Investors don't come out of nowhere. You need to attract them. You need to talk to them, show and explain the benefits and showcase the advantages. It is no coincidence that the Minsk World multifunctional complex, which is being built in the Belarusian capital, has become one of the show stoppers at the MAPIC international retail property market event that has opened in Moscow.
MAPIC Russia is the largest retail property exhibition in Russia and the CIS bringing together all market players. This year it opened at the Crocus Expo and is being held for the 18th time. Among the exhibitors are investment organizations, commercial real estate management companies, development and design organizations, trade and business centers, retail, entertainment, catering, and also suppliers of special equipment, gear and information technologies for real estate.
It is no coincidence that one of the leading developers of Belarus, Dana Holdings, is taking part in such a prestigious expo forum. Dana Mall, which is part of the Mayak Minska complex, has long been one of the calling cards of the Belarusian capital. It features all major Belarusian apparel and footwear manufacturers and also many international brands. It was Dana Mall that has attracted to Belarus the Inditex Group of Companies, the owner of the world's famous brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Oysho, Stradivarius, Bershka.
The mall has become known for its out-of-the-box promo campaigns and amazing concert and entertainment events. A Christmas tree decorated with elements of animation and special illumination, which the mall traditionally mounts every year, rivals the world's best shopping centers in terms of beauty and scale!
Now the company is building a new shopping and entertainment center Mara Mall in the Minsk World multifunctional complex. This project was presented at the MAPIC Russia trade show and caught the eye of investors - many would like to get such high-quality retail premises and in such a location! In the Belarusian language ‘mara' means a dream, and it is simply impossible to come up with a more accurate name for the country's biggest mall.
By the way, the trade show in Moscow is expected to give an additional impetus to the Mara Mall project due to business contacts. The company's stand was visited by Yerlan Umbetov, Director General of the company Mega Ice, and his deputy Yekaterina Karaseva. Here is what Yekaterina told our correspondent:
“Our company offers turnkey solutions for malls. If retail outlets manage to get customers to stay longer in their premises, they can grow their sales.
Turnkey solutions in this case imply the construction and operation of a huge ice rink in the mall. This is not just a skating rink, but a well-fitted arena for ice shows, concerts or sporting events.
“We were curious to learn about the construction of a new huge mall in the Belarusian capital, in the Minsk World multifunctional complex. In this mall, which was named Mara Mall, our company will build a unique ice rink with a modern design. Statistics show that such a point of attraction contributes to an increase in visits by 30%, helps increase the number of regular customers and, as a consequence, provides an increase in sales. Overall, the profitability of the mall grows up to 40%. We highly estimate the prospects of Mara Mall and will be glad to take part in the project. We are convinced that this shopping center will become a new landmark of Minsk and a profitable investment project,” Ekaterina Karaseva said.
There is no doubt that traffic at the Mara Mall will be high. First, these will be the thousands of families who will become residents of this new area of the city. Secondly, these will be the thousands of employees of companies that will be located in the International Financial Center, which is currently under construction. Thirdly, this is an excellent location, a well-developed public transport system and a metro station next to the mall which will ensure a large number of visitors. The attractiveness of the entire complex and its main shopping center will only improve with the time.
The name of the anchor retailer in the new shopping center is still kept secret. A supermarket of a popular Belarusian chain has already been opened in the first shopping center, which was built in the Emirates quarter in the Minsk World complex - a good place will never stay idle!
By the way, another big shopping center will be built near the World Dance quarter. Its project was also presented at the exhibition in Moscow.
The developer also offered another interesting option for commercial real estate - shopping centers at the first level of multi-storey parking lots. Two such parking lots will be built in quarters 3 and 13 of the Minsk World complex. Another one is almost ready for commissioning on Makayenka Street, next to the Park Chelyuskintsev complex. The combination of parking spaces and retail areas is the most successful solution for big cities. It is especially convenient both for the residents of the nearby houses and for the customers of the shopping center.
According to the National Statistics Committee of Belarus, in 2021, Belarusians have spent around 40% of their income on food products. In Q4 2020, expenses on consumer needs per household came at almost 75%. Food products account for 38.6% and non-food products – for 34.5%.
Understandably, retail trade and services are the most attractive spheres for entrepreneurs in Minsk.
Investors are primarily interested in new multifunctional complexes, such as Minsk World. Director General of the YE'S aparthotel chain Irina Ivashkevich studied the project in detail at the MAPIC expo. The company runs hotels in various cities of Russia and Kazakhstan.
“Of course, the Belarusian market is also very attractive, which is why we have studied opportunities available in Minsk. Our aparthotels meet the relevant international requirements. The Minsk World complex is a perfect site for us to enter the Belarusian market. It is a large-scale and very interesting project. The complex will be home to thousands of families and will have great infrastructure, including the International Financial Center and several shopping malls. Of course, the new neighborhood of the Belarusian capital that is called ‘a city within the city' will draw residents and visitors of Minsk. This will be a new landmark of the city and we would love to do business in such a convenient, beautiful, and economically attractive place,” Irina Ivashkevich said.
The real estate developer already has successful experience – the fully-finished Mayak Minska complex, where prices for commercial premises have already doubled. Some investors bought four or five commercial premises to lease them, and now they have a stable – and rather high – income thanks to this. The Minsk World complex that features plenty of commercial premises is another economically attractive investment project.
Vibor Mulic, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the real estate development company, talked about Minsk World's appeal for customers.
“Our company builds not simply residential buildings but multifunctional complexes in Minsk. We pay close attention to public and commercial premises. For instance, in addition to schools, kindergartens, and clinics the Minsk World complex will have a lot of premises fit for doing business. The international finance center will become Minsk's largest business venue. Several shopping centers will be built there, including the country's largest shopping and entertainment center Mara Mall, as well as multiple commercial premises fit for shops, cafes, and the sphere of services as part of residential buildings. It is a new format of the urban environment where everything necessary for a comfortable life is within a walking distance.”
At the MAPIC expo the company presented the projects that had already been implemented such as the shopping and entertainment center Dana Mall in the Mayak Minska complex and new facilities being built as part of the Minsk World complex. The real estate developer's booth attracted a lot of attention from representatives of the Russian private sector.
Vibor Mulic stressed: “The visitors were particularly interested in the shopping and entertainment center Mara Mall as well as commercial premises on the first floors of car parks. I'd like to note that on the whole commercial real estate in Minsk generates strong interest of the Russian private sector. Attractive prices, high profitability, and short payback periods are the most important factors for a successful business.”