The official opening of the Okhta Mall shopping centre in St. Petersburg, implemented by SRV in cooperation with the Finnish investment fund Russia Invest, will take place today, 27 August. The Okhta Mall project, totalling 140,000 square metres, is one of the largest shopping centres in St. Petersburg and also the largest new retail project in the city to be launched in recent years. The leasable area is total of 78,000 square metres.
“Okhta Mall is our flagship project in Russia and a milestone in the operations of SRV in St. Petersburg. The shopping centre will be unique, not only with regard to its offering, but also in terms of its ecology, because Okhta Mall will be the first shopping centre in Russia to be awarded a LEED GOLD certificate,” explains Juha Pekka Ojala, President & CEO of SRV Group.
Construction work on the shopping centre, a total investment of approximately EUR 200 million, began in autumn 2013. Its modern Scandinavian design was developed by the Finnish architectural bureau, L’Architects Ltd. The main concept of the project has been to adhere to the principles of sustainable development and enable the shopping centre to become the first in Russia to receive a LEED GOLD certificate. The final decision on the granting of the certificate will be made in September. The facility includes two underground levels, which include parking for approximately 700 cars and a hypermarket, and four above-ground stories, which will house over 250 shops with international and Russian brands.
Okhta Mall has been implemented by the SRV Group and the Finnish investment fund Russia Invest, which SRV owns together with other Finnish investors, including Ilmarinen, Sponda, Etera and Onvest. SRV, Ilmarinen and Sponda each own 27% of Russia Invest, Etera 13% and Onvest 6%. SRV’s direct ownership of the Okhta Mall project is 45% and Russia Invest’s 55%.
Over half of premises already leased or reserved
In recent years, the Russian shopping centre market has presented many challenges, and in this light, the leasing of Okhta Mall has gone well.
“At the opening of Pearl Plaza shopping mall in St. Petersburg in 2013, 75% of the premises had been leased and 12 months later 95% had been leased. On the opening weekend, 65% of Okhta Mall’s premises have been leased and for 25% negotiations have advanced to the final stage. At Pearl Plaza, 30% of shops were open at the time of the opening, and now at Okhta approximately 25% will be open, which is the current practice in Russia. By the end of the year, the number of open shops will exceed 50%,” says SRV’s Veli-Matti Kullas, SVP, Project Development in Russia.
The economic slowdown in Russia has lasted longer than expected and the shopping centre leasing market has become increasingly rouble-denominated. As a result, a proportion of Okhta Mall’s lease agreements are also rouble-denominated. This, in turn, increases the exposure of SRV’s associated companies operating in Russia to fluctuations in the rouble exchange rate.
More than half of the leasable area is occupied by anchor tenants, the largest international and Russian retailers, such as Lenta, who opens their first flagship store in Okhta Mall. The most famous international and Russian brands include H&M, Koton, Decathlon, LC Waikiki and Tom Tailor. The Italian brand Terranova and French operator Kiabi will also open their first stores in the city in Okhta Mall.
Over 16% of the total area is given over to forms of entertainment. More than 7,000 square metres are occupied by the flagship cinema chain, KARO, while the family activity park Joki&Joya occupies more than 2,000 square metres, and approximately 1,700 square metres house the city’s first trampoline park, Razgon.
The food court in Okhta Mall includes cafes and restaurants with various concepts, including a family restaurant of over 1,000 square metres, Chaikhana Pahvala, which has a delightful summer terrace. The Children’s goods and shops – area offer a wide range of children’s clothing such as Daughters and Sons, H&M, LC Waikiki, Kiabi, Koton, Gloria Jeans and Decathlon.
Around 1,000 square metres are occupied by Okhta LAB – the first cultural and educational space in a shopping centre in Russia, which will host leading projects in the sphere of education, art, science and business. It will house a branch of one of the oldest libraries in St. Petersburg, the Mayakovsky Central City Public Library, as well as an area for public speeches and discussions on relevant topics by celebrities, experts and leading speakers, along with exhibition space and a co-working area.
Veli-Matti Kullas, SVP, Project Development in Russia, + 358 40 501 5280, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jussi Kuutsa, SVP, Business Operations in Russia, +790 3112 3532, email@example.com
Päivi Kauhanen, SVP, Communications, + 358 50 598 9560, firstname.lastname@example.org
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