Corio concludes agreements for shopping center extensions in the Netherlands and France (NL/FR)

Corio Nederland Retail and Fortis Vastgoed Ontwikkeling have signed a turnkey agreement for the redevelopment of the shopping center 't Circus in Almere. Corio France has bought 130,000 m² of land next to the existing Côte de Nacre shopping center in Caen for the future extension of this center.

In the 1980s 't Circus was built as a temporary retail location in the centre of Almere which was still new at that time. For years it was filled with small shops in a shopping hall formula, in which there were 23 retailers with a total retail floor area of approx. 2,600 m². As a result of the extension of Stadshart in the direction of Weerwater, 't Circus has gained an even more prominent position in the center. The A1 retail location in the heart of Almere's city center on Stadhuisplein was in need of a more contemporary range of retailers. Besides that, the location and the built surroundings enabled a more intensive land use and required an appropriate urban planning and architecture. Kees Rijnboutt of the Architectengroep in Amsterdam is the architect of the project.

Corio has started the negotiations for the redevelopment of this project already considerable time ago with William Properties, now Fortis Vastgoed Ontwikkeling. This resulted in the demolition of the one-story shopping hall in September of last year and Fortis has now started the construction of the retail complex with approx. 12,000 m² of retail space spread across three floors (basement, ground floor and upper floor) and space for a fitness center on the 2nd floor. Tenants will include Men at Work, Vera Moda, Van Haren and Shoe Outlet. The project requires an additional investment of approx. €22 million, which was already included in the fixed pipeline. The net yield of the project will be considerably above the average of the current Dutch retail portfolio. The new 't Circus is expected to be completed in 2008.

Corio France has acquired 130,000 m² of land adjacent to its existing shopping centre Côte de Nacre in Caen for a total amount of €18.3 million, including acquisition costs and including €2.3 million of VAT which will be recoverable. The land has been sold by the present owner and user NXP Semiconductors France. Part of this land (67,000 m²) will be used for the extension of the Côte de Nacre shopping center for which the zoning is in place. NXP Semiconductors France will remain a tenant in the industrial buildings on the other part of the land (63,000 m²).

This is an excellent opportunity to extend and renovate the shopping center Côte de Nacre. The center is located at a good location in the northern part of Caen and currently consists of 32,500 m² (including 3,500 m² of co-owners) retail space on one level, anchored by a Carrefour hypermarket (21, 950 m²) which is a tenant in the center. The renovation and extension with approximately 15,000 m² for a total estimated amount of €45 million will make Côte de Nacre even more successful in its catchment area. Corio France is working on the plans and the applications for CDEC's (occupancy permits), so further details will follow in due course. If all goes according to plan, it is expected that the new centre will come into operation in 2009.

Both transactions fit in well with Corio's strategy to add value to existing shopping centers by local active hands-on management in the interest of consumers, retailers and Corio's shareholders. Corio is one of the leading investors in and managers of shopping centers in Europe with a portfolio of €5 billion and a pipeline of approx. €1.6 billion.

Source: Corio

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