Austrian shopping center operator strengthens market position abroad (HU)

The market leader of Austria's and Slovenia's shopping center industry has experienced significant expansion and confirms two new deals: SES Spar European Shopping Centres GmbH has been appointed as center manager of ALLEE, the newest and one of the largest shopping centers in Budapest, located in one of the best districts in southern Budapest, District XI. The contract with ING Real Estate Development Hungary has recently been signed. SES has also assumed center management responsibility for the Hungarian shopping mall KORZÒ in Nyíregyháza by the Ukrainian border.

All signs indicate that the largest Austrian shopping center developer and operator SES is experiencing substantial growth. The SES enterprise is expanding its portfolio with projects in Hungary despite the current caution in the markets.

"One of our competencies provided by our long-term experience as a retailer, developer and operator of shopping centers – and that we have only employed in our own projects to date – is that of center management. We have now decided to actively offer also our services as a management company to external proprietors." explains Marcus Wild, CEO of SES. "We make regional venues out of our properties and understand our role as a reliable partner for both owners and store operators", adds Wild.

ALLEE Budapest opening still in 2009
The opening of ALLEE shopping center is planned for the fourth quarter of 2009. This will provide the city district with a new shopping and leisure facility close to the existing Fehervari Market Hall. ALLEE is the flagship retail component of a multifunctional urban re-development project by ING Real Estate Development Hungary. The District Centre concept is part of ING Real Estate Development's commitment to urban regeneration projects as "walkable communities", created on a 4 ha site and integrating retail, entertainment, service, office and residential functions with ample public space improvements in the surrounding area.

ALLEE will have approximately 46,000 m² GLA dedicated to far more than 130 retailers plus additional leisure facilities (including a multi-screen cinema) on four levels, 6,500 m² GLA office space and 89 residential units.

Fitting into the neighboring infrastructure (including the new Budapest Metro Line No. 4) and by connecting the centre to the existing market hall, an entirely new and attractive district centre for South-Buda with a new pedestrian zone and an underground garage with more than 1,100 car parking lots will be established.

"Good long-term projects are characterised by successful cooperative efforts. We trust in the competence of our partners when developing a new project and we are convinced that we have found in SES a strong and experienced manager for our shopping center," relates Maarten de Jong, CFO of ING Real Estate Development, who also acts as General Manager for Hungary. ALLEE has a catchment area of more than half a million individuals with above average purchasing power.

Management of KORZO - the largest shopping center in Nyíregyháza
Since April 2009, SES also acts as center manager for the largest shopping center in Nyíregyháza and the region of Komitat Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, that opened last year. The shopping center is comprised of 19,000 m² of GLA on four levels. The shopping center was the most important and significant construction investment for the city in 2008. With an investment volume of HUF 9.5 billion, 340 new jobs were created. The proprietor is HVB-Leasing Nano Kft.

Source: Spar European Shopping Centers GmbH

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