A joint venture between the Meyer Bergman Fund, Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners I and Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) has sold Nová Karolina shopping centre in Ostrava in the Czech Republic to the country’s largest mutual fund, CS nemovitostní, managed by REICO.

Nová Karolina has over 58,000 sqm of gross lettable area and is the dominant regional shopping centre in Ostrava, the Czech Republic’s third largest city, with a catchment area of 1.2 million people. The centre comprises of 277 retail units including brands such as C&A, Albert hypermarket, Marks & Spencer, Peek & Cloppenburg, Cinema City, H&M, Intersport and others. Nová Karolina also benefits from excellent urban transport links and its close proximity to the local tram network and bus station.

Mark Gamble, Head of Asset Management at Meyer Bergman, said: “The Meyer Bergman and HOOPP joint venture acquired the Nová Karolina new development just prior to its opening in 2012 and we have successfully established it as the dominant regional shopping centre since. On every key metric of investment value from turnover to footfall, management of leases and the introduction of new tenants and brands, we have achieved significant year-on-year growth and quality improvement in the asset. The results of this carefully implemented asset management programme have now been crystallised into solid returns for our investors through the sale.”

Since the opening of the shopping centre six years ago, the headline results of the asset management programme have included a 73% growth in annual sales and an 87% rise in the number of visitors. Milestones on the road to this successful investment outcome included effectively renewing 120 leases on the fifth anniversary of Nová Karolina, which involved relocation, upsizing and ‘tenant engineering’ – introducing new brands and replacing  non-performing tenants.

Cushman & Wakefield and Savills advised the Meyer Bergman and HOOPP joint venture on the sale of Nová Karolina.