REAL ESTATE - After a one-and-a-half year’s delay, ING Real Estate has officially opened its €500m landmark retail centre Zlote Tarasy in Central Warsaw.

The mixed-use project of Zlote Tarasy - ‘Golden Terraces’ - covers 63,500 m2 in retail and leisure space, which has been fully let, it said. In addition, there are 1,600 underground parking spaces.

The project has been developed by ING Real Estate, in association with the City of Warsaw. It has been designed ‘as a blend of urban public space and architecture’ by the Jerde Partnership.

The retail centre features over 200 stores and service units, with anchor tenants like Marks & Spencer, Next and Hugo Boss. Some 4,500m2 of food and beverage outlets represent the largest concentration of restaurants, cafes and bars in the City of Warsaw, ING said.

An 8-screen cinema, a fitness club and a dance school are scheduled to open during the coming months, as well as 45,000 of lettable office space, it added.

The project is part of a complex of 225,000 m2 in total, next to Warsaw’s main railway station. According to ING, 1m people live within a 20-minutes travelling distance.

The project, which has gone 25% over budget, has been delayed by technical and procedural problems, as well as a shortage of skilled labour, ING’s spokesman Wieger Sietsma said.

As a consequence, the delivery of the project to its end-investors, ING Property Fund Central Europe and Rodamco Europe, has also been delayed.

The transfer will take place after the city council of Warsaw has transferred its 23% of the shares – for providing the land – to ING, the spokesman added. He expects this transaction to take place during 2007.

According to Sietsma, ING Real Estate is still in negotiations with the end-investors about a solution for the consequences of the delay.