Expiring projects keep retail market afloat

Retail

“The market shows a mixed picture, with some locations, especially well-situated projects with a clear strategy, developing and even thriving, while other shopping centres are still struggling with the effects of the crisis”, said Szabolcs Koroknai, associate director at Colliers International Hungary, in terms of
the real estate company’s latest retail market report publication.

The first half of the year saw only one major retail centre opening, the 5,600-square meters Europeum on Blaha Lujza tér, developed by Ablon. The project has seen success in its first months, with
solid turnover and over 80% occupancy, from tenants such as H&M, Müller and Deichmann.
The project can be considered more of a high-street venue than a shopping centre. It has also
breathed new life into the surrounding area of Nagykörút, with several new shops opening in the
vicinity.

Retail activity has also started to return somewhat to normal, to the section of Erzsébet and Terézváros leading from Nyugati Square to the Margit Bridge, as the latter was reopened to traffic following
reconstruction works. The number of vacant shops here has decreased as tenants return to
business.

In October, ORCO’s landmark Váci1, an 11,000 square meter GLA will open its first three floors, offering shops such as Hard Rock Café and a flagship shop for local patisserie Szamos Marcipán,
as well as Pinko and Vilebrequin. The second phase, to follow in autumn 2012, will open the
upper floors of the building, including a rooftop lounge restaurant and a special tourist attraction
occupying the entire 1,700 square meter fourth floor.

The KÖKI Terminál (55,000 square meters) the Árkád Szeged (34,000 square meters) and Siófok Pláza (6,000 square meters) are also planned to open by the end of the year. Finding tenants has however become more difficult, with owners often having to provide fit-out contributions in order to attract retailers.

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