Tuesday 24 October 2017

Ballymore postpones phase two of Slovakian development

The Eurovea shopping centre and apartment development
The Eurovea shopping centre and apartment development

Laura Noonan in Bratislava

IRISH developer Ballymore has sold more than 60pc of the high-end apartments in its €450m Eurovea project in Bratislava -- but it doesn't plan to build Phase Two of the Slovakian scheme for at least two years.

The details emerged at the weekend as a 100,000-strong crowd turned out to celebrate the launch of central Europe's biggest development.

Eurovea's light-filled shopping centre has been open for several weeks and is almost fully occupied, while Ballymore will begin filling the development's 24,500sq m of office space over the coming months.

The riverside development also features a public park, which was handed over to the city of Bratislava this weekend, as well as a Sheraton Hotel and a nine-screen cinema.

"Eurovea pulls together everything we have learned about large-scale development over the last 25 years," said Ballymore founder Sean Mulryan, adding that Bratislava was in a "strong position" to grow after its recent accession to the euro.

Ballymore began building the project in the headier economic times of 2006, but director Paul Keogh said demand for the scheme's 235 apartments had been "strong" despite the recession. "It's the only high-end property on the market here, so there's a lot of interest," he added.

More than 60pc of the scheme has been sold off the plans, mainly to locals, with prices ranging from about €280,000 to more than €1m. Ballymore will kick off a US roadshow in July in a bid to attract Slovakian expats who want a base or an investment back home.

Phase Two of Eurovea envisages another substantial tranche of apartments further down the riverbank.

"If the overall European market wasn't in recession we would be beginning that now, but as it is we'll probably wait about two years," Mr Keogh said.

Eurovea's retail complex has secured big name tenants like Nike, Next, Debenhams and Mango, as well as the region's largest Marks & Spencer.

"We had to do deals [to get retailers], but there's not as much immediate pain as in Ireland or the UK," Mr Keogh said.

Irish Independent

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