Aareal Bank finances Poland´s largest shopping center (DE/PL)

Aareal Bank has granted a loan of € 140 million for the construction phase of the Arkadia Shopping Centre in Warsaw, which will be opened to the public tomorrow. With a lettable area of 106.000 m² Arkadia will not only be the biggest shopping center in Poland, but also one of the biggest on the European Continent.

Arkadia comprises a gallery of more than 200 shops, a Carrefour Hypermarket and a Leroy Merlin DIY. While the Hypermarket and the Leroy Merlin will be owned by their operators, Aareal Bank has granted long term financing for the shopping gallery. This gallery has a lettable area of 73.300 m² of which 98 percent is already let on long term leases. Christine Schulze Forsthövel, Head of Real Estate Structured Finance of Aareal Bank: “With over 200 tenants representing the ‘who is who’ of retailing, in Arkadia well known international brands such as Benetton, C&A, Douglas, H&M, Media Markt /Saturn, Peek & Cloppenburg, Sephora and Zara are to be found.” The gallery also includes more than 20 restaurants as well as a 9-screen multiplex cinema. Arkadia is located 2 km from the city center, at the junction of 4 main roads. The companies and stores operating at Arkadia will offer employment to some 2,600 people.

Developer of the shopping center and owner of the shopping gallery is the French group BEG, a successful development company operating internationally. Among the shareholders of BEG is the Simon Property Group, the third largest US REIT.

'Our entry into the Polish retail market was well-timed and with the Arkadia Project we have financed a shopping center of the newest generation, which meets the demand of retailers and customers in Warsaw', comments Christine Schulze Forsthövel. Furthermore, Aareal Bank had also financed selected projects in the Warsaw office market.

Aareal Bank belongs to the market leaders of the Polish retail finance market and has financed several shopping centers outside of Warsaw, for example Galeria Kazimierz, a shopping- and leisure center in Krakow with a lettable area of 36.000 m².

For the BEG Group Aareal Bank has also financed the shopping center BAY 2 located in Torcy, 25 km from Paris. November 2004 will see the opening of the BAY 1 which is situated adjacent to BAY 2. With restaurants and a multiplex cinema BAY 1 will complement the offer of BAY 2. The total loan of both centres amount to € 77 Mio.

Source: Aareal Bank

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