Sonae Sierra will invest US$137m in the development of Zenata Centre in Casablanca, Morocco. This is the group’s first investment in the country.
According to a statement released by the Portuguese International shopping specialist, Zenata shopping center will occupy 90,000 square meter of Gross Lettable Area comprising 250 shops. It will have 3,650 parking area spaces and 18 anchor shops including major hypermarkets.
The group is developing the project in joint venture with Marjane, Al Futtain and the Société d’Aménagement de Zenata (CDG Group) with Sonae providing development, leasing and property executive services for the shopping center.
The project is adjacent to highway A3 that connects Rabat to Casablanca and will serve over 5.9 million inhabitants in its catchment area. The first phase of the project will open in 2015, with the opening of the first Ikea store in Morocco, and then the second phase comprising the shopping centre will open in 2017.
Sonae Sierra’s CEO Fernando Oliveira says this first investment of Sonae Sierra in Morocco represents the success of Sonae’s service provision strategy which enables it not only to strengthen its operational revenues but also to increase its knowledge and business network in order to invest in new shopping centres in emergent markets.
Morocco has more than 34 million inhabitants and is considered an emerging market with political and economic stability, echoing an optimistic economic forecast, both presently and in the long term. With 45% of the population under 24 years old and 42% between 25 and 54, the retail sector in Morocco benefits from improving international competitiveness and a growing middle class creating excellent perspectives for the growth of the shopping centre industry.
SONAE SIERRA owns 47 shopping centres with a market value of more than US$7.6bn and is present in 4 continents and 13 countries.