In 2008, entrepreneurs still find commercial and business centres the most appealing projects for investment. But there is a possibility this tendency to change after 2010, when all planned construction is completed, the market in Sofia might become saturated, consultants Arco Real Estate said in a statement.
In addition to the four shopping malls, there are a further 18 projects announced. For some of them, the foundations had been already laid, including Bulgaria Mall on Bulgaria boulevard, the CIVIS Centre near Sofia's Central railway station and Olympian mall and tower on Slivnitsa boulevard, among others.
The ones still in development include Forum Sofia, which will be located across from Business Park Sofia; Eurogate, a complex in Lyulin district; and DV South Mall complex in the Lozenets borough.
According to Arco Real Estate, the Bulgarian market for shopping centres is booming because of the country's accession to the European Union. Many foreign investors try to find a niche in the local market, the statement said.
Another possible reason for the interest in the mall developments may be considered the fact that the they are the sort of venue that matches the needs of modern Bulgarians. The shopping centres are gradually replacing the old merchant streets in town as being outdated and unfit for the dynamic lifestyle of urban people.
“Right now the Bulgarian market is literally flooded with shopping malls, and the prices asked are not adequate for a developing market,” Gerard Groener, an executive director for the Dutch Corio N.V. has told ow Jones Newswires, as quoted by the Bulgarian website investor.bg.
Corio is one of the biggest real estate companies in Europe and some time ago had intentions of making some substantial investments in Bulgaria. At the moment, Groener was quoted as saying, the lack of proper management and the extreme price increase have led the projects development to a halt.