Northern Ireland developer in Slovakia project
A Northern Ireland property developer has secured a £34 million (40 million euro) loan to develop a shopping centre in Slovakia.
Parkergreen International, based in Newry, Co Down, will begin work on the site near Bratislava in September.
Tesco has signed up as the anchor tenant and 90 stores are expected to open in 2011.
Parkergreen managing director Dr Gerard O'Hare said: "I believe that this financial support is a testament to the project and a sign of confidence in the team behind it.
"Without financial stimulus for commercially sound companies such as Parkergreen, it is impossible to support large projects like Trnava Park shopping centre.
"This will also offer economic stimulus for the area and will reap dividends throughout the country with 2,000 new jobs at the completion stage and many hundreds created during construction."
The money was borrowed from a syndicate of banks in Slovakia and Austria.
Parkergreen acquired the site in 2008. Trnava is a vibrant university city which does not have enough retailers, according to the developer.
Radoslav Jakob, head of real estate finance at one of the banks, Slovenska Sporitelna Slovakia, said: "Trnava is one of the most dynamically developing areas of Slovakia and from this site located on a main highway network the centre will serve a number of cities in the region and provide many jobs for local people."
Parkergreen International owns the Quays shopping centre in Newry, Fairgreen in Carlow, Milford shopping centre in Connecticut in the US and other commercial and residential projects across Central and Eastern Europe.