German investor trio to develop Germanys biggest inner-city shopping center (DE)

Hamburg-based DIFA Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG has become a co-investor in Limbecker Platz (Essen, Germany) by acquiring a 60% holding in the project company behind the development. The other partners are Karstadt Immobilien AG & Co. KG (Essen) and ECE (Hamburg).

ECE has teamed with Karstadt to plan an exciting urban shopping and experience center serving Essen and the surrounding region. With DIFA now onboard, the three partners will be working together to finalise and build the project. The total investment volume including tenant fit-out amounts to some €300 million. The Karstadt Group owns the key sites required for the construction of this major project, while ECE is responsible for letting and managing what will be Germanys biggest city center shopping mall.

Limbecker Platz is an excellent city center location and will be the No. 1 in the wider Essen area for the foreseeable future, says member of the DIFA Management Board Dr. Frank Billand, commenting on his companys involvement on behalf of its DIFA-GRUND open-ended real estate fund.

Construction work is scheduled to begin on 1 April 2006, with the first section due to open in 2008. Forty per cent of store space at Limbecker Platz is already let to leading retailers, three years ahead of anticipated final completion in 2009.

Three shopping levels are planned offering around 200 shops a total of approximately 70,000 square metres of space, including a huge 20,000 square metre Karstadt department store and a Karstadt-Sport outlet comprising around 4,000 square metres. Also planned are a shopping square, 3,000 metres of store frontage, light and airy rotundas, artistically designed fountains, Mediterranean-style zones for relaxation, cafés, restaurants and a food court offering culinary delicacies. Adjustable stages will provide space for cultural and other events. The concept behind Limbecker Platz envisages a dynamic mix of fashion, trends, labels and brands. Different sectors will be represented, offering an innovative, broad and exclusive range of brands that will set new benchmarks. The partners on the project estimate a total daily footfall of around 50,000 visitors, who will be served by some 2,000 employees.

Source: DIFA

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