Biggest Mall Projects in Bulgaria

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Commercial space market in Bulgaria maintained its upward trend in the first half of 2008. Two shopping malls with a gross leasable area of 37,000 sq. m were opened during the period – Mall Varna (32 000 sq. m) and Mall Sandanski (5,000 sq. m), data of Foros real estate company show.

Thus, the total number of commercial centers in Bulgaria rose to seven, while their gross leasable area went up to 123,660 sq. m.

Nevertheless, Bulgaria still occupies one of the last spots in the ranking in terms of commercial space per 1,000 inhabitants with a mere 16 sq. m.

The malls with key tenants and attractive locations are the most attractive. Global practices show that the key tenants should be clear prior to the launch of the projects in order for the commercial centers to be successful.

There are also projects for the setting up of new malls in different parts of the country are also underway. The new projects envisage commercial centers with higher net leasable area and more professionally developed concepts, including more entertainment facilities and various services.

Bourgas is the most dynamically developing city in this regard. There are projects for the setting up of five malls in the city. One of the commercial centers – Mall Izgrev is slated for completion by the end of the year.

The project for the setting up of a shopping mall with a gross built-up area of 300,000 sq. m in the residential district of Kraimorie is the biggest in the city. Foros Development is the investor in the project.

Another project in Bourgas is Sun City's Bourgas Central Mall, which will be located in the Meden Rudnik residential district and is slated for completion by 2011.

New projects for the development of commercial centers in Sofia are also underway. The biggest of them envisage the setting up of a mall in the future Industrial Park Sofia, which will have gross built-up area of 272,278 sq. m and a mall with 80,000 gross built-up area in the gated residential complex Gardens City.

Other large-scale projects in the country include Shumen Plaza Center with gross built-up area of 60,000, Mall Blagoevgrad (47,982 sq. m) and Mall Stara Zagora (56,000 sq. m).

Commercial centers continue to draw strong interest. The average commercial space sales prices in Bulgaria went up by 6.49% in the first half of the year.

Sofia saw the highest increase of 8.5%, followed by Varna (8.33%), Plovdiv (7.96%), Veliko Tarnovo (7.39%) and Rousse (6.75%).

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