Arricano’s project in Odessa previously under challenge from the Public Prosecutor office, is supported by the Head of Regional Administration

Arricano Real Estate plc is a leading developer and operator of European-style shopping and entertainment complexes. Whilst the company already has the largest portfolio of completed projects in Ukraine (the gross leasable area of buildings owned by Arricano exceeds 212,000 sq.m.), it continues to engage in development and construction of new shopping centres in Ukraine. The company views Kyiv and Odessa as its key locations with best potential to accommodate professional property projects. To this end, Arricano will continue to invest efforts in concept development of Odessa Mall (provisional title) shopping and entertainment centre.

However, the Public Prosecutor’s office in Odessa region - despite the absurdity of its claims - has for over a year been attempting to declare illegal the resolution of the Odessa city council on approval of the detailed site plan. The development of the latter, covering 20 Hectares of urban space locked between Razumovskaya, Kosvennaya, Sredniaya and Balkovskaya streets was fully financed by Arricano in 2013. The plan envisaged the construction of a supermarket, shopping centre, car park and communal facilities. Needless to say that construction of a new shopping centre attracts foreign investment, creates new jobs for local residents, enhances infrastructure and improves public amenities in adjacent areas.

The difficulties with project realisation currently faced by Arricano were made public by the Head of Odessa Regional Administration Mikhail Saakashvili. At the media briefing taking place on 30 July at the locale of the future shopping centre, Saakashvili told journalists and community leaders of his intentions to support the Arricano project by continuing his fight against corruption.

Arricano’s Chief Executive Officer Mikhail Merkulov thinks that it is the typical case of a foreign investor wishing to develop business and create jobs in Ukraine, but having to confront corrupt state officials instead. “Arricano’s business activity is fully transparent, we are a diligent taxpayer and employ Ukrainian nationals, - comments Mikhail Merkulov, - and, more importantly, as developers we strive to improve city appearance and infrastructure. All our projects in various Ukrainian cities are distinguished by novel architectural solutions, contribution to infrastructural development and public amenities. Yet these improvements are of benefit and interest mainly to members of the public and not corrupt officials. This is not the first time when our development project is met with opposition, and what is more, the methods used to confront us are not entirely legitimate. We do not intent to give up and firmly believe that combating corruption schemes in Ukraine will send a strong signal to foreign investors that transparent business in Ukraine can and will function efficiently”.