Plaza Centers N.V. has announces that it has won a competitive tender from the Government of Serbia for the development of a new shopping, entertainment and business center on a total built up area of circa. 100,000 m² (with over 2000 parking spaces) in Belgrade, Serbia. This project represents Plaza's first step into the Serbian market and fulfils one of the Company's expansion objectives set out in its Prospectus.
The new complex will be located on the prominent site of the former Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, situated on the main street which runs through the center of Belgrade. The area is home to foreign embassies, including those of the United States, Canada, Germany, Poland among others. In addition the Serbian Government, Ministry of Finance, Belgrade chamber of commerce and Belgrade's largest public hospital are all nearby, as well as the city fair and the future railway station.
Plaza will partner local Serbian developer for the project, which is expected to have a gross development budget of €150 million. The local partner will be entitled to participate in up to 15% of the project, subject to certain conditions while the project management will be rendered solely by Plaza.
Serbia is one of the Eastern European nations where Plaza sees strong potential for future investment opportunities. Plaza also believes that the Belgrade market offers particular potential, with its large populated catchment area of approximately 2.5 million people. Additionally, as Belgrade has not to date benefited from 'institutional grade' investment in retail or commercial real estate, this development will have particular significance in terms of providing a new commercial and cultural destination for both domestic and international visitors.
Commenting on the handover agreement, Ran Shtarkman, President and CEO of Plaza Centers N.V., said, "We are very excited to be taking our first steps into the Serbian market, where we believe our skills and experience in delivering large-scale mixed-use developments can produce significant value, both for our shareholders and for the centre's tenants and visitors.
"In addition, we look forward to playing a part in the delivery of a new commercial and cultural center for Belgrade, which we hope will attract a range of high quality international and domestic tenants and thereby unlock the considerable potential we see within the Serbian market."
Source: Plaza Centers