One of the largest Belgian commercial and residential property developers launches its business in Poland. The first major Polish project by Equilis will be Galeria Chełm, a shopping centre developed as a joint venture with Acteeum Group.
Equilis is also looking to develop a residential project in Warsaw. Since 2006 Equilis has already delivered 250,000 sqm of leasable space and nearly 580 housing units. One of the company’s most famous projects in its home country is Docks Bruxsel, a commercial district opened in 2016. Equilis also has offices in France, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal. In addition, the company has 125,000 sqm of leasable space and more than 2,100 residential units under construction or in the pipeline.
“A retail scheme was an obvious choice for our first development in Poland. Equilis was built on commerce. Our decision to launch business in Poland is a result of the country’s stable economic situation, which drives the prosperity of the real estate market. We were encouraged to make a presence in the shopping centre sector by growing consumption stimulated by the rise in wages and good customer moods as well as the potential of our location. We want to create a shopping destination that Chełm hasn’t seen before,” says Monika Woźniak-Zawioła, CEO Equilis Poland.
Galeria Chełm will be the first modern shopping centre in the only former provincial capital in Poland without a facility of this type. A total of 55 shops will take up 17,500 sqm of space. Shoppers will have access to a car park for 500 vehicles. With its convenient location, the centre may become the number one shopping destination for approx. 300,000 residents within a 45-minute driving distance, not only from Chełm and the neighbouring areas but also from the nearby Ukraine and Belarus.
The joint venture of Equilis and Acteeum Group will cost around €30 million.
“Galeria Chełm is another project carried out by Acteeum as a joint venture with a large institutional or private investor. This time we are combining our expertise in the Polish shopping centre industry with the international experience of Equilis. Galeria Chełm is already 70% leased, which speaks to a very high demand for this type of development in this city,” says Tomasz Szewczyk, Managing Partner, Acteeum Central Europe.
Acteeum has so far participated in seven retail projects with a total leasable area of 250,000 sqm, including VIVO! Stalowa Wola and VIVO! Krosno (in partnership with Immofinanz); Galeria Wołomin and Galeria Tomaszów (with NEPI Rockcastle); Galeria Solna in Inowrocław (developed in partnership with Libra Project and sold to EPP in 2017), and the expansion of Ogrody in Elbląg and Sarni Stok in Bielsko-Biała (with CBRE Global Investors).
Construction of Galeria Chełm is expected to begin in 2018 and continue until the second half of 2019.
The portfolio of projects prepared by Equilis also includes a residential development at Bukowińska Street in Warsaw. The 11-storey building will contain 100 residential and commercial units, retail space on the ground floor and a two-storey underground car park. The investor is waiting for the completion of the administrative process and the building permit.
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