Arena Mall's owners expect 5 million visitors to the venue next year, up on the current 3 million annual visitors, on average.
“Next year, we will focus on a marketing campaign to increase the catchment area in Piatra Neamt and Focsani, which will lead to an increase in traffic and therefore in sales,” said Ovidiu Budeanu, general manager of Arena City Center, the developer of the project. The mall was built on the premises of a former footwear manufacturing plant.
Arena Mall in Bacau required a EUR 80 million investment from Arena City Center. Late last year, Budeanu sold half of the shopping mall to Portuguese Sonae Sierra, in a deal worth around EUR 45 million, according to media estimates. After sealing the deal, Budeanu said he was planning to increase the leasable size of the mall to some 70,000 sqm by 2010.
Sonae Sierra owns River Plaza shopping mall in Ramnicu Valcea, for which it paid EUR 42 million, and has development plans for Craiova and Ploiesti, a total of EUR 293 million in expected investment. The malls in Craiova and Ploiesti will be opened in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Sonae Sierra has also joined developer Caelum development in building ParkLake Plaza mall in Bucharest.