Kotka: the first Waterfront Designer Outlet Village to be built in Finland
The first Waterfront Designer Outlet Village will be built in 2017 in Finland, close to Kotka Old Port, a well-known tourist resort in the south of the country, about 80 mi from Helsinki. The construction project involves the redevelopment of a 30 ha. decommissioned harbour area, and will proceed in several phases. Building work for the retail outlet began on 25th April 2016.
Completion of the first phase will coincide with the Republic of Finland's centenary at the end of 2017. The retail outlet will extend over a roofed area of 15,000 m2, featuring 80 stores and 4 restaurants. Another 10,000 m2 will be built in a second phase, to welcome a further 60 stores. Altogether, the number of brands present could reach a total of 200, and the organisers are planning to complete the area's overall redevelopment project within 8 years.
"The Kotka Old Port Designer Outlet Village will be much more than a conglomeration of brands. Soon we will be able to reveal the names of the companies that will develop the tourist facilities, the restaurants and the spa, as well as the cruise lines and all the businesses which will contribute to the development of such a unique project," explained to FashionMag Cameron Sawyer, the President of GVA Sawyer, at the head of the project's pool of investors, on the occasion of the official presentation in Milan on 27th April.
"It is confirmed that two hotels will be built on the area adjoining the outlet village: a four-star and a three-star, with 160 and 110 rooms respectively. The same for a 10 building- residential complex for a total of about 200 flats on the harbour marina, which will have capacity for 130 berths," said Matteo Bono, Senior Leasing Manager at DEA Real Estate Advisor, among the main international retail promoters, playing a key role in the Kotka project. "Within the outlet village, fashion stores will account for 60-70% of the range, which will also include sport, outdoor goods, design and jewellery. We will work extensively with luxury made in Italy brands, indisputably a crucial success factor, in some overseas markets in particular," concluded Matteo Bono.
"The outlet village will be created in a country where no others currently exist, so it will also benefit strategically from not having direct competitors. It is located only 37 mi from the border with Russia, and it will be attractive both to Finnish and Russian consumers, as well as benefiting from the tourists who visit the country every year," said Luca de Ambrosis Ortigara, founder and CEO of DEA Real Estate Advisor, an independent company strongly oriented to the development of the high-end fashion retail segment.
"The outlet village's diversified offering and its accessibility are also very attractive to top international brands. In terms of fashion labels, we have already struck deals with names such as Missoni, Class Cavalli, Baldinini, Genny and John Ashfield”, concluded Ortigara, who is in charge of the project's leasing contracts. The Kotka project brought together international investors such as John Milligan, Gerald Parkes, Cameron Sawyer and Byrne Murphy, all with significant experience in the promotion and development of luxury outlet villages in France, Italy, the UK, Spain and Russia.
DEA and its team have brought outlet villages to Italy and are international market leaders in the industry. Luca de Ambrosis Ortigara led the set-up in Italy of McArthurGlen, opening the outlets in Serravalle, Barberino and Castel Romano, and later becoming European Leasing Director. As Strategic Advisor, he has been a member of Value Retail's international board for nine years. DEA follows all phases in each project, from the feasibility study to concept development, from investment management to commercial letting.
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