Another 500,000 sqm of retail space will be delivered this year, with expansions of existing schemes and new ones in smaller cities some of the key trends in 2014
by Beata Socha
Retail space construction will remain strong this year, as 610,000 sqm is currently in the pipeline, with 500,000 sqm set to be delivered to the market in 2014. This year will see a lot of new retail developments in eastern Poland and smaller cities, as well as extensions of existing schemes across Poland, according to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle.
“2014 will be the second very intensive year in a row for Poland’s retail market,” Edyta Potera, national director, retail agency at JLL, said.
The largest new projects scheduled for 2014 include two malls in the eastern city of Lublin: Atrium Felicity, set to open on March 20, and Tarasy Zamkowe. Galeria Warmińska in Olsztyn, Galeria S in Siedlce and Galeria Amber in Kalisz will also open their doors this year.
Expand, expand, expand
Expansions of existing retail schemes, looking to strengthen their position on the local market, will be one of the key trends this year.
The time has come to refurbish Poland’s first and second-generation shopping centers, which, albeit dated and often unsightly, enjoy the best locations in major Polish cities.
A good example of a nearly 20-year-old project in need of a facelift and some more space is the Auchan hypermarket in Piaseczno, on the outskirts of Warsaw. Developer Immochan is currently working on a major extension of the scheme, scheduled for completion in 2016. It plans to add nearly 40,000 sqm to the existing 44,300-sqm scheme, with the additional area housing over 170 stores, mostly fashion.
Echo Investment is also currently expanding its shopping center in Jelenia Góra, one of its first investments in Poland.
Keeping the upper hand
Even newer schemes are being refurbished to keep up with the competition.
Atrium is nearing the completion of its Galeria Copernicus center extension project, located in downtown Toruń. The mall, first opened in 2005, will increase its GLA by 17,000 sqm up to a total of 47,000 sqm, housing 145 stores, 55 more than at present. The work commenced in July 2013 and is scheduled to be completed in early 2014.
Even the ten-year-old Arkadia mall in Warsaw is scheduled for a minor makeover. Unibail-Rodamco has launched a PLN 20 million refurbishment mainly focused on its food court area. “This is a part of our strategy of re-tenanting and re-marketing our centers,” said Arnaud Burlin, the company’s managing director.
Another major trend expected this year is the expansion of retail space development in towns and smaller cities. “The retail offer in eastern Poland and in towns with less than 100,000 residents will grow,” said Potera.
One such example is the Galeria Stara Kopalnia, currently being developed by Developer HRS Grupa, in Wodzisław Śląski, near Katowice. The mall, scheduled to open at the end of 2014, will feature 10,000 sqm of GLA, which isn’t small for a town of 50,000. The developer is counting on attracting customers from the Czech Republic via the A1 highway, which would increase the mall’s catchment area to 160,000.
In 2013 the retail segment grew by 459,000 sqm, with over a half of the space (275,000 sqm) completed in Q4 2013, the bulk of which was delivered in major Polish cities: Poznań, Kraków, Warsaw and Tri-City.