Thousands of residents and guests of Bulgaria’s Varna attended the opening of the city’s newest shopping and entertainment center – Grand Mall Varna. The ribbon of Varna’s largest mall was cut by a number of high-profile guests and partners in the project including Eli Egosi, advisor to the CEO of the investor in the project Orchid Developments; His Excellency Noah Gal Gendler, Ambassador of Israel to Bulgaria; Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgaria’s Regional Development Minister; Steven Cliever, Manager of Grand Mall Varna. All of them tossed coins for good luck and success upon entering the new mall as part of an opening ceremony that included a traditional Bulgarian welcome with freshly baked bread, honey, and salt. The mall management has promised that the visitors of Grand Mall Varna will be able to enjoy a number of special events during its entire first week. The opening of the complex ahead of schedule was announced Wednesday at a special news conference by the real estate developer and investor, Orchid Developments Group, and two of the major tenants, the international retail giant Carrefour, and Alexandra Group Holding, a Bulgarian operator of the Arena movie theaters. The construction of Grand Mall Varna started in 2007; over EUR 120 M have been invested in the complex so far, and some 2 000 people have worked on completing the project. The biggest mall in Varna has a total built-up area of over 150 000 square meters, including 50 000 square meters of commercial space for rent. It features a parking lot with 1 700 spaces. The Arena movie theater inside it has 8 halls will a total of 1 100 seats. The Carrefour hypermarket, which is the first store in Varna of the global retail chain, has an area of 9 300 square meters. “Congratulations, Varna!,” said Eli Egosi at the opening. “We are convinced that Grand Mall Varna will satisfy the needs of all residents and guests of the city who wish to purchase high-quality goods at competitive prices. We will not stop to develop and to surprise people with new brands and more exciting shopping and entertainment options,” he added. The global brands that are entering the market of Bulgaria’s major Black Sea city for first time thanks to Grand Mall Varna include not just Carrefour but also Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Humanic, Playlife, Calliope, Douglas, Bata, Deichmann, Intersport. The partners that took part of the realization of the Grand Mall Varna project include MYS Architects (a firm that participated in the construction of Mall of Sofia), Lagis EOOD, the OTP bank, the MKB Union Bank, the DSK Bank, leading real estate companies Colliers Properties and Colliers Leasing, law firms Firon-Bar-Nir and Eurolex, and Bulgaria’s largest PR agency M3 Communications Group, Inc. The real estate developer and hotel operator Orchid Developments Group Ltd is active in all major sectors of the Bulgarian real estate market. It operates projects in Sofia, Varna, and the Golden Sands resort. With over EUR 150 M invested in Bulgarian real estate properties, Orchid Group is one of the leading companies on the Bulgarian property market. In addition to the EUR 120 M Grand Mall Varna, the company has two more projects in Varna – the closed-type complex Orchid Hills and a mixed use building in the downtown, Orchid Gardens Varna.