Construction work on the Árkád shopping center in the south Hungarian town of Szeged are fully on schedule: Christoph Augustin, local Managing Director of ECE in Hungary, and Sándor Scheer, Managing Director of the general contractor 'Market Épít+ Zrt.', together with representatives of the town of Szeged and the construction workers celebrated on March 3, 2011, the topping out of the new inner-city shopping gallery.
Leasing of retail space in Árkád is progressing well. Up to now, agreements for more than 70% of the rental space were concluded. Leasing experts expect to increase this figure with further anchor tenants to around 80% by the end of April. Numerous renowned concepts are completely new in Szeged, such as Interspar, New Yorker, Orsay, Heavy Tools, Springfield, Camel active, Women´s Secret, Tamaris and Vagabond. Further well-known tenants are, for example, C&A, Hervis, Deichmann, Alexandra Bookstore and Gas.
Christoph Augustin, Managing Director of ECE Budapest: "I am pleased about the very good cooperation with the town of Szeged and the local authorities. Árkád's good leasing status shows that well-designed shopping centers in integrated inner-city locations can also be successfully realized in tough economic times."
Árkád Szeged is being constructed on the premises of a former hemp spinning factory. Some of the historic facades were reconstructed and integrated in the center. Preserved original material was used for the reconstruction by the workers. The center design is based on a concept by the architectural office Szanto es Miko Epiteszek from Budapest, which won the architectural competition in 2007. Final plans were developed by the architectural office '3H', which was also awarded in the competition, in close cooperation with the winner of the competition.
The overall investment volume of the project amounts to more than 100 million. In summer 2010, ECE and Westdeutsche Immobilienbank AG concluded a loan contract for the construction of the shopping center with a loan amount of up to 74 million. Árkád Szeged is one of the largest construction projects in Hungary to be externally financed.
Long-term management of Árkád Szeged will be in the hands of ECE.