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edition 11 (225)
November 2017
Retail & leisure

Trei plans for Poland

Interviewer: Ewa Andrzejewska

Trei plans for Poland
Pepijn Morshuis, the CEO of Trei Real Estate

A few weeks ago you announced your plans to construct Vendo Park in Dąbrowa Górnicza, which will be the first Vendo Park in Silesia. The centre will have an area of app. 12,000 sqm and will include 12 stores. According to your plans, Vendo Park is to be completed in H1 2018. Meanwhile Mirbud is finishing work on the centre in Skierniewice and its opening is planned for December. What other towns are going to appear on this investment map?

Pepijn Morshuis, CEO, Trei Real Estate: There are currently four Vendo Parks in Poland (in Chełm, Nysa, Milanówek and Mińsk Mazowiecki). Our next project in Poland being developed on ul. Ceglana in Świdnica (next to a Kaufland store), with the shopping centre to be opened this year. Our plans for 2018 currently include eight projects for which we have secured land and all the projects are either at the planning stage or under construction. They are scattered throughout Poland. For example, three are in Łódź, some are in the north in the TriCity area and others are in the south of the country. However, we’re not planning to stop there. We’re still looking for new plots to purchase. We’re currently looking at four sites that we’ll probably buy within the next six months and next year we want to buy from eight to ten more plots. We’re not focusing on just one region of Poland, but we’re looking at the entire country.

What size of town will Trei invest in?

The town itself needs to have a minimum of 15,000 inhabitants.

But isnt the retail market in Poland already saturated and isnt it getting difficult to find an empty space on the investment map?

That’s true. The market is mature and saturated with shopping centres but it still has a lot of potential for the development of retail parks. There’s still a lot of space in large cities, on large estates with many residents and in smaller towns. We can still make out a lot of potential.

And are your plans for Slovakia and the Czech Republic just as ambitious? You currently have nine retail parks in that country.

No, those are different markets. They’re completely saturated. We’re not planning to expand over there.

Is Trei interested in other real estate sectors, after all the residential market in Poland is experiencing a boom...

Yes, we are interested and we’re planning to invest. We are an important residential developer on the German market and we’re planning to use this experience on other markets such as in the Czech Republic. We have already purchased our first plot in Prague. In the Czech Republic, we’re only interested in what is the largest market, the capital city of Prague. Another step will be when we enter onto the Polish market, although I don’t yet know when this is going to be.

In the Czech Republic you say youre looking at the capital. Will you also be concentrating on Warsaw when enter the market in Poland?

No, we’ll be looking at the five or six largest cities.

What kind of standard will your apartments be?

I think they’ll be of mid-range and superior standard. However, we don’t want to build luxury projects because the market is too small and it’s very price sensitive. We’re going to focus on mid-range projects and we’re going to build both large and small apartments.

Are you also planning to develop estates of separate houses?

If so, they will be terraced houses

Student halls are another hot topic on the Polish market. Do you also want to enter this market?

We’re looking at the largest university cities in Poland. This year we opened our first student hall in Germany, in Cologne. It’s a modern and comfortable centre and includes communal areas where people can socialise, such as meeting/study rooms, a room for table tennis, and an outdoor area for barbecues. Poland is the next country where we’re preparing such an investment.

A few weeks ago Tedi, a brand from the Tengelmann group, which Trei also belongs to, announced its plans to enter Poland. Could you tell us something more about this?

I am not the appropriate person to talk about this but I can say that we are in close contact with these people. We’re sharing our knowledge of the Polish market and we’ll be jointly developing such projects in the future. Just like we do with Kik. They are natural partners for us, just like other tenants that come from Germany such as Rossmann and Lidl.

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