The first RAU Investment Forum-2019 outlined the trends and growth factors of the investment attractiveness of commercial real estate in Ukraine

The RAU Investment Forum-2019, an industry expert event of new form dedicated to the subject of investment in commercial real estate, took place in Kyiv on June 18, 2019. The Forum was initiated and organized by the Ukrainian Retail Association and the investment company Dragon Capital.
The owners and top managers of retail companies, development companies, investors, government officials, brokers and consultants, companies of the b2b segment — the participants of the RAU Investment Forum-2019 — discussed the future of the national economy and the commercial real estate market; the dynamics of investment in commercial real estate; the factors constraining the growth of investment; discussed the changes needed for the arrival of new investors.
Mykhailo Merkulov, the CEO of Arricano, took part in the discussion panel “New Objects of Commercial Real Estate of Ukraine”. Together with other speakers of the session — Renata Jakubchienené, the CEO of Retroville business center and shopping mall, and Maksym Havriushyn, the Operations Director of the Bud house group, — discussed the shopping mall as a lifestyle object, consumer expectations from the modern shopping malls and prospects for commercial real estate, including megamalls.
CEO Arricano noted: “It’s not necessary to create the best object on the market. Creating an object that fits correctly into the consumer’s behavior model and solves its painpoints is enough. Today, a shopping mall is more than a product or service; it is a media platform, a hub for communication and leisure, a concentration of entertainment and educational opportunities”.
Among the issues discussed by the speakers of this session, moderator Oleksandr Fialka, the partner of Retail & Development Advisor, co-founder of the Ukrainian Retail Association, focused the attention of the audience on topical shopping mall concepts, as well as on the food segments, additional functions and socially important components in modern developing malls. The speakers agreed that the consumer does not go to the mall just because he needs to buy something. Electronic commerce works quite effectively — almost everything can be purchased on the Internet. The consumer is looking for satisfaction in the shopping mall, which are not in the plane of purchase, but in the area of impressions, customer experience, and their mix. Therefore such a wide supply of food in the shopping mall, the expansion of functional community-character zones, the opening of coworking spaces, and the expansion of medical and service functions emerge.
The findings of the RAU Investment Forum-2019 confirm that commercial real estate is a fairly attractive segment in terms of investment. “We have significant potential”, — says Mykhailo Merkulov. — “Malls are built according to European standards, with professional management, growing NOI, and high-quality traffic. At the same time, this market is made by one investment company in Ukraine, Dragon Capital. I believe that in the next forum we will talk about new players, about attracted investments and transactions. This will be possible if the state will observe a number of factors, the first of which is the protection of investors’ rights. While continuing the struggle for the Arricano asset — SkyMall, we expect increased interest from foreign investors not only in our company, but also in the segment as a whole”.