Real estate investment firm Eurofund has marked its entry into the Italian market with an agreement to buy and redevelop a retail centre in Parma, Northern Italy.

Eurofund said it has agreed to acquire Parma Retail with a plan to invest €25m to transform the 40,000sqm centre into Parma Promenade, Italy’s first open-air, fully integrated retail and leisure promenade.

Ion Saralegui, Eurofund CEO, said: “This is a significant milestone for Eurofund Group, especially as we are entering a mature retail market, where Eurofund Group’s experience and value proposition is best placed to create a unique retail and leisure destination that satisfies revolutionised consumers expectations.

“We are happy to have consolidated our knowledge and assets in other markets and we are now very excited to bring that expertise to the Italian market.”

Saralegui said as part of this new project, Eurofund is looking to establish an Italy office in Milan, from which Stéphane Hepburn, Italy CEO, and Clemens de Meij, financial analyst, will oversee and coordinate the acquisition and transformation of the current and future projects.

Hepburn said: “We are delighted to be working on Parma Promenade as our first project in Italy. It is in one of the country’s most affluent cities and provides a distinctive offering, with little competition in the immediate catchment area.

“Transforming the existing structure means we can fulfil the strong potential of this centre and create a fully integrated retail and leisure promenade.”

Eurofund expects the project to begin by the end of 2023.

Eurofund is known for commercial real estate projects in the UK and continental Europe. The company’s projects include the Puerto Venecia Zaragoza shopping centre in Zaragoza, the UBBO shopping resort in Lisbon and the recent acquisition of the Silverburn shopping centre in Glasgow.

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