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410. "Belogradchik rocks" again second

News BG: 2009-04-14

The Bulgarian Belogradchik rock climbed to second position this week in the ranking for the new seven natural wonders, informed Belogradchik municipality.

To remind, the Belogradchik rocks fell to third place in the ranking.

The nomination of the natural phenomenon is in the category Caves, rock formations and valleys, informs BTA.

First in the ranking is the Devils town in Belgrade.

The website for voting for the seven natural wonders is www.new7wonders.com. The voting will continue till 7 July 2009.

Then from the participating 260 natural objects, 77 will remain and from them only 21 will be chosen. From them, an expert group will determine the new seven natural world wonders.

409. Burgas airport opens the tourist season

News BG: 2009-04-13

The management board of Burgas airport will open today officially the new tourist season with the welcoming of the first charter flight. A group of Israelis from Tel Aviv will arrive with it.

According to forecasts the charter flights this year will be only 10% less than the last tourist season.

The management board of the airport will present the new equipment for servicing the airplanes, which includes cisterns, buses and mobile ladders.

408. Romanians head to Bulgaria for Easter

Sofia Echo: 2009-04-11

Reports indicate that up to 10 000 Romanians are planning to spend their Easter holidays in Bulgaria, where a two-nights, all-inclusive package could cost as little as 60 leva, according to a representative of Romania's national tourist agency association, ANAT.

So far about 80 000 Romanians have bought Easter tourist packages, 30 000 of them for vacations abroad, Traian Bădulescu, an ANAT spokesperson announced.

The average prices for a one-person package this year are between 50 and 150 euro for Romanias resorts and between 60 and 1,000 euro for international destinations.

Bulgaria and Greece are Romanians favourite Easter holiday destinations, Bădulescu noted.

This year, the Eastern Orthodox Easter falls on April 19.

407. City Centre Sofia owner appoints consultants MBL to manage mall

Sofia Echo: 2009-04-10

?nvestment fund Heitman European Property Partners Fund III (HEPP III) has appointed consultancy firm MBL, an associated partner of CB Richard Ellis in Bulgaria, to manage City Centre Sofia mall, which the fund bought in 2008, MBL said in a statement quoted by website investor.bg

The previous owner, Equest Balkan Properties, sold the mall to Heitman for 101.5 million euro. The retail centre officially opened for business in May 2006.

MBL is already managing two office buildings owned by the investment fund. The buildings, known as Enterprise 1 and Enterprise 2 are near the National Palace of Culture (NDK). Among the clients renting space in the office buildings are ING Bank, GlaxoSmithKline and Maersk. CBRE says it manages over 2200 retail and office buildings in Europe, worth over 43 billion euro.

406. Billa opens ninth supermarket in Sofia

Sofia Echo: 2009-04-09

Billa supermarket is set to open its ninth store in Sofia and its 41st nationwide on Friday, April 10 in the Sofia borough of Druzhba, on Obikolna Str. The official inauguration of the new supermarket will be at 6pm with the participation of Iskur mayor, Yordan Tomov, and the operations manager of Billa Bulgaria, Diana Todorova.

Immediately after the ceremony, Billa Druzhba will be open for business.

The newly inaugurated store will attract clientèle with "exclusively attractive price-range and the daily prepared salads, meals and other fresh products of finest quality"," according to a media statement. Wide assortments from the Clever brand, owned by Billa, will also be available in the store.

Apart from "top quality service and produce, Billa will offer also its newest adaptation, the Billa Card," the statement said.

This is the first Billa store to open in 2009, while in 2008 11 stores were opened in Bulgaria.

Billa is an Austrian company, established in the 1950s in Vienna. In 1996, Billa acquired German retail group REWE, and the company entered the Bulgarian market in October 2000, with its first store in Sofia.

405. BalReAct conference to help out property market

Sofia Echo: 2009-04-08

Real estate experts will gather in Sofia to bang their heads together on ways to promote investment in the face of the global financial and economic downturn.

The second BalReAct conference, titled Bulgarias Real Estate Market - Opportunities in the Time of Crisis, will take place at Inter Expo Center in Sofia on April 24-26 and focus on issures ranging from administrative services and public-private partnership to taxation, alternative financing options and cooperation with utilities.

