyński, member of the board at EPP, the majority owner with a 70 pct stake in the project, comments: “Galeria Młociny is our first project in Warsaw – one of the most important retail markets in Poland. The property is a perfect fit for EPP’s strategy, which is to invest in modern, well designed shopping and entertainment centres as well as mixed-use centres in large cities.” EPP will manage the completed asset, while Echo Investment, which holds the remaining 30 pct stake, is to finish the construction work and will be responsible for the leasing and marketing of the project. “The purchase of Galeria Młociny is a very important step, which strengthens Echo’s position as the most important developer on the Polish retail market. After this transaction our company is now building or preparing projects with a combined area of 800,000 sqm. This is 75 pct more than Q1 last year,” commented Nicklas Lindberg, the CEO of Echo Investment. Galeria Młociny will contain a combined leasable area of 82,000 sqm, 71,000 sqm of which will be for retail, entertainment and catering while the rest will be offices. The mall is already 60 pct leased, to tenants such as the Inditex group, C&A, Van Graaf, H&M, CCC, RTV Euro AGD, Smyk, a Cinema 3D multiplex and a Calypso Fitness Club gym. The construction of the first phase began in October 2016 and its completion is scheduled for Q2 2019.

And now for something completely different

Echo Polska Properties and Echo Investment have announced the changes that are to be made to the Galeria Olimpia shopping centre in Bełchatów. The companies have revealed that they have started the work on the concept for the next stage of the extension of the mall, which will mostly involve widening its current tenant mix, particularly in the fashion segment, along with the introduction of new specialised stores and the enlargement of the entertainment section. The companies have yet to provide any further details of the extension plans. Galeria Olimpia is located on ul. Kolejowa and forms part of a 32,900 sqm gla retail and service complex comprising 70 stores and a Helios multiplex.

Looking for dominance

Echo Polska Properties wants to increase its retail portfolio from 15 assets to close to 20 by the end of this year. “We are still very much at the beginning of the year but we will be looking to acquire another five shopping centres this year,” Hadley Dean, the CEO of Echo Polska Properties, told ‘Eurobuild CEE’. The company is looking for dominant regional shopping centres of around 25,000–30,000 sqm in smaller cities (of about 75,000 people) but with big catchment areas. “If you have a 30,000 sqm shopping centre in a town that you can drive across in 15 minutes, no one will ever build another shopping centre in that town. It will always be a dominant shopping centre,” he said. He also added that the company is looking for opportunities to add value through development and extensions. “We come out of the Echo family, so we are not afraid of development, we are not afraid of extensions,” he said. He added also that there is enough of such product on the market. “A number of private equity firms bought their shopping centres in 2012 and 2013 and they are coming to the end of their five- or seven-year cycle, so they want to sell and return the money to their investors,” said the CEO of Echo Polska Properties. The centre will eventually offer 82,000 sqm, 71,000 sqm of which is earmarked for retail and services. The centre will also include a cinema, a fitness club, an extended food-court as well as a medical centre. The mall is already 60 pct leased, to tenants that include Zara, Zara Home, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Oysho, and Van Graaf. The construction of the first stage started in October 2016 and the completion is planned for Q1 2019.

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