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Around 900 Shopping Centre Projects for Eastern Europe
With around 900 shopping centre projects with a sales area of 5,000 sqm or more currently known to be in the pipeline for Eastern Europe, it appears that investors' confidence in the region has been restored. Most shopping centre projects in Eastern Europe are planned for Russia (200 known projects), closely followed by Poland with around 175, then Ukraine with some 90 projects and Turkey with 75.
The likelihood of these projects being realised cannot be determined exactly. Some of them have been in the pipeline for years already but did not receive the necessary financing or enough assurances of lease due to various weaknesses and market developments. Some Eastern European countries were hit hard by the economic crisis, and it revealed problems that were already there irrespective of the global crisis. Yet investment has not halted, with Poland and Turkey in particular being seen as the new model countries and attracting the most attention from investors. Together with Germany, the hopes of real estate investors rest on these three countries.
During the crisis years of 2008 and 2009 in particular, a relatively high number of new shopping centres were completed in these three countries. For instance, 26 projects were realised in Germany in 2008, and another 36 a year later in 2009. In Turkey, some 40 properties were put on the market in 2008 and around 20 more in 2009. In both countries, the two crisis years of 2008 and 2009 were actually the strongest years in terms of shopping centre openings during the period from 2005 to 2010. In Poland, the number of shopping centres opened during this period remained nearly constant, with between 15 to 25 properties being completed per year. Only in 2010 did the pace of development slow down. However, the pipeline in all three countries remains good and the likelihood of completion for many of these projects is higher than in other European countries.