Old Mutual Properties boosts offshore arm

OLD Mutual Properties is strengthening its offshore property management arm and has added a contract to provide leasing, marketing, facilities management and operational support services for Ukraine’s premier shopping centre, Univermag Ukraina.

The appointment to manage the centre, which is undergoing a $20mil renovation, will see Old Mutual Properties consulting for New York based NCH Capital, which owns 93% of the Kiev complex.

NCH is an investment group targeting the emerging markets of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and is one of the largest investors in the region’s privatisation programes. It has direct investments in more than 100 companies in Russia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Georgia and Moldova.

Old Mutual Properties retail property executive Brent Wiltshire says the appointment is a major breakthrough into a key emerging market. It follows Old Mutual Properties’ consulting assignments in the Middle East.

The NCH work entails developing an appropriate tenant mix plan and rolling out a leasing strategy that will attract international and local retailers to the 25 000m2 centre.

“We will also provide marketing support, focusing on prospective tenants and consumers, and training centre management,” says Wiltshire. “We will issue tender specifications and service level agreements for centre services, evaluate tenders to ensure the centre is managed cost-effectively to best standards, and award contracts to be carried out in accordance with service level agreements,” he says.

The complex, originally a state department store which opened in 1966, is in Victory Square, one of the best retail sites in Kiev. It is also near the main train stationed an easy walk from bus, tram and metro systems.

It is estimated that more than 200 000 commuters walk past the complex every day, says Wiltshire. The upgrading of the four-storey complex will include modernising its trading areas, installing state-of-the-art escalators with convenient access to all parts of the building, improving lighting and implementing substantial cosmetic repairs.


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