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Shopping centers take over Turkey

ADANA - İZMİR – Anatolia News Agency | 3/8/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Large shopping malls continue to pop all around Turkey. Not just in large metropolitan cities, but even in the smaller Anatolian ones.

Large shopping malls continue to pop up all around Turkey, not just in large metropolitan cities, but even in the smaller Anatolian ones. Some are extremely happy with the income shopping centers bring, while others think the negative impact of shopping malls on local stores is too unbearable.

Rönesans Gayrimenkul, a real estate company that has established four shopping centers in Turkey so far, is planning to set up 16 new shopping malls in various cities within the next five years.

Rönensans is among the top three contractors in Turkey, said Ahmet Sarı, project manager of Rönesans shopping centers projects.

The company has so far built Optimum shopping centers in Istanbul and Ankara as well as in Sanko Park in Gaziantep and Malatya Park in Malatya.

Shopping center construction in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir still continues, said Sarı. Some 13 shopping centers are also in the project stage, he added. Optimum Outlet and Entertainment Center in Adana is one of the shopping centers that is currently under construction in the southern city of Adana.

The project, which is being built on a 33,000 square meters of land, is expected to provide employment for 2,000 people, according to Sarı. Besides stores, the center will include five bank branches, a movie theater and both closed and open parking lots. The shopping center is expected to open on April 2011.

Meanwhile, not everyone is happy to see this increasing cluster of shopping malls.

Due to the increasing number of shopping centers, many street stores, once known as the best shopping strips, remain empty, said Mesut Güleroğlu, from the chamber of real estate consultants and brokers in İzmir.

“Although some industries began to see revival, still many entrepreneurs prefer to wait a little longer before making an investment. Being a store owner in İzmir’s Alsancak, Karşıyaka, Bornova and Hatay districts lost its popularity and many stores are empty seeking new tenants,” said Güleroğlu. “That trend has partially been generated due to the fact that people still fear making an investment. Another reason for plenty of ‘for sale’ or ‘for rent signs’ in former shopping strips is the advantages offered to potential investors by shopping centers,” he said.

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