Bulgaria among Europe Leaders in Shopping Malls Construction

Properties | March 26, 2010, Friday // 20:01|  views

Shopping malls with a commercial space of 600 000 square meters were under construction in Bulgaria in 2009. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria is among the five European states with the largest amount of commercial space under construction, according to a report of Cushman&Wakefield.

The report distributed Friday by the company’s partner in Bulgaria, Forton International, says that in 2009 when the European market of commercial space registered a 19% decrease, Bulgaria ranked fifth in Europe with some 600 000 square meters of “shopping malls” space under construction.

The ranking is topped by Russia which is followed by Turkey. The Cushman&Wakefield Report says that the opening of the new shopping malls in 2010 and 2011 will lift Bulgaria up in the ranking of commercial space per 1 000 persons; Bulgaria is currently the next to the last in Europe with only 28,2 square meters of commercial space per 1 000 persons.

According to the report, in 2009 Bulgaria and Croatia registered the largest percentage growth of commercial space.

“Some 300 000 square meters of commercial space are to be opened in 2010. This is an enormous amount for the scope of the Bulgarian market,” commented Sergey Koynov, CEO of Forton International. However, he expects that the opening of the some of the shopping malls under construction will be delayed by the limitations imposed by the economic crisis such as the reduced demand for stores for rent.

“The commercial centers that have been opened since the beginning of the year have shown that the consumers in the big cities are still active. The concerns and caution of the merchants are mostly connected with the condition of the consumers in the smaller towns,” said Dimitar Kiferov, Commercial Space Manager at Forton International.

The major conclusion of the Cushman&Wakefield report is that the European market of shopping malls has seen its greatest downturn in 15 years. Only 7,4 million square meters of commercial space were opened in Europe in 2009, a 19% drop, which is expected to be even worse in 2010 when only 6,1 million square meters will be inaugurated. However, the shopping malls construction is expected to hit rock bottom only in 2011.

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Tags: shopping mall, construction, Cushman and Wakefield, Forton International, commercial space


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