Frank Philipp Albert, the founder and head of the Supernova Group, and Eleclerc Ljubljana director general Jean-Francois Higonet, were on hand for the launch of the project.
Albert said that, after years of competing with Eleclerc, Supernova had realised that cooperation was the best option. He is happy that an agreement has been reached on the joint investment, which is supported by the local authorities as well as the government.
"With the extension of the Supernova mall, with new brands and also with the planned partial overhaul of Eleclerc, I hope that this will become the strongest shopping district in Slovenia," Albert added.
Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek stressed the importance of investments during the coronavirus crisis. He noted that the total stock of foreign direct investments in Slovenia amounted to EUR 16 billion at the end of last year.
"I believe that this trend will continue despite the crisis," the minister said, adding that the investment in Rudnik was not only about new shopping area, but also about new business opportunities for the Slovenian economy, especially suppliers.
Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković called on the investors to reserve a part of the car park for the users of the park and ride (P+R) service in cooperation with the city bus operator. The use of public transportation is also expected to be encouraged by the planned new train station adjacent to the shopping district.
Janković noted that around 150 projects were currently under way in Ljubljana, and that the city had also prepared EUR 1 billion worth of projects which would compete for the EU recovery fund financing.
The extension of Supernova will bring an additional 130 shops spanning 50,000 square metres, adding to the existing 70 shops on 30,000 square metres. It is expected to feature a new multiplex cinema with seven screens, a two-storey food court and a playground.
The four-storey car park will be erected on the existing parking lot between Supernova and Eleclerc, and will be connected to the two shopping malls. It will have 1,800 parking spots, which means that the area will have a total of 2,500 once it is finished.
The car park is scheduled to be finalised in the spring of 2021, and the extension of Supernova one year later.