Northern Ireland

Parkergreen International wins huge shop finance deal

A Newry property company has secured a a huge financing deal to help fund part of its development of a new shopping complex in Slovakia.

Two banks, based in Slovakia and Austria, have agreed to lend 40m euros to Parkergreen International for the project in Tvarna.

The site for the new 100m euros centre was acquired by the company in 2008.

Parkergreen International, set up by property developer Gerard O'Hare, owns the Quays Shopping Centre in Newry.

Mr O'Hare said that he had every confidence in the new project.

"Trnava is 30 to 40 minutes drive from Slovakia's capital, Bratislava, where we have our central European office.

Vibrant

"It is a vibrant university city which is also the location of the largest ever foreign investment in the county by Peugeot Citroen Group, who in the last two years have created 3,000 jobs close to our site.

"The area is however, currently under-provided in terms of retail."

He added that he believed the finished centre would provide employment for 2,000 people.

"Plans are now in place to commence work on site in September 2010 with the opening of 90 stores in Phase One in November 2011.

"Tesco has signed as the anchor tenant and many other top European brand names are among the other 80% of available space either already signed or in advance negotiations."

The banks in the funding syndicate are Slovenska Sporitelna which is owned by Erste Bank in Vienna and VUB which is owned by Intesa Sanpaolo in Italy.

It has become increasingly difficult in reccent years for developers to secure finance for commericial property projects as this has been one of the sectors worst hit in the international downturn.

Parkergreen International also owns Fairgreen in Carlow, Milford Shopping Centre in Connecticut as well as many other commercial and residential projects across Central and Eastern Europe.

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