Aviv Park in Pancevo and Delta Park in Kragujevac have been open for several years now. Big CEE was opened in Novi Sad in late 2012. Vivo Shopping Park in Jagodina is expected to receive first shoppers this autumn. Construction of Israel's One Belgrade in Zemun should commence in the second half of this year. As eKapija learned, retail parks will also be opened in Cacak, Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Sabac, Leskovac, and in the Belgrade borough of Zvezdara.
Despite the crisis and people's reduced purchasing power, the interest of investors in retail park projects in our country persists. Those who take initial steps first will have an advantage as this is a long-term investment.
Instead of indoor shopping centers with artificial lighting and air-conditioning systems, retail park offers shopping in the open, in a greenery, with a lot of accompanying facilities for the entire family.
Ivan Simic, director of Danos Serbia, says in a talk with eKapija that the tendency to build retail parks will continue, especially in the areas with a population of between 80,000 and 100,000 that are not covered by any "shopping destination."
- Development of such projects will depend on the development of people's purchasing power. Retail parks are situated outside central city zones as they cover large areas. In an analysis preceding the construction of a retail park, a very important factor is the population density in the areas that are 10 minutes of driving away from the location of the future shopping complex because this can help investors get a picture of the number of prospective buyers gravitating towards the newly built park. The sites of such complexes are mainly located in city outskirts. Also, it is necessary that there is adequate traffic and other infrastructure with the capacity to support such project - Simic explains.
Danos is hired to rent out space within Aviv Park in Pancevo, Vivo Shopping Park in Jagodina and Big CEE in Novi Sad as well as space within future complexes of the kind - Aviv Park in Belgrade, Aviv Park in Zrenjanin, Big CEE in Sabac, Pluto Park in Leskovac, a retail park in Zemun.
Main investors in retail parks are Israeli companies, considering that they own Aviv Arlon, Big CEE, Jerusalem Economy and Industrial Buildings Corporation.
- Israeli companies are the only large investors investing in Serbia. These companies expand their business to new markets, and since there is no competition in the field of retail parks in Serbia, they find our country very interesting for investment – Simic points out.
Space for new retail parks
As it was announced, construction of a retail park in the vicinity of Belgrade, that is, in Zemun, will begin 2013. Does the capital city need shopping malls of this kind, considering that there are only few shopping centers in Belgrade?
- The retail park in Zemun definitely has its potential, which primarily lies in people living in Zemun who will be able to choose from a wide range of quality products without going to Belgrade. Based on a preliminary analysis, the area that is about 10 minutes of driving away from the given location has a population of 165,000, whereas the area 20 minutes of driving away from that site has a population of 414,000. Given these facts, the potential of the retail park in Zemun is more than evident - Simic stresses.
Tijana Vujovic, director general of the Confluence Property Management company, believes that Belgrade is the city that should have few more retail parks considering its size.
- If the construction of new retail parks is accompanied by the improvement of standards and purchasing power in the years to come, success will be inevitable. The announcement of new investments, one of which is the facility in Zemun, is a good thing as it signifies that the market is awakening and that foreign investors too recognize the potential of Serbia's real estate market - Vujovic assesses.
Confluence runs the largest shopping centers in the country, such as Usce Shopping CEnter and Beograd Department Stores, and it also entered into cooperation with Vivo Shopping Park in Jagodina in February 2013.
- Vivo Shopping Park is a textbook example of retail park, completely designed in line with the rules for this type of facilities. This project has involved the most eminent companies in Serbia. The investor's wish was to have the most beautiful site in the Pomoravlje Region, located between the Jagodina water park and zoo, brought to sure success by a selected team. Up till the current phase preceding the beginning of construction, 60 percent of all space have been rented. Among the tenants are JYSK, DM, Delhaize, Lilly, New Yorker, Deichmann, Takko fashion, Sport vision, Top shop, VIP exchange offices, In medio, Extreme intimo, Diopta - says Vujovic.
Vujovic announces that they expect more famous brands in this shopping park, so that the citizens of Jagodina and Pomoravlje will be able to count on an offer of the kind that has so far existed only in Kragujevac, Nis and Belgrade
Advantages of doing business in retail parks
Retail parks are single-floor facilities featuring no cellar or upper stories. They comprise a series of separate outlets merged into a whole. This whole is usually П-shaped and is accessible directly from the outside environment, which is constituted of access roads with parking places and a green area with pedestrian zones stretching alongside the entrance to outlets.
Monthly rent in a retail park is much lower than in a shopping center, and so are the costs of maintenance.
- Rent in a retail park ranges from 6 to 13 euros per square meter, depending on the size of the outlet, whereas the rent in a shopping center can go up to 50 euros per square meter. This fee will drop with time. A significant difference lies in additional costs, which stand at about EUR 2 per square meter in retail parks and at approximately EUR 10 per square meter in shopping malls - says Ivan Simic.
Both Vujovic and Simic assess that fees in retail parks will remain at the current level over the next few years.
Cacak Retail Park
Slovenia's Toming Consulting is planning to open a retail park in Cacak. As eKapija learned, this company has already got a building permit, there are some interested prospective tenants, and construction is expected to kick off as soon as capital structure is created for this 7-8 million euros worth of project.