REVETAS CAPITAL TO RENOVATE AND REBRAND CITY CENTER SOFIA
The first shopping mall in Sofia – City Center Sofia (CCS), will be fully renovated by the end of 2015, the owner Revetas Capital said. The UK-based investment fund is embarking on a large-scale refurbishment program as well as in re-tenanting of the shopping center in order to improve its performance. The plan follows the acquisition of CCS (23,500 sqm GLA) by Revetas in 2014. According to Ryan Coopersmith, who is responsible for the redevelopment of the shopping center, the program is already in progress with first phase including a complete interior renovation of the mall. Construction works will be performed in all the common areas – parking, toilets, lifts, food court, ceilings etc. The escalators will be relocated with the aim to optimize the shopping center’s high footfall. The second phase includes a façade and entrances renovation.
„The main reason for Revetas Capital to invest in CCS is that it has the best location for the shopping center – in the heart of Sofia, near an area of high population density”, said Ryan Coopersmith. City Center Sofia was the first modern shopping center in Bulgaria opened in 2006. Its anchors include a Piccadilly supermarket, a Technomarket electronics store and a Cine Grand cinema. It has a prime location within minutes’ walk from the National Palace of Culture and the Hilton Sofia hotel, neighboring the central business district of Sofia and the upscale Lozenets area, and enjoys excellent accessibility through Cherni Vrah Blvd., a with subway, tram and bus stops just in front of its main entrance. City Center Sofia has retained a healthy 14,000-strong footfall per day despite the rise in competition in the most recent years as well as a well-working food court with tenants such as McDonalds, KFC and Subway.
During the refurbishment works the mall will remain open for customers. After the renovation program is completed the name of CCS will also be changed to Park Center – the brand for the shopping centers operated by Revetas Capital. The re-tenancy concept of City Center Sofia is assigned to Forton, a Cushman & Wakefield Alliance Partner. Forton is appointed as exclusive leasing agent of the shopping center. According to Rosen Genev, head of Retail Space Services in Forton, the new tenant mix will be oriented to middle- to high-end fashion, shoe and sports brands, with a focus on the everyday shopping, services and entertainment.
The selection process will aim to meet the needs of people who live or work nearby – young professionals and families with children.
“Our goal is to reposition CCS on the market as well as to distinguish it from the other shopping centers, especially those ones in close vicinity”, said Rosen Genev. He added that Forton is already in negotiations with potential tenants and first new stores in CCS are expected to open in the beginning of the autumn. According to the new concept some store relocations will be needed within the shopping center. The anchor tenants will be positioned on the ground and first floors. A high-end restaurant with terraces and a spacious kids center are planned on the last level. The Food court also will be enlarged.
The existing leases of the well-performing tenants will be extended but some stores will be relocated.