New Omilos CEO focuses on finalizing leases for Oradea and Iasi, includes turnover rent agreements

Newsroom 01/06/2009 | 16:30

Kilbane, who came from Ukraine where he worked for Cushman and Wakefield as chief operating officer, has made leasing in the two Omilos projects his priority. “It is the most challenging thing for developers now, in other countries as well, because retail demand across the region has dropped significantly,” he says.
The first phases of Omilos's retail projects in Iasi and Oradea have already been completed, with 90 percent occupancy in Iasi and 85 percent in Oradea. “The last few units are under negotiation and by Q4 of this year Oradea will be 95 percent leased. The second phase of the project in Oradea is 40 percent under heads of terms,” says Kilbane.
The second phase of Omilos's retail project in Oradea is currently under construction, with an expected delivery between March and May next year. Its retail project in Iasi, which should reach 150,000 sqm of leasable area when finished, is bigger than the Oradea project, and will require EUR 175 million of investment in total. With the first phase of the project already open, Omilos is on the point of selling some of the land to a sports retailer which would build a big box unit there. “Certain plots there are available for sale, others for rent. The next phases could take two-three years to be finished,” says Kilbane, adding that the developer is redesigning the next phases to suit the new market demand.
“Retailers decide early when picking their locations, so they could make decisions 12-18 months in advance. It is not unusual to have a retail project 40-60 percent pre-leased before the start of construction. But in this market, a lot of retailers need to see the project under construction. Retailers are signing the heads of terms but then taking a longer period to negotiate the lease,” Kilbane explains.
Omilos's Era Shopping Park in Iasi was opened in September last year, when the Carrefour unit, Altex store and shopping galleria were inaugurated. The park also includes a Praktiker store. The project in Oradea was opened in March this year, with a Bricostore, Carrefour, shopping galleria and Media Galaxy unit. The developer, which has secured bank financing for both its projects, expects to invest EUR 300 million in expanding them in the next few years.
Corina Saceanu

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