Also in focus will be retail centres in Bulgaria, the office space market battered by costly financing and flagging demand, as well as government policy on industrial zone development.

The conference is part of the Balkan Property Exhibition (BalPEx) fair, held twice every year since 2007.

404. Slovenian chain Mercator to step in Varna in autumn 2009

Sofia Echo: 2009-04-07

Varna Towers retail centre, expected to open in the autumn of 2009, has signed a rent contract with Slovenian retail company Mercator, weekly Stroitelstvo Gradut reported. Mercator and Varna Towers management signed the contract in March 2009 in Sofia.

Mercator's hypermarket in the Varna Towers will be the chain's first in the seaside city and one of the first in Bulgaria.

Varna Towers aims to become the primary retail and recreation centre in Varna. It was initially planned to combine the retail and entertainment areas with extensive office and administration space in the two towers on either side of the mall, but the office development has been put on hold because of insufficient funding.

The developers claim that the facility will have "a modern, exclusive design, strategic location, functional and practical interior design and the trade and office area will meet and exceed all expectations of our clients which will ultimately guarantees the success of the project as a whole", Stroitelstvo Gradut reported.

Varna Towers is in one of the busiest junctions of Varna, facing Vladislav Varnenchik Boulevard. In spite of the busy location, the developers claim that Varna Towers will offer "excellent car access and ample parking capacity, with three underground levels and a outdoors level, as well as first grade auxiliary infrastructure aimed to facilitate pedestrians. The unique and unprecedented design of the complex is bound to transform Varna Towers into a local landmark".

403. We buy houses by the kilo - real estate consultancy

Sofia Echo: 2009-04-03

Real estate consultancy agency Home For You says it has found a way to offer investors with cash at hand to provide them "once in a lifetime" deal, while offering owners of apartments who are forced to sell at "realistic market prices".

An increasing number of home owners are forced to sell because they can no longer afford the upkeep on the mortgage. According to a Home For You media statement, even investors faced the same problem regarding property where construction had started before the economic crisis.

Home For Your started a large-scale banner campaign under the title "We buy apartments by the kilo," first along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast and in later Sofia, to promote its new product.

"This is good for the entire market, because it ensures currently missing cashflow," Konstantin Bobchev, manager of Home For You was quoted as saying by Bulgarian daily Klasa.

"We believe we can offer a realistic price," Bobchev was quoted as saying. "Our next assignment would then be to find new owners for the real estate. This way everyone involved will be happy," Bobchev said.

402. Landmark Logistics builds a new office and logistics centre on Tsarigradsko Chaussee

Sofia Echo: 2009-04-01

A new logistical and office centre is under construction at the entrance to Sofia at Tsarigradsko Chaussee. The facility is on the intersection with the Sofia Circular Road. "The aim of the centre is to develop the transport and logistical potential of the area," a spokesperson for Landmark Logistics said, as quoted by Stroitelstvo Gradut.

The main investor in the project is Landmark Logistics EOOD, and construction has been designated to Aries Commerce OOD. The design belongs to Markan Project with chief architect Mira Simova. Also involved in construction is the firm SM Construction OOD, which is also involved in the erection of a hospital in Lyulin's sixth micro-region.

The office centre, which has a total area of 8884 sq m, has been released entirely to the pharmaceutical retail company Higia EAD which will use it as its central headquarters. It has two primary functional zones the first one will act as an administrative centre, and the second one, equipped with large warehouses, will be the logistical base of the company.

Construction started in February 2009 and foundations and rough construction is scheduled for completion by April 2009. The site is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.

401. EC's vice-chairman visits Varna

Sofia Echo: 2009-03-31

The deputy chairman of the European commission and commissioner on administrative affairs, audit and anti-fraud Siim Kallas will be in Varna at the invitation of the Bulgarian minister of administration and administrative reform Nikolay Vassilev.

Mr. Kallas will visit the municipal administration and the Marine administration executive agency. Siim Kallas, minister Vassilev and the Bulgarian MEP Biliyana Raeva will also visit the Economic university.

Minister Vassilevs schedule for today includes also opening of the initiative Manager for one day, whose ambassador in Varna he is.

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