Last night the city counsel of Utrecht gave its final approval on the formation of the contracts with Corio Nederland Retail B.V. for the revitalization of the shopping centre Hoog Catharijne, as part of the total uplift of the area around the railway station in Utrecht. Corio is very delighted with this progress.
Corio will have the opportunity to make Hoog Catharijne, although still very successful, the state of the art shopping center in the Netherlands again. The contracts also incorporate that Corio will, given its efforts in Hoog Catharijne, be involved in the development of the new (to be built) shopping centre in Leidsche Rijn as investor.
The existing Hoog Catharijne will gradually be rebuilt and extended by approximately 35.000 m² retail and 20.000 m² leisure between 2007 and 2014. The shopping centre will be better connected to the old city centre and the structure will become more straightforward. The investment for both Hoog Catharijne and Leidsche Rijn is expected to be of a magnitude of € 400 million. Corio considered it very important to include the shopping centre Leidsche Rijn in the negotiations, because of the location of this shopping centre very close to Hoog Catharijne. For Corio, her tenants and the consumers it is desirable to supplement the nature of these two shopping centres so they will function complementary instead of pushing each other out of the market. This wish has been included in the current formation of contracts.
In the coming period the current agreements will be elaborated. Ultimately this must lead to a start of the works in 2007. The revitalization of Hoog Catharijne is part of a broader collaborative plan of the local government of the city of Utrecht, NS Vastgoed, Jaarbeurs Utrecht NV and Corio for the uplift of the area around the railway station.
This revitalization of the second largest property of Corio´s portfolio (€ 3.8 billion) and the extension of this portfolio fit very well in Corio´s strategy. The focus of Corio is on retail and particularly on shopping centres. Corio is continuously optimising its shopping centres and looking for opportunities to strengthen the portfolio in its 'home countries': the Netherlands (57%), France (24%), Italy (12%) and Spain (7%). Corio is quoted at the Euronext Amsterdam.