Archive for October, 2010

Cleves Acquires Major New Luxury Apartment Project in Sofia

Cleves, the luxury Sofia apartment rental company, has acquired an outstanding new building in the Iztok borough of Sofia with 34 apartments and a Class A suite of offices.

The building is part of the Este Home and Spa project developed by Este Properties EOOD. The Cleves deal is valued at EUR 10 M.

This is the company’s fifth acquisition in Sofia. Cleves already has a Sofia rental portfolio of 57 apartments.

Cleves Este – as it will be known – is at 28G Samokov Blvd, Iztok. Newly built, it has 4,759 sqm of apartments and offices in a very smart secure compound with up-market shops, cafes, health and beauty facilities on site, and extensive underground parking.

The development was nominated for Bulgaria’s “Building of the Year” competition last year. Sofia airport is 10 minutes away by car, and the Interpred Metro station (Joliot Curie) is only 200m away for fast access to Sofia city centre.

Peter Diakov, General Manager of Cleves EOOD, said: “We believe Cleves Este to be one of the finest residential developments in Sofia. Este exudes quality, with very high levels of security and comfort.

“The Cleves approach is to offer for rent up-market apartments in the best parts of Sofia.  This very fine acquisition in Iztok fits our strategy perfectly.  The office suite is available now, and we anticipate launching the 34 apartments of Cleves Este in the first part of 2011.

“Despite the difficult economic climate, we continue to experience strong demand for rental apartments across our portfolio.”

Cleves is creating a range of stylish 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom interior-designed rental apartments in the upper floors and fitting them out to very high specifications. Cleves‘ tenants will have some of the finest living facilities in Sofia, including access to Este’s beautiful landscaped gardens and children’s play areas.

Cleves Este also includes a self-contained 540sqm ground-floor suite of professionally managed Class A offices with its own entrance. The office suite has air conditioning and central heating, raised floors for easy under-floor cabling, and long covered terrace spanning the west side of the suite overlooking the gardens. It is already available – either for rent, long-lease or sale – and would suit an Embassy or similar.

Cleves EOOD ( is in the process of acquiring a EUR 40 M portfolio of up-market, new-build residential property in Sofia. The company focuses on the top-end of the rentals market. Its clients are senior international business people and diplomats. The company owns and operates all the apartments in its portfolio in order to be able to offer the highest quality of service.

Bulgaria Mushrooming Malls Top EU List

Bulgaria ranked first in the European Union in the number of new shopping malls in the first half of the 2010, a report by Cushman and Wakefield consultancy showed.

While in most EU member-states the number of malls is on the slide due to the global economic crisis, their construction has accelerated in Bulgaria, marking a nearly 90% increase over one year.

A similar trend is also witnessed in other Balkan states – Bosnia&Herzegovina, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia – but the growth rate there is 5-10%.

The stock of contemporary shopping mall space in Bulgaria doubled in the first six months of 2010 with the opening of five new shopping malls, reaching 452,000 sqm in total, according to a recent realtor report.

Another five shopping mall projects are expected to open until the end of 2010, which will add 126,000 sqm of contemporary stock to the market, according to Colliers International’s retail market overview for the first half of 2010 in Bulgaria.

“Although most of the newly completed retail space in Sofia has generally been absorbed so far, a surplus in markets such as Varna, Ruse and Stara Zagora is expected based on the economic slowdown and the fact that available retail space significantly exceeds potential retail demand”, comments Iglika Yordanova, manager Retail Services at Colliers International.

The opening of new shopping malls affected not only the urban landscape, but the performance of the main High Streets as well.

Brands are concentrating in the malls, where rental rates are lower, pushing overall vacancy to 10% in Sofia, according to Colliers’ report.

Bulgaria, Romania Kick off Cross-Border Tourism Project

A cross-border project to improve and popularize tourist opportunities in north-east Bulgaria / south-east Romania is starting, reported local authorities at General Toshevo.

The project is worth EUR 1.5 M and is joint between General Toshevo in Bulgaria and Negru Voda in Romania. Both towns are in comparatively remote areas of the neighboring countries in the historic Dobrudzha region.

The project aims at developing a joint tourist potential for the two municipalities in improving infrastructure, preserving nature and taking advantage of opportunities for sustainable alternative tourism.

This will include road reconstruction, building of tourist information centers and improving access to protected nature areas and historic sites.

Govt Approves 7 Bids for Bulgarian Tourism Portal

Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry has allowed 7 out of 14 bidders to remain in the competition for winning the tender for creating a national tourism online portal.

Seven companies that submitted bids were eliminated based on failure to comply with the set criteria.

The bids of the other seven were opened on Friday showing that they offered prices between BGN 990 000 and BGN 1 560 765. The Ministry’s commission will proceed with the next round of elimination.

The project for a “Multimedia Catalog of Tourist Sites and e-Marketing for Bulgaria as a Destination” has a total budget of BGN 6.4 M provided from the EU Regional Development Program.

Of those, BGN 1.9 M are to be spent on developing a national tourism Internet portal.

Bulgarian Tourism Targets Germany, Russia, UK

The Bulgarian Economy Ministry is launching an advertising project worth BGN 8 M, which aims at achieving a 3% growth of the revenues from tourists coming from Germany, UK and Russia.

Asya Yosifova, head of the project for national marketing of tourism and information of the tourism services offered in Bulgaria, said Thursday that the goal is to achieve a 5% increase of the German, UK and Russian tourists.

“By offering a more diverse presentation of Bulgaria, with products like culture-study tours, eco and rural tourism, gourmet tourism and wine tours, we will try to diversify the offered services and attract new tourists,” Yosifova said.

The advertising agencies, which will work on the ads for Germany and Russia, have already been chosen. The executive company for the project for the UK is yet to be selected.

According to Yosifova, Germany and the UK make about 34% of the trips in Europe and Russia is one of the fastest developing markets.

In 2009, Bulgaria was visited by 740,000 Germans, 287,000 Russians and 286,000 British tourists. The three countries rank third, fourth and fifth, right after Romania and Greece on biggest number of foreign tourists in Bulgaria in 2009.

Welcome to RilaDev’s Blog!

In 2006, RilaDev a English Bulgarian homebuilder embarked on one of the most ambitious hotel and residential project in Bansko, Bulgaria, Pirinea Hotel Spa and Residence.

This blog offers current news and information on the Bulgarian real estate market and economy, local and touristic events and tracks the exciting progress of this emerging market.

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Author: Russell Collins - RilaDev

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