Trei Real Estate – Trei stands for Tengelmann Real Estate International – is the real estate division of the Tengelmann retail group in Germany. Based in Mülheim in North-Rhine Westphalia, the company manages and develops commercial and residential properties in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Portugal and in the USA.
The current real estate portfolio is valued at one billion EUR, with properties worth another 350 million EUR under development. The great majority – about 98% – of the properties are rented to non-group companies. Trei Real Estate primarily invests in economically strong regions.
In Poland, as well as in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the company’s focus is on developing retail parks under the brand VENDO PARK (www.vendo-park.com). “There is significant potential for new retail parks in Poland,” says Jacek Wesołowski, Director of Project Development, Construction Management & Project Management.
Altogether, Trei Real Estate Poland is responsible for 110 properties throughout the country. “This gives us a natural revenue stream and easy access to new properties,” states Mr. Wesołowski who likes working for a high-growth, competitive business with fast decision-making. “We can decide to buy a property for developing a new shopping center within less than a month.”
The company specializes in small retail parks, up to 8,000 m², in smaller cities with about 15,000 inhabitants. To date, Trei Real Estate has developed four VENDO PARK retail parks in Poland.
“In the last twelve months, we have acquired ten new properties, and by the end of the year we shall have nine permits for additional VENDO PARK retail parks,” Mr. Wesołowski describes the amazing development. “We currently have three projects under construction, and two more will be starting soon.”
The retail parks developed by Trei Real Estate Poland are a combination of food and non-food shops. In the food segment, the company cooperates with large chains such as Kaufland, Lidl or Intermarché. Non-food park tenants include fashion stores and shoe stores, drugstores, hairdresser’s and many more.
“We work together with 30 to 40 national and international brands,” says Mr. Wesołowski. “The latest addition to our portfolio is Action from the Netherlands.” The newest VENDO PARK was opened in Minsk Mazowiecki last November – the 4th in Poland and the 13th altogether. Located about 40 km from Warsaw, the new retail park offers an attractive combination of national and international trading businesses and food outlets.
The other three retail parks already successfully developed by Trei Real Estate Poland are situated in Chelm, Milanówek and Nysa. “We go to smaller cities without large, national or international competitors,” explains Mr. Wesołowski. “People there have no easy access to major shopping malls. We give them a convenient, local alternative.”
As Trei Real Estate cooperates with many chain customers, the company does not have to negotiate each individual tenant contract. “Our partners know us from several previous projects,” states Mr. Wesołowski. “Our challenge rather is that Poland is so big and offers so many more opportunities. Poland has about 140 cities with about 20,000 inhabitants. This offers great potential for expanding to many other locations.”
Trei Real Estate Poland not only acquires and develops retail properties. The company also provides added-value services like parking, air-conditioning, opening ceremonies and special shopping events. “We take a long-term view to all our properties and want them to develop sustainably,” Mr. Wesołowski outlines the philosophy of Trei Real Estate.
Trei Real Estate is the clear market leader in Poland in the segment of small city retail parks, despite there often being very strong local competition. “We have more funds, though, and are more reliable, thanks to the backing through our parent company,” says Mr. Wesołowski. “We are an experienced developer, with a good track record. There are two more issues, however, which are just as important. Cooperation with the local property owners is very smooth and professional. And we have a fantastic team and excellent working climate.”
In addition to further advancing its position in retail parks, Trei Real Estate Poland is thinking about establishing a second real estate product and either developing bigger retail centers, too, or entering the residential market. “The latter will probably be more promising as our focus on small retail parks has been tried and tested and as we have in-depth residential knowhow in the Group,” concludes Mr. Wesołowski.