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Big jump in shopping mall construction in Bulgaria

There is a total of 201,000 square meters of shopping mall GLA (Gross Leasable Area) under construction in Bulgaria, according to new Colliers International Bulgaria research. That is an increase of 138,500 square meters in the H1 of the year.

This can be attributed, say Colliers in their new “Bulgaria Retail Market Overview” for the H2 of 2007, to the initiation of several big new shopping developments. Three major new shopping centers broke ground this year. The construction of Carrefour Mall was initiated in January in Sofia followed by Serdika Center also in the capital and Mall Stara Zagora.

Colliers International also reports that the city of Varna on the Black Sea coast is shaping up as a very competitive market for shopping center developers and investors with five projects located within a 1-km radius. Two of them, Pfohe Mall and Mall Varna, are already in an advanced construction phase with scheduled delivery in 2008. Construction of Mall Plovdiv in Bulgaria’s second most populous city is also progressing as planned with expected completion next year as well.

Atanas Garov, Managing Director of Colliers Bulgaria, said, “Our research shows that retail in Bulgaria continues its rapid expansion. Prospects are very promising, as the Bulgarian retail market is still vastly under supplied, while tenants are bullish on their expansion plans.” Ivan Velkov, General Manager of Colliers Bulgaria, added, “Varna is attracting a lot of attention from developers in all segments.

Colliers established an office in the city two years ago to support the real estate business on the Black Sea Coast.” Philip Bay, Regional Director, Colliers International Southeast Europe, concluded, “I am proud of the high level of the market research we produce. It is a valuable tool for clients, media and other real estate professionals, and just another reason why Colliers International Southeast is the leading property consultants in the region.”

Colliers International is a worldwide affiliation of independently owned and operated companies. In 2007 Colliers International Southeast Europe was named Property Consultant of the Year for the region for the second straight year. (