The second half of 2009 did not show many new actions from retail market point of view. The crisis had already changed the playing cards of developers, therefore the situation of market players did not vary significantly in contrast with the first half of the year.
In Ãjbuda, Allee (45,000 sq m) shopping mall was opened exactly according to plan in November. Looking back, it still has an unbroken record of success, which can mainly be explained by its central location.
The triumph of Allee is unquestionable from an investorâs point of view as well, as nearly 2 months after the handover, from many inquirers, finally Allianz SE bought a 50% stake in the property.
Among the developments that were supposed to be finished by the end of 2009, Corvin Atrium and Europeum Hotel and Retail Complex have been postponed. Although Europeum reached shell and core status, the opening has been postponed in absence of adequate quantity and quality of tenants. Apart from this, the hotel operator, Marriott, will certainly open the 4-star Courtyard Hotel with 235 rooms in spring of 2010.
Among office developments comprising small retail units, a total of 2,200 sq m of Eiffel Square Office Building was added
to the retail supply, from which Costa Coffee leased 300 sq m, while newspaper distributor chain Inmedio rented 260 sq m.
Starbucks, market leader in coffee bars operating in the same price range, may also enter the market soon, according to market rumours.
Costa, owned by British restaurant-, hotel- and club-owner Whitbread Group PLC, aims to lay the foundation of its Eastern
Europe expansion firmly in 2010 by having given a cash offer to the acquisition of the Polish company Coffeeheaven at yearâs
end. They offer 24 penny (~74 HUF) for each share, and would take the lead in the operations of 90 existing coffee shops, 4 of
them in Hungary.
Since November, coffee fans have been given a chance to refresh themselves in BookCafe as well, which is in a very prestigious
location, in the restored Paris Department Store, operated by Alexandra Bookstore.
The âbooks & coffeeâ concept is not a new-fangled idea, but the method of selling books while offering other complementary services for customers at the same time is a continuously growing phenomenon.
First KÃKI Terminal (50,000 sq m) is expected to be handed over among the mixed-used developments in Budapest, and will reach shell and core status at the end of 2010, according to the developer. The other projects have been partly rescheduled compared to plans of the previous half year, as follows.
The small retail units along the streets of Budapest were put in a more difficult position than shopping malls by the crisis.
Several unique initiatives have been started across the capital to lure customers. Noticeable as a new phenomenon, the number of participants and the significance of theme streets have increased. This is also owing to the fact that local authorities offer generous discounts to those tenants who fit out their retail units in accordance with their business profile requirements.
âDesign District Budapestâ? has been founded recently by linking together the design shops of the 5th district, embracing little boutiques selling unique fashion goods, home accessories and other design specialties. Their main goal was to tempt some of the mall shoppers back again to the streets of the city centre. The traders of KirÃ¡ly Street have joined forces as well to
popularize the area by offering collective commercial sales and campaigns in order to occupy a worthy position in the system of
Retail catering units have also chosen cooperation instead of competition. The bars and restaurants of HajÃ³s Street advertise
themselves together despite their different profiles, hoping that this way they will be able to follow the lead of RÃ¡day Street, Liszt Ferenc Square, or JÃ³kai Square.
The boom of downtown retail units is in close correlation with regional development and positive changes in the cityscape.
Development has not stopped in the 11th district in the least, after Allee was completed in Buda. Within the scope of BARTÃK cultural city centre program, at the intersection of BercsÃ©nyi Street and BartÃ³k BÃ©la Street they are bringing back the coffee shop spirit of the 20âs in the following years. Based on the preference system of the local authority, new, differentiated rents have been defined based on business qualities to motivate new galleries, clubs, workshops or quality service providers and restaurants to settle in. In case of meeting all of their criteria, renting a ground-floor, street-front retail unit complying with
European standards and with highly preferred profile could cost as much as 6 â¬/sq m/month on the side of BartÃ³k BÃ©la Street,
close to GellÃ©rt Square.
The local authority in the 2nd district has also worked out an action plan to re-create the centre of Inner-Buda. Upon
completion of community investments, quality transformation and profile changes can be expected for some of the areaâs retail
units. These retailers have also joined together to advance traffic reduction and developments as soon as possible. According to the expectations of the district, the number of baby & mother care shops, quality (childrenâs) bookstores, toy stores, shoe & leather goods shops will increase as a result of gradual changes in shop functions.
To sum up, retailers in the capital are expecting from the rehabilitation of the region to revive ailing high streets, by this
means the shops as well.
Development has not stopped in the countryside either in the recent period. Renovation and creation of pedestrian shopping streets is under development in several larger cities of the countryside, mainly from EU funds/sources.
There were no surprises regarding new shopping malls here either. Dunacenter (12,000 sq m) was handed over in GyÅr,
which is equally owned by CA Immobilien and Holler Ivan Group Real Estate Foundation. Zala Park (17,800 sq m) debuted in Zalaegerszeg as the first development of ConvergenCE outside the capital, creating approximately 250-300 new jobs. Strip mall developers shifted 1-2 years in their development schedule in comparison with the first half of the year. STOP. SHOP projects are continuously keeping pace with Family Centres, although in the end no new malls were delivered in the
second part of 2009.
There has been no major change in retail rents since the first half of the year, as like in other segments, landlords tend to
offer individual discounts and longer rent-free periods to attract anchor-tenants.
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