ParkLake to open in one week. What to expect from the new shopping center in Bucharest

Newsroom 24/08/2016 | 15:25

ParkLake will officially open to the public next week, on September 1, some nine years after it was first announced. The EUR 180 million project is the largest mall to open this year in Romania and with its 70,000 sqm gross leasable area (GLA) it will also rank among the largest shopping centers in the capital.

ParkLake is located next to the IOR Park in Bucharest and it boasts some 200 stores. The tenant mix include Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Pull&Bear, Zara Home and Oysho – all of them belonging to the Spanish fashion retailer Inditex Group, the LPP Group with all its five brands (Reserved, Mohito, Sinsay, House and Cropp), H&M, Debenhams, Koton, Hervis, World Class, Collective, Levi’s, Motivi, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant &, Lacoste, CCC, Springfield, Lee Cooper, KVL, TimeOut, Geox, Il Passo, Aldo, Desigual, Swarovski, Khulto, Fossil, Teilor, Douglas, Sephora, Mac, Yves Rocher, Kendra and a Carrefour hypermarket. It will also host the first local Forever 21 store to be opened by the American giant on the local market.

The project will also feature generous entertainment areas such as food courts and playgrounds and the owners have said that they plan to make the most of the proximity to the IOR Park by including various outdoor venues. The two developers behind the project, Portuguese Sonae Sierra and Irish Caelum have ambitious plans for the shopping center which they say “will offer a new perspective on shopping and leisure activities in Bucharest”. All in all, they are betting on some 12 million visitors in the first year, Sonae Sierra representatives have previously said.


A shopping mall with a long story

ParkLake is representative of some of the real estate projects announced prior to the start of 2008- 2009 financial crisis and later resuscitated. The shopping mall was first announced in 2007 and was supposed to be the largest shopping mall in Bucharest at that time. Caelum Development had plans to invest EUR 500 million in the project which initially was supposed to have a gross leasable area of 110,000 sqm. One year later, the Irish developer reached the first joint venture agreement with Sonae Sierra but this was later canceled.

In 2011 Caelum Development announced it will resume the project and will invest EUR 250 million in the future shopping mall but works on the site did not advance much. The project was resumed in 2012 when Sonae Sierra and Caelum Development announced they closed a 50:50 joint venture agreement to begin works on the project in its current form.

Simona Bazavan

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