Árkád Szeged in Hungary: New shopping attraction opens today (HU)

A new downtown attraction celebrates its debut in the South Hungarian town of Szeged. After a construction period of around one and a half years, the new Árkád shopping center in Szeged's city center opens today, Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at 8 am.

Arkad Szeged1

The overall investment volume of the project amounts to more than €100 million.

Around 130 specialist stores, cafés, restaurants and service businesses are presenting a branch and service mixture tailor-made for Hungary's third largest city (approx. 170,000 inhabitants). The center has a leasable area totaling approx. 41,000 m² on three levels and provides approx. 1,300 parking spaces.

Around 1,000 people will be working in the new shopping magnet. An architectonical highlight is the integration of historical elements of a former hemp-spinning factory into the exterior facade. The total catchment area comprises more than 400,000 people. The long-term management of Árkád lies in the hands of ECE that also developed and planned the project.

Dr. László Botka, Mayor of Szeged: "The unique exterior design integrating parts of the former hemp-spinning factory makes this building a characteristic landmark within the city center. The opening of Árkád will enrich Szeged's downtown area and thus will attract more people from the greater catchment area surrounding it.

"Besides building the center, major construction work also focused on improving the surrounding infrastructure. What is very important is that the shopping center provides new jobs for up to 1,000 people. Altogether, this project has been a major leap forward for the city's development. I am proud that ECE as European shopping center market leader chose to become active here."

ECE CEO Alexander Otto: "The Árkád shopping center enriches Szeged and will contribute to increasing the city's attractiveness. We are happy to open our fifth shopping center in Hungary today. This is another milestone for Hungary as one of our key markets."

Christoph Augustin, Managing Director of ECE Budapest: "The presence of many international retailers underlines the quality of the location, the overall center concept, and the trust in our professional center management. This also proves the fact that strong concepts can be successfully realized even in economically difficult times. I would like to thank the city of Szeged and the local authorities for the very good cooperation."

For the leasable area of the new Árkád, ECE compiled a balanced mixture of shops and branches among others with numerous fashion and gastronomy businesses. Several renowned concepts are completely new in Szeged such as New Yorker, Marks & Spencer, Bershka, Calzedonia, Promod, Stradivarius, Orsay, Heavy Tools, Puma, Springfield, KFC, Camel active, Women's Secret, Tamaris, Vagabond, and Zara.

Further well-known tenants are, for example, C&A, Deichmann, Hervis, Media Markt, Spar, Alexandra Bookstore and Gas. The center further houses a food court with seven different providers and a joint seating area with approx. 300 seats with international and local gastronomy brands.

Árkád Szeged has been constructed on the premises of a former he

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