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Sofia's European Trade Center To Become Bulgaria Largest Office

The largest office center in Bulgaria, with a built-up area of 70 000 square meters worth EUR 70 M is going to open its doors in 2010 on the "Tzarigradsko Shosse" boulevard in Sofia, in the area known as the 7th Kilometer.

The center called "European Trade Center" (ETC) currently represents almost 10% of all office projects in Sofia still in construction stage.

ETC includes five office buildings with the highest one standing 65 meters toll and is part of the mega complex "Hermes Park". In addition to the office buildings, "Hermes Park" will also have a shopping mall with "Carefour Tzarigradsko", the biggest hypermarket of the French chain "Carrefour" in Bulgaria. The mall is to open by the fall of 2009.

According to several media sources, including the daily newspaper "24 hours" the ETC investor is a joint stock company with majority shares belonging to at least 30 private Irish investors with one of them being the former Director of Bank of Ireland.

Bulgarian investors include businessmen Valentin and Dessislav Popov known to have started the unsuccessful amusement park "Sofia Land', now slated to become a residential and commercial complex.

The project is financed by the Greek "Piraeus Bank". Recently Carrefour sold their mall project for Tzarigradsko Shosse to the Greek real estate company "Assos Capital" for EUR 200 M. There is interest in purchasing ETC as well, according to company representative Emil Emanuilov, however, investors have not planned any sales yet.

Rents in ETC will amount to around EUR 14,5 per square meter.

The office and shopping center is going to be one of the firsts buildings in Bulgaria to correspond to the international class A criteria and will fulfill requirements that have proven the most difficult for investor in Sofia so far - central location, accessibility, high quality property management and the main problem - enough parking spaces.

ETC will be built with the use of new "green technologies" to reduce energy cost. Each building will have solar collectors and garden rooftops.

All five buildings will also boost high-speed elevators - first in Bulgaria to move at 2,5 meters/second.

"Tzarigradsko Shosse" boulevard with its fast connection to the airport and to downtown Sofia is becoming a first class office location and the "City" of the Bulgarian capital - its most attractive business and commercial district. In addition to the "Carrefour" mall and ETC, plans for the next few years include the "Mega Park" project of the Austrian group Soravia also with five buildings - hotel, offices and shopping centers, mall "Tzarigradski" of the local "Sofia Building Enterprise" and a bank center.

The real estate company "Bulgarian Land Developments" registered in Great Britain, had purchased five of the eight buildings of the old polygarphic plant on the boulevard with the intention of turning them into modern offices.

The recently announced plans to move state institutions in a specially planned complex in the area of 4th Kilometer is also contributing to the fast development along the boulevard.