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GLIWICE, POLAND-Barely a month after opening, the Silesian region’s largest shopping mall has been acquired by a German investor for a price exceeding $175 million. The 470,000-sf Forum Gliwice was developed by Danish firm Braaten+Pedersen in partnership with Quinlan Private Golub. The latter is a venture between Irish-based Quinlan Private and Golub & Co. of Chicago.

“Forum’s strong position in Silesia was confirmed by the fact that most of the commercial space was leased by a large number of prestigious international tenants,” says Malgorzata Trzaskowska, a retail manager for Quinlan Private Golub. Among those setting up shop are such retailers as Benetton, Carrefour, Pierre Cardin, Stradivarius and Triumph. Responding to consumer demand, almost 70% of the 130 stores at the Forum offer some sort of clothing or footwear, says Trzaskowska.

In developing the asset, Quinlan Private Golub made an investment of about $100 million in Forum Gliwice, company officials estimate. The organization is concentrated on building and investing in Central and Eastern Europe, and currently has more than 23 million sf under its purview. QPG’s hands-on approach involves all aspects of real estate investment, including asset and property management for product types including hotels, mixed-use, multi-family, retail and residential. The group retains a substantial presence in Poland even following the Forum Gliwice divestment.

Besides expanding retail choices for residents of Gliwice, whose population is about 200,000, the Forum is considered the region’s first lifestyle center, incorporating dining and entertainment options into the shopping experience. A 13-screen cinema has become an especially popular attraction, says Trzaskowska, while the complex also has a 70,000-sf supermarket, 20,000-sf play area and parking for 1,000 vehicles. The Forum accommodates public transit users as well, notes Trzaskowska, with the mall having been constructed in the city center near the main railway station.

Deka Immobilien has been investing in Poland since 2005, initially pursuing the office sector before considering alternative product types such as retail, a class the firm has focused on in recent years. Deka manages a variety of funds for private investors, and began pursuing the Central and Eastern European regions in 1999.

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