At present, TK Development is involved in many integrative projects uniting housing space and shopping facilities, restaurants and cinemas. “In the past, most malls were erected on greenfield sites, outside of the cities,” explains Mr. Clausen. “The infrastructural planners aimed to disencumber the cities and to make it easy for people to access the shopping centers. Today, more and more retailers are asking for central locations again, preferably within the cities. In order to ensure enough walk-in customers, you need to offer a versatile portfolio. Cinemas and restaurants are ideal for keepingthe malls busy in the evening, too.”
TK Development is involved in several reference projects such as the development of a new urban district in Køge, Denmark, comprising 34,300 m² of retail stores, offices, residential units, a cinema, public service facilities and restaurants, and a housing project in Warsaw, Poland, with 300 units.
In Esbjerg, Denmark’s fifth-largest city, TK Development is currently constructing an urban shopping mall, Broen Shopping, covering about 30,000 m², scheduled for completion in spring 2017. The strip will be the home of several major brands such as H&M. Altogether, there will be 80 tenants, plus cinemas and restaurants.
“We follow a full-service approach to ensure the success of the projects,” says Mr. Clausen. “We search for the best locations, provide the building permit and take on negotiations with the local authorities. We also contact the architects and construction companies and take care of the entire project management. We are involved in the lease or sales of the retail and housing units and are responsible for the whole building through to the final delivery. We arrange the project management contracts, too. Often, big retail chains ask us to find a new location or to initiate a new project. From then on, we cover the complete value-added chain.”
Currently, housing and retail projects contribute 50% each to the company’s turnover. The company services individual customers who want to buy an apartment as well as the tenants of the shops, which are mostly big players.
“We draw on many years of experience in the housing market and the retail sector,” Mr. Clausen explains the company’s success. “This enables us to generate important synergy effects. Due to our experience, we draw on strong relationships with the chains, the retailers and the investors. We cooperate closely with the retailers. They are our ear on the market. Thanks to this cooperation, we know about requirements and factors which make a mall successful. Of course, we also respond to current trends, such as the integration of shopping facilities and housing space.”
TK Development was founded by Thorkild Kristensen in 1960, focusing on the building and marketing of holiday homes. At the end of the 1980s, the portfolio was expanded, and the business shifted its focus to retail projects, mostly in Denmark.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the company took its first steps abroad in Berlin. After the opening of the border, the city invested extensively in new shopping malls. Then, TK Development entered the Polish, Czech and Swedish markets as well as the Baltic States.
The 1990s were characterized by regional expansion. “Often, the retailers – our clients – asked for new locations, not only in Denmark, but also abroad,” says Mr. Clausen. “We completed several shopping malls outside of Denmark, responding to our clients’ needs. The demands came from domestic clients as well as from multinationals such as the French Carrefour chain.”
In 2000, the business shifted its focus again. As the German market for malls and shopping centers was saturated, the company enhanced its activities in Poland, Sweden and Denmark. Even today, these are the three most important markets of TK Development.
When those countries saw a boom in residential building investments, TK Development adapted to this trend, too. The company’s strategy to adapt to new trends is paying off. Today, TK Development is stock-listed. In addition to its head office in Aalborg, the building expert operates offices in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Warsaw and Prague.
With a staff of 85, the dynamic business realizes an annual turnover of around 81 million EUR. “We are recognizing a strong trend back downtown,” says Mr. Clausen. “In line with this trend, we are completing many highstreet projects. Another trend is towards complex projects where apartments, offices, and trade and leisure facilities are integrated into a block of buildings. We have already won several new projects, and we will continue to be active in this sector. Fortunately, we are acting in a dynamic market with a stable demand. Therefore, we are confident about the future.”