US-based Taurus opens €170m Ankara mall after adding office
PIE Magazine - Boston-based Taurus Investment is to open its first shopping mall in Turkey in the capital of Ankara this month with an investment volume of €170m. The project succeeded after addition of office space.
After two years of development, the Ankara Shopping Mall will open on 29 October with an occupancy rate of 90%, reports German property specialist newspaper Immobilien Zeitung. The occupancy level is not perfect, Taurus’ David Czyzweski told the newspaper, but satisfactory considering the market situation and the asset’s turbulent development. He cited signs of saturation on Ankara’s retail market noting several malls in Istanbul with empty upper storeys and adding that the project could only be realised after addition of an office tower. The centre has been built at an investment volume of €170m. “Some €25m came from our investors, and €50m from land owners in the form of land and capital,” he said.
Planning for the centre started in 2006, when Taurus approached a Turkish partner with a plan for a centre of 60,000 sq.m. GLA, But this was halted by the onset of the global financial crisis when tenants bailed out and financing became difficult. Taurus changed the plan, cutting down on retail space and adding a 15,000 sq.m., 108 m.-high office tower. “We sold that from the planning sheet,” Czyzweski told IZ. With a larger equity stake from the tower sale proceeds, the firm got financing for the revised, smaller mall project. Asset manager of the mall will be avm mfi partners, the Turkish joint venture of Essen-based mall developer mfi.
Taurus Investment Holding, founded and run by German brothers Lorenz and Günter Reibling, also runs four German funds with assets of around €700m, plus others focused elsewhere. Its investors are high-net-worth investors, roughly split one-third German, one-third American and one-sixth Israelis. The group has offices in Athens, Buenos Aires, Dallas, Istanbul, Jacksonville, London, New York, Orlando, Toronto and India. Last month, Prime Development, owned and run by German investors, opened the €125m Prime Mall in Gaziantep, Turkey’s eighth largest city, located near the Syrian border. pie