Sparkassen Immobilien AG opens its EUR 210 million investment: Serdika Center, Bulgaria’s biggest shopping center

Corporate news
  • The Group’s largest ever development project opens on 16 March
  • 51,000 m² of lettable retail space, office space of 30,000m²
  • 210 shops , over 98% let, healthy mix of international tenants
  • Peek & Cloppenburg opening first flagship store in Sofia

A mere three weeks after the successful opening of the Sun Plaza shopping centre in Romania, stock exchange listed Sparkassen Immobilien AG (Bloomberg: SPI:AV, Reuters: SIAG.VI) is today – 16 March 2010 – opening Serdika Center in Sofia. The construction of Bulgaria’s biggest shopping centre has been completed in roughly two years. With a total investment of EUR 210m, Serdika Centre is Sparkassen Immobilien AG’s largest development project in its 22-year history.

The building, with its distinctive curved facade, has a total of 51,000m² of lettable shopping space. A further 30,000m² of modern office space will be completed by the end of 2010. The roughly 210 international and local brand name stores with emphasis on fashion mean that the project is already 98 percent fully let. The project has been carried out in collaboration with the German shopping center specialists, ECE.

Friedrich Wachernig, member of Sparkassen Immobilien AG’s Management Board comments: “With our renowned partner, an excellent tenant mix and the prime location, we will be setting the highest standards in retailing in Sofia, just as we already do in Romania, where our Bucharest shopping center opened successfully only three weeks ago. With these two new jewels in our portfolio, we will be raising rental income and revenues and more than doubling our cash flow in the next years.”

Serdika Offices: office space to be completed by the end of 2010

Directly above the shopping center, 30,000 m² of modern office space will be completed by the end of 2010. The letting agent is Colliers International. State-of-the-art buildings management and access systems guarantee cost effective and secure work spaces. Serdika Center will be managed by ECE, and the investor of “Serdika Offices” is Sparkassen Immobilien AG.

“The combination of shopping centre and office property will bring mutually beneficial synergies. The shopping centre alone will create over 2,000 new direct jobs and will constitute a powerful driver for the local economy. Sparkassen Immobilien AG is demonstrating once again that it has the financial muscle, the expertise and the necessary networks to ensure that its projects are successfully implemented. Serdika Center also shows that especially in difficult times our investment decisions are pursued with long-term benefits in view,” explains Friedrich Wachernig at the opening ceremony.

Prime inner city location

Serdika Center is located on Sitnyakovo Boulevard in the inner city district of Oborishte. It is easily accessible both by car and by public transport, and is only a 20-minute drive from Sofia’s airport. The excellent links to the City’s ring road and to the major motorways to Greece and Serbia are another major advantage. Around 1,600 car parking spaces ensure comfortable access to the shopping centre and the offices. There are also several bus and tram stations in the immediate vicinity.

Quick road access to the garages is facilitated by the improvement of the highway infrastructure with a new intersection and widening of the neighbouring streets that the investors provided. The immediate catchment area of the shopping center includes more than a million people.

Healthy tenant mix with international top brands

The anchor tenants among the total of 210 businesses are Peek & Cloppenburg, with its first flagship store in Sofia, a Technopolis market for household and consumer electronics, and a Piccadilly supermarket. Many strong and internationally recognised brands are opening shops in Serdika Center: clothing businesses such as Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Mango, Reserved, Esprit, New Yorker, Marc O’Polo; footwear brands such as Ecco, Humanic, Geox, Deichmann, Camper; sports goods businesses such as Puma, Adidas, Tempo Sport and other brands such as Douglas, Swarovski, Bijou Brigitte and Guess Accessories. In addition to which there is a food court with international and local cuisines and a selection of restaurants and cafes to relax in.