AM and ING Real Estate Investment Management have signed a contract for the purchase of the shopping centre Forum Viseu in Portugal. The total investment value of this project is approximately € 65 million. The scheme will open in the Spring of 2005.
Forum Viseu is located in the heart of the historic city of Viseu. Its site was formerly an open-air car park owned by the municipality, which was integrated in the Polis program for the revitalisation of downgraded riverside areas. A public tender was launched and AM Development presented the winning proposal based on a high quality concept by T+T Design, the in-house architects of AM, and Catalan architect Prof. Joan Busquets.
Forum Viseu will be a mixed-use project comprising 18.500 m² of retail and leisure plus 25 apartments (which are not included in ING’s investment) overlooking the Pavia River. The commercial mix includes a hypermarket, 60 shops, 18 restaurants and a
6-screen cinema all served by an underground car park for 800 places (excluding apartments). Anchor tenants include a Feira Nova Hypermarket, Zara (and all the brands of the Inditex Group), Home Sweet Home, Sportzone and Warner-Lusomundo cinemas.
Growth in retail development
The Forum Viseu project is consistent with AM’s strategy of growth in shopping centre development in Europe. There is a strong demand in Southern Europe for modern shopping centres incorporating leisure facilities, and these projects generate in general better margins than those in the more mature markets in Western Europe. AM’s income from shopping centre development increased to 43% of its total income in 2003. By developing high-quality shopping centres, AM is meeting the needs of Portuguese consumers, international store chains and property investors.
Source: AM & ING Real Estate