"We made our first land acquisitions two months after the official entry of Polimeni on the Romanian market, unlike the Polish market, where our first transaction was made after three years, with the project starting a year later," Stefan Gheorghiu, country manager of Polimeni, told ZF.
The land acquired in Galati, located close to the ring road, has a surface area of around 100,000 square metres, with the American developer paying around 20 million euros (26.
9 million dollars) for the plot. The company intends to build a shopping centre with a lettable area of around 55,000 square metres, as well as a 1,600-spot car park.
As for the shopping centre in Satu Mare, it will have a lettable surface area of around 20,000 square metres, and will be developed on land purchased for 7 million euros (9.4 million dollars). Therefore, the price paid per square metre of land in Galati stands at around 200 euros, whereas in Satu Mare the cost of land per square metre stands at 350 euros.
According to Vincent Polimeni, the majority shareholder of the Polimeni group, land prices in Romania are five times bigger than in similar areas in Poland. "However, tenants are willing to pay a higher price, given the opportunities available on the Romanian market," explained Polimeni.
"The construction of the two shopping centres will start this year. The mall in Galati is scheduled for completion in December next year, whilst the mall in Satu Mare is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2009," added Gheorghiu. The company has so far conducted a series of commercial and residential projects in both the USA and Poland, and made its decision to enter the Romanian market after being attracted by the potential of the retail market, which is burgeoning.