Belfast Telegraph

Parkergreen secures £34m shopping centre build loan

A SOUTH Down property developer has secured a €40m (£34m) loan to develop a shopping centre in Slovakia, it has emerged.

Newry-based Parkergreen International, headed by leading businessman Dr Gerard O'Hare, will begin work on the site in Trnava in September.

It is one of the largest loans of its kind in Slovakia this year and will help finance the first phase of a new €100m (£84.5m) shopping centre.

Tesco has signed up as the anchor tenant and 90 phase-one stores are expected to open in November 2011.

Parkergreen has secured the finance from Slovakia's Slovenska Sporitelna bank and the VUB in Austria.

Dr 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."

Parkergreen acquired the site, which is a 40-minute drive from the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, in 2008.

Radoslav Jakob, head of real estate finance at Slovenska Sporitelna Slovakia, said: "Slovenska Sporitelna is delighted to be working with Parkergreen International on this exciting project.

"The company has a proven track record in shopping centre development and has great plans for Trnava Park.

"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 currently owns the Quays shopping centre in Newry, Fairgreen in Carlow, Milford shopping centre in Connecticut in the US, along with a number of other commercial and residential projects stretching across Central and Eastern Europe.