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Romania will leave Hungary behind this decade - TriGranit chief

Hungary’s real estate developer giant TriGránit has inaugurated Polus Center Cluj, a shopping mall build from over €300 million in Romania’s Cluj.

The plaza had been acquired earlier in a forward sale transaction by Immoeast, which exercised its pre-emptive rights. The Hungarian constructor completed the project in 15 months, while the plot itself had been bought ten years ago. Before the opening ceremony, has talked with TriGránit’s Chairman-CEO Sándor Demján and operative chief executive Sándor Nyúl.

Nyúl said the construction was delayed by about six months due to archaeological findings. He added that 100% of the 80,000 square meter (gross, 60,000 square meter rentable) area is already taken. The main companies in Polus include Intersport, Hervis, a Carrefour hypermarket (on 8,000 square meter) and Zara.

Several Hungarian companies will also move there, including bookstore Libri, furniture retailer Pannon Bútor, and the subsidiaries of MKB and OTP Bank will also open a branch in the plaza. Nyúl said he has unflinching faith in the great potentials of Cluj's retail market. Polus is the first shopping mall in the city, but a second, Julius Mall, is also to be opened later this year. About further plans in Romania Nyúl said TriGránit was planning similar projects to Polus in Brasov, Konstantca, Sibiu and Kraiova.

These are the cities with a population of over 300,000 where TriGránit believes the Polus model can be successful. In the near future, TriGránit will also launch a multifunctional project in Cluj, near Polus plaza, where it will build flats, offices and commercial facilities in a 100,000- square meter building. The largest project of the company in Romania is Esplenada city centre in Bucharest, the realization of which will cost €800 million.

(Read more: Portfolio )