Henderson's European Outlet Mall Fund ready for expansion at Italian scheme (IT)

Castel Romano Designer Outlet near Rome has received planning permission for a third phase. The center, managed by McArthurGlen, is owned by Henderson Global Investors, on behalf of its €1.5-billion European Outlet Mall Fund (EOMF), in which McArthurGlen and Henderson are also investors.

HGI-Castel Romano 355

The center will expand from 24,000 m² to 32,000 m².

The third phase will expand the GLA at Castel Romano Designer Outlet from 24,000 m² to 32,000 m². Building work has already commenced on site.

Currently, brands at the center include such leading names as Burberry, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Ferrè, Fratelli Rossetti, Guess, Roberto Cavalli, Patrizia Pepe, Pinko, Trussardi Jeans and Valentino.

Castel Romano, which first opened in 2003, is one of five McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in Italy, three of which sit within Henderson's EOMF. It has proved a highly successful, regionally dominant scheme, located just 20 km south of Rome with a catchment of 5.8 million people within a 90 minute drive. In addition, more than 9.5 million tourists visit the Italian capital each year. Ecostra research ranked it as the fifth best performing outlet in Europe for 2010.

Last year, Castel Romano Designer Outlet received three million consumers, attracted by some of the best luxury, designer and mainstream names in fashion. In keeping with the existing center, the expansion will be individually and thoughtfully designed, reflecting the local architectural style, to offer a unique and fun, day-out shopping experience. All the units will be managed by the brands themselves, which will offer excess stock with year-round savings ranging from 30-70%.

David Williams, Fund Manager of the Henderson EOMF said: "Investment in retail is a major part of Henderson's total €14.5 billion of property assets under management. EOMF provides investors access to some of the best designer outlet centers in Europe managed by leading designer outlet operator and developer McArthurGlen.

"Castel Romano is one of the most successful centers in Europe and the expansion is part of our strategy to invest in the brand offer and mix across our portfolio. This strategy will help maintain strong performance for our investors."

Claude Hargreave, McArthurGlen's Regional Development Director, added: "The expansion of Castel Romano Designer Outlet is one of three expansions currently under development at McArthurGlen's Italian Designer Outlets.

"The opening of phase three at Castel Romano will allow the Designer Outlet to add significantly to the number and mix of brands on offer to consumers, as well as helping the center to reach further into its catchment, and to increase its appeal to the many millions of tourists visiting the area each year."

Source: Henderson Global Investors

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