At a time when even the legendary “middle aisle” of German discount chain Lidl is “shrinking”, as consumers, having to pay exorbitant energy and food bills, turn their backs on non-essentials such as clothing, footwear and household items, in the Greek market, investments in new commercial spaces have caught fire.
New generation malls that will have been launched by 2025 will increase the total sales area of the operating shopping centers in the domestic market by 30%, while if the areas of retail parks, indoor food markets and luxury stores that are being built are also counted, the rate of increase exceeds 35%.
Despite the inflationary boom, energy crisis, emerging uncertainties in the economic environment, problems in the supply chain and the shift of consumers to digital sales, the demand for commercial space has not declined, report real estate market executives.
The recent acquisition of the McArthur Glen discount village in Spata by Lamda Development marks the return of investors to retail, a sector that had weakened due to the restrictions of the pandemic. And it is not a Greek phenomenon, since this year an increase in investment in retail stores has been noted both in Europe and in the USA.
Two of the new shopping centers being planned are located in the Ellinikon mega project.
This is the new shopping center on Vouliagmenis Avenue, with an area of 130,000 sq.m., which will be 1.5 times the size of The Mall Athens, and the luxurious Marina Galleria in the southern part, close to the new casino resort as well as the residential units, which are expected to come into operation in 2025.
So far, tenant interest in Vouliagmenis Mall exceeds 80% of the gross leasable area, and by 2023 preliminary agreements are expected to have been signed for 65% of the 85,500 sq.m. area.
The net leasable area of the shopping center on Vouliagmenis Avenue amounts to 85,500 m2, an investment of 300-400 million euros, while the Marina Galleria will be an investment of 100-125 million euros, with a net leasable area of 19,000 m2.
The management of Lamda Development has made it clear that the shopping center sector will be autonomous with the aim of the public listing of Lamda Malls on the Stock Exchange, expecting to obtain liquidity of 340-370 million euros, which will finance the investment in Ellinikon.
The company plans to contribute the new malls under development in Elliniko to Lamda Malls, through Lamda Ellinikon Mall Holdings.
Lykovrysi and Salamis
Still waiting is the new shopping center of Panagiotis Konstantinou, owner of Athens Metro Mall on Vouliagmenis Avenue, in the area of the Municipalities of Metamorfosi and Lykovrysi – Pefki with a total area of 75,052.44 sq.m.
The budget is close to 94 million euros and will include: shopping center, shops and department stores, refreshments and dining areas, sports center and playground, park, studios, cinemas, multi-purpose hall. The leasable area will amount to approximately 40,000 sq.m.
At the same time, the Regional Council of the Attica Region approved the environmental conditions of the investment for the creation of a new shopping center in Salamina – an investment of 30 million euros.
The operator of the investment is the supermarket company Galaxias (Pente SA), which intends to build and operate the new Salamina Shopping Center on Aiantiou Avenue.
The property has an area of 36,404 sq.m. and the total coverage will amount to 5,688.75 sq.m. The Salamina mall will host, in addition to a Galaxias supermarket, commercial shops and a summer cinema.
At the same time, Trade Estates, the real estate arm of the Fourlis group, is proceeding with the construction of a series of new commercial parks that are being developed in Attica, Patras and Crete.
In detail, the portfolio of Trade Estates, which already includes retail parks both in Greece (Thessaloniki, Agios Ioannis Rentis, Piraeus) and abroad (Bulgaria and Cyprus), will add 4 new malls in Patras (on the property of the former ABEX, on Akti Dymaion), Heraklion (near the airport), Spata (opposite Smart Park) and Chalandri (Doukisis Placentia Street) where the companyP has entered into a strategic partnership with the Dutch company Ten Brinke Hellas by jointly developing the commercial parks in question.
Once the projects are completed, the commercial parks will be acquired by Trade Estates, as was the case with the retail park at the junction of Kifisos and Piraeus streets, in Moschato with users AB Vassilopoulos, McDonald’s, LC Waikiki, Moustakas, as well as the first store of the Polish chain Pepco.
AB Vassilopoulos and McDonald’s will also be the users of the Chalandri property.
The company’s fifth (new) retail park will be located in Ellinikon.
It is an investment of 55-60 million euros with an area of 44,000 sq.m. of which 14,000 sq.m. will be leased by IKEA and Intersport group companies.
Besides, both indoor food markets in Thessaloniki and Athens will have commercial uses.
The first, the Modiano Market which has been reconstructed and will be delivered in the next few days for use. The emblematic Thessaloniki landmark, founded by Eli Modianos, in 1922 is today run by the Fais Group.
The construction of the Food Hall in the portico of Arsakeio Megaron is also on track, where it will function as a multi-purpose venue for the promotion of the Greek Mediterranean diet.
The people responsible for the project are Legendary Foods led by Aris Kefalogiannis, former shareholder and founder of the Gaea olive and olive oil industry, brand strategist Petros Oikonomidis, former banker Vangelis Kontzias, while the Oikonomou shipbuilding family also has a stake.
Meanwhile, the Attica department store at City Link in the center of Athens will expand by 2,000 sq.m. on the 5th floor of the building, as the handover from Piraeus Bank is imminent.
Based on the data of real estate services company Proprius, which represents Cushman & Wakefield in Greece, the stock of shopping centers in the domestic market exceeds 610,000 m2, with the ratio of square meters per inhabitant in our country being very low, a little over 60 sq.m., according to 2019 data.
At the same time in Italy and Spain the corresponding ratio reaches 212 and 203 sq.m. respectively, while in Sweden it reaches 665 sq.m. per 1,000 inhabitants.
The lion’s share is held by Attica with 353,000 sq.m.
The future of the property in Votanikos
AEP Eleonas (Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank) has acquired the property of the unfinished shopping center in Votanikos after the collapse of Babis Vovos-Diethnis Techniki. It would be adjacent to the planned Panathinaikos stadium in the area as part of the Double Redevelopment of Votanikos – Alexandra Avenue. The future of the property will become clear when the Double Redevelopment project begins to be implemented. It is recalled that a memorandum was concluded but not implemented between AEP Eleonas and Hines. Based on the existing Presidential Decree, 52,000 sq.m. can be developed on the property.
Athens Heart rescue plan
The fate of Athens Heart is currently being studied by Premia Properties AEEAP, in collaboration with National Bank. The bank is in fact the owner of the shopping center at Piraeus 180, near the Tavros district, since it is the sole creditor of the special purpose company (Doreco) to which Athens Heart belongs.
It is recalled that Doreco was left out of the consolidation agreement of Pasal Development (now Premia Properties AEEAP).
The scenario being considered in order to find a solution to Doreco’s debt, amounting to 55 million euros, foresees a “haircut” of its borrowing to 15.7 million euros.
In addition, Premia is being considered to acquire the neighboring plot of land from National Bank and where an additional property of 3,200 sq.m. can be built, which will operate in conjunction with Athens Heart (22,000 sq.m.), adding entertainment venues.