CGD sells ‘white elephant’ shopping centre

 In Banks, News, Shopping Centres

Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos has sold a white elephant shopping centre built by the developer Martifer at a cost of €65 million.

The La Vie shopping centre in Porto has virtually become a white elephant with big brands such as Decathlon, Rádio Popular, Minipreço and Media Market having left the centre, as has the gym Holmes Place, all forced to close their doors on February 28, just a few days before the shopping centre will have a new owner.
La Vie was opened in November 2007 under the name Porto Gran Plaza by the Martifer Group which later sold the shopping centre which changed its name to La Vie in 2016.
However, after an initial investment of €65 million, the shopping centre never really took off with the public which has so much choice in terms of shopping centres in the region.
Lack of footfall and sales has led the administration of the shopping centre to take a decision that so far has never had to be taken in Portugal – to close the shopping centre on Sundays for 11 months of the year: January to November.
La Vie faces stiff competition from other shopping centres such as ViaCatarina (Sonae). La Vie, which is located in Porto’s downtown area, ended up in the hands of CGD which has been trying to sell off the asset which has become more of a liability.
“The asset has finally be sold and the contract of sale will officially be exchanged by the end of March” an official source at the bank told newspaper Negócios without giving details as to the value of the sale.