AM opens first shopping centre in Czech Republic

The shopping centre Olympia Plzen has been opened on Tuesday 23 March with a ceremony for 3,000 guests. This 50-50 joint venture with Ahold Real Estate is AM’s first shopping centre to open its doors for consumers in Central Europe. Situated in Plzen in the West Bohemian region, Olympia Plzen shopping centre comprises a development of 33,000 sqm, including 14,500 sqm Ahold ‘Hypernova’ hypermarket and 2,500 sqm of restaurants and is located next to the new ring road around Plzen. The total investment value amounts to €65 million.

AM is planning to start phase II which contains another 13,000 sqm of retail in 2005. Besides Olympia Plzen, AM has more projects in progress in the Czech Republic, like Centrum Chodov-Prague (a jointventure with Rodamco) and Olympia Olomouc. These projects will also be anchored by Hypernova.

Architectural concept
The shopping centre was designed by T+T Design, the in-house architects of AM. The architecture reflects the industry of Plzen. T+T has translated this ‘Couleur Locale’ into Olympia Plzen shopping centre. The shopping centre reflects a small industrial village with a chalk oven as a landmark. The hypermarket of Hypernova shows the visiting public the idea of an old assembly building with small adjacent buildings at its four corners. Olympia Plzen is marked at the main entrance by a huge authentic old train compartment, which has been re-designed into a modern object of art. This train was assembled in 1953 in the Skoda factory. The movement of trains relates to the movement of the inhabitants of Plzen City into a new, modern age with a shopping centre which offers various shopping- and leisure facilities. Plzen’s origin lies in
industrial development. Trains, generators and later on the establishment of the Skoda factory had a huge impact on the development of this city. Well known retailers like Hennes & Mauritz and Sephora will offer a new choice in shopping and the car park for 1,600 vehicles will accommodate all visitors from Plzen and its surrounding cities.

Growth in European shopping centre development
The retail activities in the Czech Republic are consistent with AM’s strategy for further growth in shopping centre development, with the emphasis on Southern and Central Europe.

Source: AM N.V.

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