How Romania became a country of malls in three years
Romania has been the most important investment target in the region for real estate developers in the past three years, which opened 33 new shopping centres on the market, in the wake of investments worth around 2.5bn euros, shows a ZF survey. In other words, on average, a new shopping centre was opened every five weeks, either in Bucharest, or in major cities such as Cluj or Constanta, but also in small cities such as Piatra Neamt, Buzau or Alba Iulia. Just ten shopping centres were operational on the Romanian market until the boom period of 2007-2009.
Now, mall owners annually collect rents of around 200m euros and, together with retailers, are fighting for a slice of the consumer goods market (food, non-food and apparel) worth above 20bn euros. "I didn't even realise so many have been built in these years. What I can tell you is that beside these 40 malls, another 40 will be built in the next 5-7 years. A year and a half, two, it will be harder, but companies then will start developing again," considers Reuven Havar, manager of AFI Europe, owner of the biggest shopping centre in Romania, Cotroceni Park.
Source: www.zf.ro (22 February 2010)