The foundation stone of Futureal Groupʼs EUR 300 million Etele Plaza mall was laid at a ceremony Wednesday, with the project set to become Budaʼs largest shopping center upon completion, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
Etele Plaza, with its planned gross area of 137,000 square meters, is a key element of Futurealʼs District 11 portfolio. Combined with the Budapest ONE Business Park, the company aims at making the projects the driving force for the further development of South Buda, according to the press release.
The shopping mall is being built in the immediate vicinity of Etele tér, the largest multimodal transport hub in Hungary, connecting several modes of transport. The plaza has a rentable area of 55,000 sqm, located at the meeting point of the Kelenföld railway station, Metro 4 line, and the approach section of the M1-M7 motorways. Etele Plaza can be accessed by direct lines in just 10 minutes from downtown. Currently, the hub is used by 165,000 people daily.
Futureal expects the primary catchment area of Etele Plaza to attract almost 40,000 shoppers from the capital daily, as it entails one of the most densely populated areas of Budapest, where approximately 235,000 people live. According to the press release, more than 640,000 inhabitants can be reached within 10-20 minutesʼ driving time, and more than 1.2 million people within 20-30 minutes. The residents of the district possess 125% of the national average purchasing power, alongside a relatively low degree of retail supply.
Etele Plaza is designed by Paulinyi-Reith & Partners, with the plans featuring 180 shops, a supermarket, restaurants, cafés, a multiplex cinema, gym, children’s play center and other services, with nearly 1,300 parking lots. In the garage, an advanced location and navigation system will facilitate parking in the building by indicating empty spaces, also helping customers to find chosen stores or services through a mobile app, says the press release.
Earlier this year, Futureal Group concluded a loan contract of EUR 150 million available for 10 years with a consortium of UniCredit and Erste Group for the development of Etele Plaza.
"Etele Plaza is a niche retail project in South Buda that will also give an impetus to the development of the area,"said Gábor Futó, founder of Futureal Group. "Futureal Group is currently working on over 30 projects with a total value of EUR 1 billion over 700,000 square meters. This shopping and entertainment center is a flagship project in our portfolio."
Leases have been signed or are being negotiated for about 60% of the rentable area in the center, state news wire MTI reported.