The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is becoming an equity partner in the development of a new retail and entertainment centre in the Croatian city of Pula with a €10 million investment via a co-investment with the Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF).
With the funds the EBRD and ENEF will become equity holders in EECF, the ultimate owner of Trgovački centar Max Stoja d.o.o., a limited liability company incorporated in Croatia for the purpose of the development and management of a retail and entertainment centre in Pula.
The new complex will be built on the site of a brownfield cement quarry and create a shopping centre with approximately 30,000 square metres of gross lease area and 830 parking spaces, according to EBRD.
The facility will contribute to fulfilling the unmet demand for international standard retail facilities in regional cities in Croatia and attract quality tenants to the local market.
Pula is a seafront city in western Croatia and the largest city of the county of Istria. Famous for its prehistoric excavations and the remains of Roman settlements, the city of some 60,000 inhabitants is a major tourist destination. In addition, Pula is also an important port.
Vedrana Jelušić Kašić, EBRD Regional Director, Croatia, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia, said: “We are pleased to become a partner in this important investment. It is good for Pula, good for the environment, good for retailers and good for customers. Creating a new, state-of-the-art shopping and entertainment centre will go a long way to meet the demand for first class services.”
Claudia Pendred, EBRD Director, Property and Tourism, added: “This project is important for Pula. The new retail and entertainment centre will help expand the tourism infrastructure and thus extend the tourism season by providing an additional entertainment offering at the destination.”
Stevan Muidža, Director of Trgovački Centar Max Stoja d.o.o., commented: “The project was developed in full co-operation with the local community and will create opportunities for local small businesses to present their local products to a wider consumer base.”
The EBRD signed its first project in Croatia in 1994 and has invested over €3.6 billion in 191 projects to date. The Bank’s activities cover all areas of the economy but are especially strong in the infrastructure, corporate, financial institutions and energy sectors.
The Bank’s strategic plan for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration.