Today at 9 am Sonae Sierra officially opened the new shopping center Gli Orsi, in Biella, Italy, to the public. With a GLA of 41,100 m², Gli Orsi implied a total investment by Sonae Sierra of €105 million, which will create 850 jobs after the opening. The center hosts 120 shops, including 18 restaurants and bars, with an innovative and complete commercial and leisure offer.
There are seven large shops, including a 13,700-m² Ipercoop hypermarket, owned and managed by NovaCoop, and also Euronics, Sasch, Upim, Deichmann and Longoni. There are 95 unit shops, including well-known national and international brands, like Douglas, Fratelli La Bufala, Adidas, CoImport, Swarovski, Tezenis, Calzedonia, Primigi, Original Marines, Intimissimi and Levi's.
Gli Orsi is set in a privileged location, on the edge of the Biella urban area and less than 10 minutes from the town center, at the very beginning of the Trossi road, a traditional shopping destination attracting customers from the whole province. The catchment area includes 169,000 inhabitants within 30 minutes. Gli Orsi will offer free-parking for more than 3,500 cars.
The shopping center is included in the development of a wider leisure area of 265,000 m², which also involves the construction of a municipal basketball arena with capacity for 5,000 spectators, where the Biella team will play next season. The opening of the sport arena is scheduled for February 2009.
"Gli Orsi represents the biggest shopping and leisure center in Biella and will give further impulse to the commercial appeal of the city," comments Pietro Malaspina, Managing Director of Sierra Developments Italy. "We believe that Gli Orsi will bring a new shopping and leisure experience to the wide and diversified commercial offer of Biella. The sport arena will represent an interesting integration, which will offer to all Angelico Biella's fans and sportspeople the opportunity to have a dedicated space equipped with the most advanced technological solutions. This structure will become, along with the shopping Centre public square, the social fulcrum of the whole area."
"Italy is a key market for Sonae Sierra and we firmly believe it has an interesting growth potential. The opening of Gli Orsi follows that of Freccia Rossa, inaugurated last April in downtown Brescia, allowing us now to have four shopping centers under operation in Italy," adds