Freeport appoints construction company for Roppenheim development (FR)

Freeport, a Carlyle Europe Real Estate portfolio company and a developer and operator of outlet malls in Europe, has announced details for the construction of a designer outlet center near Roppenheim in Alsace, France.

The invitation to tender, issued in October 2008, drew significant interest from national and local construction companies.

Following a detailed selection procedure, Freeport has chosen the joint venture Urban (Vinci Group) and Demathieu & Baird, who will commence construction on the project in October. Completion is targeted for the end of 2010, with opening expected in March 2011.

The Roppenheim outlet center is a unique project as it involves the construction of an authentic fortified medieval Alsatian village that will give visitors a unique shopping experience based on world famous brands in a high quality environment.

Situated in an important customer catchment area on the border between France, Germany and Luxembourg with a high intensity of inhabitants and purchasing power, the Freeport outlet in Roppenheim will welcome international, French and German brands.

Since marketing for potential tenants for the project commenced, major international brands have shown significant interest, with more than 10 stores already let and over 40% of the total space at an advanced stage of the letting process.

Iestyn Roberts, CEO of Freeport, commented: "The appointment of the construction company, as well as having a detailed development timetable in place, is a true reflection of the confidence we have in the potential of the Roppenheim project. It has also been encouraging to see the level of interest from potential tenants supporting our view, with over 40% of the center in advanced leasing discussions.

"With our existing Freeport centers performing exceptionally well in 2008, despite a very difficult economic environment, our ambition to expand the Freeport presence across Europe remains strong."

Source: Carlyle Group

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