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Plaza Centers to build region's biggest shopping mall in Budapest

Plaza Centers, the property development arm of Israel's Elbit Medical Imaging, will start work on Central and Eastern Europe's biggest entertainment and shopping center next to Budapest's Keleti railway station in March 2006, Plaza Centers communications director Vera Vadas announced. Vadas could not reveal the size of the investment, but said Plaza Centers will soon call a tender to build the center. She noted that the site's former owner, French construction giant Bouygues, had planned a Ft 30 billion development there. Plaza Centers bought the site from Bouygues in mid-November for €21 million, and plans to to construct a 180,000 square meter building complex on the 122,000 square meter site, a former trotting racecourse, including 70,000 square meters of rentable space for businesses and a 2,800-car parking garage. The center will house an 18,000 square meter hypermarket, a 21-screen multiplex cinema and close to 200 businesses, some of them setting up shop in Hungary for the first time.