The Zsar Outlet Village has finally received building permit to construct a shopping center on 14,500 square meters.
The developer of the project, East Finland Real Estate, also announced that 75% of the leasable space is reserved for premium brands and that construction will start in earnest.
Phase I of the project will cover construction of 12,000 square meters of leasable area, common areas, management offices, and a 947-space parking lot. The feasibility study of the Zsar was done by leading retail property consultancy, FPS Retail Business Consultants.
According to Sami Vainiomäki, the CEO of EFRE, 50% of the leasable space has already been leased to brand partners even before construction is to start. Furthermore, he announced that the architectural design is complete and that everything is set for construction to begin.
“We believe we are in the right place at the right time,” he continued: to drive home the point that Finland is getting in on the recent surge in global retail activity and is now a top prospect for many international brands. These brands, Sami continues, are looking to establish themselves by “opening company flagship stores in Helsinki.”
Zsar Outlet Village is strategically located halfway between Helsinki and St. Petersburg—Europe’s fourth largest city. It will serve the bludgeoning demand of 8.5 mixed Finnish and Russian population within a radius of 200 kilometers. The current phase I construction of 12,000 square meters will be open to the public in 2017 with 65 outlets.
In 2014, Russians made 3 million border crossings at the Vaalimaa checkpoint. Of this number, 74% established that shopping was the primary reason why they were traveling to Finland. The Zsar Village is situated only 300 meters from this checkpoint and so will optimize the unique opportunity to provide premium brands to a welcoming conclave of enthusiastic shoppers.
Already, a new motorway to the border is underway and will be open in 2017 in synchrony with the opening of the mall. The new infrastructure will reduce the driving time from the capital to the region to a little over one hour.