An unprecedented 11.9 million m² of shopping center space is currently under construction in Europe, representing a 50% increase year-on-year (7.2 million m² in 2012), according to the latest research from global property advisor CBRE.
Shopping center development activity is largely concentrated in emerging markets, with a large proportion (74%) taking place in Eastern Europe. Similar to last year, Turkey is forecast to remain the most active market with around 3.7 million m² of shopping center space under construction. Istanbul will be the most active development market in the coming years with 37 centers currently under construction, including Axis Eyüp AVM with a Gross Leasable Area (GLA) of 150,000 m², and Yeni İstanbul (GLA of 137,684 m²).
Europe’s other highly active shopping center development market is Russia (2.88 million m²) which, like Turkey, is benefiting from strong economic growth and rising incomes. The majority of this development is concentrated in Moscow, with 1.4 million m² of space due to open over the next two to three years.
Ukraine (789,888 m²), Poland (750,467 m²), Italy (665,779 m²) and France (648,200 m²), also have significant amounts of shopping center space under construction. In Italy, however, development activity is slowing, which is reflected in the slowing down of the completions for the projects already under construction and the lack of new openings during the first half of 2013. For Ukraine, the space currently under construction represents 38% of its total shopping center space, thus adding significant space to its retail market upon completion.
While there is significant new shopping center space planned for construction over the next three years, the reality is that, like in Italy, developments are taking longer to complete than was previously the case and therefore completions are likely to be delayed.
Across Europe, 100 shopping centers totaling 3.44 million m² of space opened in 2012, with Spain and Turkey the most active markets for completions. Of this, 9% were extensions to existing schemes. Major shopping center openings in 2012 included Spain’s Puerto Venecia – which was an extension to an existing retail park, and the Megamall in Turkey.
2013 is on track to be an equally active year with 1.5 million m² of shopping center space already completed. Almost 60% of this total is in Turkey, while 10% of all space completed in H1 2013 was also extensions to existing schemes.
Despite Spain being very active in 2012 only 38,000 m² has been completed so far this year with a further 135,216 m² expected in H2 2013. It also has a significant pipeline of space under construction (469,000 m²).
Neville Moss, Head of EMEA Retail Research, CBRE, commented: “The rapid growth of new shopping center development in emerging markets is attributed to a growing middle class, the urbanization of large cities and consumer demand for better quality retail. Retailers are competing to take advantage of these new opportunities.
“There has also been a strong trend towards refurbishments and repositioning of existing assets among landlords that want to upgrade the retail mix in order to make their center more attractive for retailers, in particular in Italy and Poland.”