The commercial gallery alone will occupy 39,000 sqm, while 13,000 sqm will host the food court and entertainment area. A supermarket will rent 1,500 sqm while furniture shops will occupy 5,000 sqm. The parking lot will have 2,250 places. The market value of the project, built with investment fund Lewis Charles, is estimated at EUR 300 million, with a yield of 7 percent. “We might sell the project in 2010 or 2011,” said Andrei Panculescu, director of Westhill Romania. The money was raised from bank loans of EUR 100 million and company funds.
He said that 49 of the rentals have already been precontracted and the mall in Ploiesti might be extended by another lettable 20,000 sqm, with an estimated investment of EUR 30 million. To rent the spaces, Westhill is working with Cushman Wakefield and King Sturge.
In the next five years, the company plans to invest EUR 500 million in projects in Romania. “We've already acquired six hectares near Ploiesti and we are in talks for purchasing more in order to develop a presidential and office mix at the location. We also want plots in the center of Romania to develop two more malls,” said Panculescu. For the investment, the company plans to assign EUR 100 million, in partnerships with local investors, while for the construction of the two planned malls, Westhill will spend around EUR 250 million.
It chose Ploiesti as the first site for its projects because the city is “the most important railway and road hub in Romania.”