A 26,000 m² shopping center Bruklinas (named after Brooklyn, New York) is under construction in Siauliai, fourth biggest Lithuanian city (about 130,000 inhabitants in the city and 370,000 within the catchment area). It is nine months before the planned opening date of the center, and 75% of all lettable (20,000 m²) space has already been leased. Developers of the center are two companies: Ogmios Centras, Lithuanian real estate developer, and Rivona, owner of #2 food retail chain in Lithuania NORFA.
The same developers have just finished sales transaction of their first mutual project - a 28 000 m² shopping center Babilonas (after historic 'Babylon') in the 5th largest city, Panevëþys.
Bruklinas is going to be one of the two new regional shopping centers in Siauliai. Both of them are opening within a few months from each other. Bruklinas will have an ice rink, more than 100 retailers, and 5000 m² Norfa food hypermarket. The competitor has a similar format.
Retailer mix in Bruklinas is as follows: retail shops (fashion, clothes, shoes, jewelry) will take up approx. 55% of space; catering, restaurants, leisure and entertainment approx. 20%; consumer services (private banking, dry cleaning, hairdressers, etc.) 5%; and a food hypermarket Norfa - 20%. Bruklinas will also have an eight storey 8000 m² office and hotel building as part of the complex.
A big part of Bruklinas' tenants come directly from the successful Babilonas project. The retailers, who opened their shops in the first regional shopping center Babilonas in Panevezys and have experienced success there, now follow the same developers into another regional city Siauliai.
Success of lease process in Bruklinas shopping center is not unexpected to Chairman of the Board of Ogmios Centras, Mr. Arunas Zemaitis: "It is obvious, that Lithuania is not just Vilnius (the capital city) and Klaipeda (the only seaport of Lithuania). We have regional cities that have 100,000 + inhabitants. They need high quality, modern retail and entertainment space. As a result, Ogmios Centras discovered an obvious opportunity to develop high quality shopping centers in smaller cities around Lithuania. Our centers are not just dull boxes. They have strong design identity and strong uniting concept. That is why when you see an interesting shopping center building in a regional town you can be sure that it is a project by Ogmios Centras. It is city within the city with its own point of art. A single glance is more than enough to see exactly why Bruklinas is called that way (after Brooklyn, New York)."
What about competition? Babilonas is the only major shopping center in the city and the whole Panevezys region (about 290,000 inhabitants in catchment area). It is natural that there is no direct competition there. However, there will be two shopping centers in Siauliai (with about 370,000 people om catchment area) about the same in size and in similar attractive locations.
Regardless of the competition, Bruklinas is 75% leased 9 months before the opening date. Regional cities in Lithuania are obviously retail hungry. There is no doubt that both centers will do very well. It is the factor that should attract more international brand retailers to regional shopping centers of Lithuania.
Ogmios Centras expects that recent and very successful shopping centers will also attract more international investors to the now stable and secure Lithuanian real estate market, which is now part of the EU market.
Source: Ogmios Centras