Meyer Bergman enters into JV with Neinver to develop city center retail scheme in Katowice (PL)

Meyer Bergman, the European real estate investment management firm, announces that it has entered into a joint venture agreement (the 'JV') with Neinver, a leading pan-European retail developer, to undertake a c.€200 million retail-led mixed-use development at Katowice railway station in Poland.

Neinver and Meyer Bergman hold a majority stake in the project, with a minority share being held by Polskie Koleje Pañstwowe S.A (PKP), the Polish National Railway company. The JV is structured as an equal partnership, achieving aligned interests of both parties. Development and investment financing has been secured through Pekao Bank.

Centered around the city's main square, the three phase project comprises the redevelopment and renovation of the Katowice railway station and bus terminus, to be completed in Q2 2012, the development of a modern new shopping center, comprising 220 units over 47,500 m² GLA, to be completed in Q2 2013, as well as 18,000 m² of mixed use space. The scheme will also provide up to 1,200 city center underground car parking spaces.

Katowice, the main commercial center of the Silesia region in southern Poland, provides a strong catchment area for the shopping center, with approximately 330,000 inhabitants within a 10-minute drive and in excess of 2.3 million people within a 30-minute drive time.

Upon completion, the scheme will become a dominant shopping provision for Katowice, an area that is not only undersupplied in terms of retail, with only one existing shopping center, but that also has a strong local economy with a higher affluency level when compared to the national Polish average.

Commenting on the acquisition, Markus Meijer, Chief Executive of Meyer Bergman, said: "This transaction provides us with a unique opportunity to enter into a true joint venture with a well renowned developer and to make our debut investment into Poland, a country which has demonstrated strong economic indicators despite the challenges elsewhere in Europe."

Zsolt Kohalmi, Principal at Meyer Bergman, added: "We are confident about starting development at this stage in the cycle and because of the ongoing strong macro economic outlook for Poland. The scheme will benefit not only from its prime city center location and close proximity to Katowice's main station, a major transport hub for the region that sees a high volume of commuters and travelers passing through each day, but also from its affluent shopping catchment. "

Manuel Lagares, CEO NEINVER Group, remarked that: "The construction of this unique building, combining new transportation facilities for the city of Katowice and a business and retail center in the very heart of the fastest-developing Polish agglomeration, is one of the biggest and most prestigious projects currently being carried out in Central and Eastern Europe. Undertaking the investment, in cooperation with such a renowned partner, NEINVER Group opens a new chapter in its operations and once more reinforces its position on the European real-estate market. "

Source: FD

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