GTC Bulgaria, the local unit of Polish developer Globe Trade Centre (GTC), has acquired a 65% stake in a retail project in Bulgarian coastal city Varna, the parent company said in a press release on its corporate website. The project comprises 37,000 sq m of net rentable area. Upon completion, scheduled for Q4 2008, the shopping center will generate about 9.5 mln euro in rental income annually. The company said it has also agreed the terms for the acquisition of two more retail sites in Bulgaria. The remaining 35% belongs to the owner of the land, a reputable local entrepreneur. The total development cost, including land, is estimated at 77 mln euro.
A zoning permit has already been obtained for the project. Construction will start as soon as a building permit is received. The shopping mall will be located at the intersection of the city’s major transit routes, next to popular housing districts. Varna is the third-largest city in Bulgaria and one of the main tourist destinations on the Black Sea coast, with 330,000 residents. At the moment, there are two shopping and entertainment centers in development in Varna. Interservice Uzunovi, the Bulgarian home appliance and consumer electronics retailer, is building Mall Varna while a real estate investment trust owned by the local Ford dealer is developing Pfohe Mall. Both should open by the end of 2007. Orchid Mall Varna, a project of property developer Orchid Developments, is also due for kick-off.
In addition to the site in Varna, GTC Bulgaria has agreed on terms for the acquisition of two other retail projects in large Bulgarian cities. The two projects comprise a total 60,000 sq m of net rentable retail space. The completion of those transactions is subject to positive results of due diligence. In June 2006, Polish news portal bankier.pl. reported that GTC Real Estate Investments Bulgaria will invest 1.5 mln euro in a new office development in Sofia. It was reported that GTC Real Estate Investments Bulgaria planned to buy a 4,500 sq m lot for the construction of 7,200 sq m of office space. Construction was due to get underway in the second half of 2006 and finish by early 2008.
In April 2006, GTC said it had signed an agreement to acquire 3,800 sq m of land in an attractive district in the Bulgarian capital, in proximity to the American Embassy. The acquisition price was named at 2.4 mln euro. The lot was zoned for the development at least 11,600 sq m of net office and retail space. Construction was scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2007.