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BUCHAREST-North Real Estate Opportunities Fund plans on making its second investment in Romania with the euro 60-million ($79.8-million) development of the Bucovina Shopping City in Suceava. The 592,020-sf Bucovina shopping center is scheduled to open in April 2008 and will be the largest shopping center in the region.

Retail tenants are already lining up for space in the center. French supermarket operator Carrefour Hypermarket and German furniture retailer Mobexpert have signed up to anchor it. The center will also include a 129,168 sf retail gallery with more than 80 stores.

Only last week the retail investor bought the Sibiu European Retail Park in Sibui for euro 83 million ($110 million). “We are optimistic about the prospects and growing prosperity of Suceava,” says Robert Provine, managing director of NREO. “Bucovina Shopping City will be a truly regional retail center, serving both the city of Suceava and the surrounding counties.”

A recent report by Cushman & Wakefield predicted that Romania and Bulgaria will witness a 150% growth in commercial space between now and the end of 2007. The report said: “The two states are set to get integrated with the European Union in 2007. Romania, with a population of 22 million, will be the second biggest market in Central and East Europe, after Poland, and projects of 560,000 sm are scheduled to be opened.”

It added: “Romania has one of the most reduced stocks of spaces in commercial centers, which offers a very good opportunity for international investors and retailers.”

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