"We are proud to have developed such a world-class facility andbelieve that it will transform shopping here," says Shalom Mor,manager of GTC Croatia, the firm behind the ambitious project. GTCCroatia, a subsidiary of Globe Trade Centre SA, holds a 70%interest in Avenue Mall, one of several ventures the firm isinvolved in throughout the country.

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Avenue Mall is being billed as Croatia's inaugural "thirdgeneration" retail center, meaning that the property meets globalstandards for architecture, construction and materials; has secureda high level of tenancy; and that it goes beyond a typical retailasset by incorporating various forms of entertainment as well as asupermarket. The latter element is a 40,000-sf Konzum Supermarketwhose ownership committed to 20 years. Most of the Avenue Mallleases have terms of at least 10 years, providing a measure ofstability to the project, according to GTC Croatia.

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As exclusive leasing agents, Colliers Internationalprofessionals were upbeat about the preleasing activity at AvenueMall; with lead broker Ivana Bozicevic calling the 100% mark "agreat achievement," particularly given the complement of trendyretailers. "We are especially proud to have secured Inditex brandsZara and Bershka, which will open their first store in Croatia inAvenue Mall," adds Bozicevic.

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Other attractions include a nine-screen cinema providing 1,800seats, a 500-seat food court and a variety of bars and restaurantspositioned throughout the property. Servicing the Greater Zagrebpopulation of 800,000 people, the Avenue Mall operation is expectedto generate net annual rental income exceeding $13 million USD.

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Besides Croatia, the GTC Group is active in such Central andEastern European markets as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary,Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The developer hasbuilt and presently owns more than 2.15 million sf of netcommercial space, and has land holdings that can yield another 1.5million sf.

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