Meyer Bergman, the European retail specialist real estate investment management firm, announces that it has acquired an additional stake in Galeria Katowicka. The company increases its holding in the shopping center to over 70%.
The acquisition from its joint venture partner, Neinver, marks the final commitment for Meyer Bergman’s first fund, Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners I. Neinver will continue to be responsible for the development and to be involved with the management of the asset after opening.
Galeria Katowicka is a new EUR 200 million retail-led mixed-use development at Katowice Railway Station. Centered in the City downtown, the three-phase project is part of a major redevelopment and renovation of the Katowice Railway Station and an underground bus hub.
Phase I concluded on 29th of October with the delivery of the new, state of the art Railway Station. Phase II, the redevelopment of the bus terminus, is due to complete in the first quarter of 2013. According to Meyer Bergman, the final phase comprises the delivery of a circa 250-store modern shopping center with over 48 000 sq. meters of gross leasable area and up to 1 200 underground car parking spaces, and is expected to be completed in late 2013 (Neinver claims Galeria Katowicka will be opened in Q2 2013).
The center has attracted a significant number of major international retailers including Zara, Mango, Top Shop, Pull and Bear, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, C&A, Sephora, Reserved, KappAhl, Deichman and Mohito.
As the region’s main transport hub, Katowice Railway Station and bus terminus will have 520 trains passing through daily and around 12 million visitors per annum. Katowice is the commercial center of the Silesia region, one of the most populous agglomerations in the country.
It provides a strong catchment area for the shopping center, with approximately 330 000 inhabitants within a 10-minute drive and in excess of 2,3 million people within a 30-minute drive time. Upon completion, the scheme is expected to be the dominant City Center retail provision for Katowice, an area that is not only undersupplied in terms of retail, but also has a strong local economy with a higher affluence level than the Polish national average.
Markus Meijer, Chief Executive and Founder of Meyer Bergman commented: “The decision to increase our stake in Galeria Katowicka demonstrates our continued belief in the Polish market, whose economy has continued to outperform those of the Eurozone and the wider CEE region, along with the quality and potential of this asset in particular.”
“We believe that the significant number of major international retailers we have secured in advance of the center opening demonstrate its attractiveness as a retail destination. Moreover, with the first phase of the development compete, the project has become significantly de-risked, giving us confidence that this prime retail center is well placed to deliver solid returns for our investors” – Meijer adds.