ECONOMY

Stara Zagora mall plans

SOFIA (SeeNews) – Bulgarian and foreign investors will spend an estimated 230 million levs (117 million euros) to build a business park in the country’s sixth-largest city of Stara Zagora by 2009, the project coordinator Evgeni Zhekov said yesterday. The business park will cover a total area of 26 hectares of which seven hectares will be a commercial zone, Zhekov, who owns part of the land, told SeeNews. The first stage of the project, scheduled to be finished by the end of 2007, will cost 100 million levs (51 million euros) and will include construction of two hypermarkets, a multiplex cinema and a parking lot. Electronics retailer Technopolis plans to spend some 5 million levs to build its hypermarket in the business park that should be ready by July. Bulgarian do-it-yourself stores operator Doverie Brico will invest 10 million levs to build a Mr Bricolage store in the park, Zhekov said. The biggest project in the first phase is the construction of a multiplex cinema of Bulgaria’s cinema operator Alexandra Group, which will cost between 60 million and 70 million levs (31-36 million euros), he added. The three investors will share the expenses for the construction of a parking lot for 1,000 cars, which will cost 3 to 5 million levs (1.6-2.6 million euros). The second stage of the project should add some 18,000 square meters of retail area, 27,000 square meters of office space and more than 60,000 square meters of storehouses to the business park. It should be finished by November 2009, Zhekov said, but he could not name the investors for the second stage. Stara Zagora’s location in the center of Bulgaria makes it a suitable location for distribution hubs and that is why the planned storehouse area is so large, Zhekov added. Zhekov expects that the companies will return their investment in four to seven years. Germany’s Lindner is currently building a 150 million lev (77-million-euro) business park in the Bulgarian capital Sofia with a total area of 220,000 square meters and built-up area of 140,000 square meters.