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Interview: Expansion of Shop Park Retail Parks Across Serbia

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As Shop Park retail parks rapidly expand across Serbia, we spoke with their CEO, Dražena Čeh, to learn about their latest developments.

The Shop Park concept was created by developer Bermilton when they opened their first retail park project in the Serbian town of Gornji Milanovac in 2020. Due to its impressive success, with a 98% occupancy rate, they are now expanding their retail park network to the towns Aranđelovac and Loznica. In the next five years, they plan to develop an additional two to three retail parks.

Here is how the new developments and the Serbian retail park market are progressing according to Dražena Čeh, CEO of Bermilton:

You have recently started construction on your new retail park project in Aranđelovac. Please tell us more about the project and how it is progressing.

Groundworks have started for the upcoming Shop Park in Aranđelovac

We have started with the groundworks and we will soon begin assembling the concrete structures, followed by covering the building with sandwich panels.

Spanning across 10,000 square meters, Shop Park Aranđelovac will offer a diverse mix of shopping, entertainment, and services. Currently, 80% of the retail space has been leased, with a mix of top-tier international and local brands. The remaining 20% will focus on service-related tenants, ensuring visitors a complete and well-rounded experience.

Our retail park is strategically situated just 2km from the center of Aranđelovac and 50 meters from the future intersection of the new Vožd Karađorđa highway. It is expected to serve a catchment area of approximately 210,000 inhabitants and attract many local and international tourists.

We expect to finalize and open the retail park by November 2024.

Why have you chosen the city of Aranđelovac to develop your project?

Aranđelovac, Serbia

We have decided to develop our new retail park in Aranđelovac for three pivotal reasons:

1. Lack of Existing Retail Parks:

Currently, Aranđelovac does not have a retail park, providing a unique opportunity to fill a significant market gap.

2. Tourism Growth:

Substantial investments in tourism are being made, including the construction of a new 20,000-square-meter hotel next to the existing famous Hotel Izvor and Aqua Park.

Additionally, another large hotel from a well-known branded chain is under construction, along with a new stadium and a residential complex Bekaton. This complex of over 10,000 square meters will include apartments, villas with pools, a wellness center, an artificial lake, and many green parks.

3. Future Infrastructure:

The planned construction of a highway to Aranđelovac, expected to be finished by 2026, will further enhance the city’s accessibility. This highway will allow visitors to reach Arandjelovac in just a 30 to 40-minute drive from Belgrade.

All these investments will ensure that Aranđelovac will become one of Serbia’s top tourist destinations within the next three years. Due to our strategic location, we are quite confident we will be an attractive destination for both locals and tourists.

After Aranđelovac, where will you expand the Shop Park network?

Shop-Park-Arandjelovac
Shop Park Aranđelovac

We have plans to develop a new 18,500-square-meter Shop Park in Loznica, set to open in late 2025.

Furthermore, we aim to establish two to three retail parks over the next five years, with negotiations currently underway. A regular and stable cash flow is the key factor in our expansion strategy, and the long-term stability of tenants’ businesses is a cornerstone of our vision.

This ambitious expansion will solidify Shop Park’s presence across Serbia, providing a platform for international brands to establish multiple locations within the country.

In your opinion, how is the retail park market evolving in Serbia?

Shop Park Gornji Milanovac

I believe that every city in Serbia will soon have a retail park because this concept has proven to be the best.

Since our beginning, foot traffic and demand for retail space have definitely increased. That is why we continue to expand the development of retail parks.

The ideal tenant mix has not changed much. However, entertainment content must be included now to make retail parks even more attractive to visitors. Inspired by the success of our first project in Gornji Milanovac, our new retail parks will include restaurants adjacent to a children’s playground, creating a family-friendly environment.

Additionally, we are committed to organizing various events and campaigns to foster social interaction and support the local community.

Key Takeaway 

The ongoing growth and success of Shop Park retail parks highlight the increasing demand for such developments across Serbia.

As Bermilton continues to expand its network, the future looks promising for both the developer and the cities benefiting from these comprehensive retail and entertainment hubs.

To learn more about Shop Park leasing opportunities, visit shop-park.rs

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