Shaping a New Era of Development in Southeast Europe

CBRE advises CA Immo on the sale of its Romanian office platform

CBRE advises CA Immo on the sale of its Romanian office platform 801 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

Global real estate advisor, CBRE, has advised CA Immo on the sale of its Romanian office platform to Pavăl Holding. The portfolio is comprised of seven high-quality office properties located in Bucharest, as well as the highly experienced Romanian management team. Its acquisition makes Pavăl Holding the city’s second-largest office landlord. 

“We are very happy to see that the Romanian investors’ growing interest in the office segment. We are proud to have worked on more than 50% of the most important office transactions in Romania this year. Our investment team is cohesive, experienced, and has proven its capabilities,” said Mihai Pătrulescu, Head of Investment Properties, CBRE Romania.

CBRE acted as the exclusive financial and real estate advisor to CA Immo. CBRE was selected by the seller based on its ability to adapt its approach to investor needs and to find solutions to the most vexing challenges. 

“This is the largest real estate transaction ever in Romania as well as the largest investment ever made by a 100% Romanian company. The CA Immo portfolio, which we represented with complete services, is an extremely solid one, assembled over 20 years. It has an impeccable mix of international and national tenants, buildings with a strategic location and an exceptional retention rate. This is more than a record transaction, it is a defining moment for the Romanian real estate market.” added Laura Dumea-Bencze, Director Investment Properties, CBRE Romania.

Despite the many macro challenges facing real estate investors around the world, the Romanian market remains very solid, and international, regional, and local investors remain highly interested in acquiring assets in the country.

CA Immo’s Romanian portfolio is comprising seven office buildings with excellent occupancy rates, all located in prime areas of Bucharest, with a total leasable area (GLA) of approximately 165,000 sqm.: 

  • Bucharest Business Park (26,700 sq m)
  • Campus 6.1 (22,700 sq m)
  • Europe House (16,400 sq m)
  • Opera Center I (11,900 sq m)
  • Opera Center II (3.500 sq m) 
  • Orhideea Towers (37,000 sq m) – pictured in the article 
  • Riverplace (47,000 sq m)

THETA Furniture & More implemented the design for the new BCR unit in Cluj-Napoca

THETA Furniture & More implemented the design for the new BCR unit in Cluj-Napoca 900 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

THETA Furniture & More has finalized in November 2022 implementing the interior design services for the new BCR (Banca Comerciala Romana – Romanian Commercial Bank) unit in Cluj-Napoca. BCR has moved its County Branch from the old space in Cluj-Napoca to a new one in The Office Building, also located in Cluj-Napoca. The space area of approx. 1000 sqm was fully delivered by THETA Furniture & More’s team, as Interior General Contractor. The concept has been created by the architecture studio 1722 Studio Lab.

“The layout concept of our new hub in Cluj-Napoca represents an innovative model of banking communication. This modern and friendly space is designed to encourage, throughout the entire environment, a more open and closer dialogue with each customer. It’s a place that aims to foster open conversations about money, life goals and plans, based on the principles of financial education. Thanks to our partners at THETA, who helped bring this concept to life, we are convinced that the customers who will enter our new unit in Cluj will enjoy a warm banking experience with high standards”, declared Petru Ciurtin, Director Zonal Retail BCR.

BCR has been a client of THETA Furniture & More since 2020. The collaboration started with the space design of Satu Mare’s branch. 

THETA Furniture & More is one of the most important Romanian integrators of interior design solutions, with its own custom-made furniture production factory of 5000 sqm in Păulești, Prahova County. The company founded in 2008 specializes in complete design and interior design solutions for spaces in segments such as office, commercial, HoReCa and medical.


CERTION completes VOGH Olimp project, less than two years after the works started

CERTION completes VOGH Olimp project, less than two years after the works started 1067 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

The real estate developer CERTION announces the completion of VOGH project, the first brand residences operated as a hotel in Olimp, less than two years after the start of the works. Thus, the company is preparing to start the reception process and then the delivery of the apartments to customers, with the project to be opened to guests in the first part of next year.

Located and developed in Olimp resort, which is in full transformation through investments of over 700 million euros until 2025, the 12-storey complex totals 173 apartments, out of which 85% have already been sold, with a total value of 57.6 million

“The successful completion of VOGH Olimp complex, despite the less favorable context of the last two years, confirms our ability to fulfill our promises to our investors and customers. For the entire team, delivery to the promised standard and on time was the main objective during this period,” said Cătălin Scripcaru, CEO of CERTION.

Among the main facilities available to guests and residents of VOGH Olimp is the spectacular infinity pool on the 11th floor overlooking the sea, unique on the Romanian coast. Added to that is the unique CIGAR BAR on the same floor plus a chic SPA area. The property benefits from hotel services specific to authentic brand residences.

The hotel custodian of VOGH Olimp is Loyal Paladin company, which will operate the largest alliance of branded residences in Romania, with a portfolio that will include approximately 2,000 accommodations until 2026.

The chain of brand residences operated by Loyal Paladin and developed by CERTION in the South of the Romanian coast, includes 5 projects, of which VOGH Olimp is the first completed. GALILEO Olimp Resort & Residences is also in an advanced stage of execution, whose construction was started at the end of 2021 and whose delivery is estimated in the second half of next year. The other three CERTION projects in the South of the Romanian coast, LAGO, SOLANTIS in Neptun and PHAROS in Olimp are in the authorization stage.


Dennis Selinas appointed Chief Executive Officer of Globalworth Group

Dennis Selinas appointed Chief Executive Officer of Globalworth Group 600 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

Globalworth announced the appointment of Dennis Selinas as the new CEO of the Group. The Board of the company and Dimitris Raptis, the current CEO, have agreed for Mr Raptis to step down from his role both as CEO and as a member of the Board with effect from 31 December 2022. Dennis Selinas is joining the Company as an executive director with effect from 21 November 2022 and will take over as CEO of Globalworth from 1 January 2023.

“On behalf of the Board, I’d like to place on record our thanks and appreciation to Dimitris for his drive and dedication over the last ten years. He has played a key role, especially over the last few challenging years, in steering the Company through to continued resilient performance and in shaping Globalworth’s plans for the future. He has also helped to nurture a first-class management team that, under Dennis’ future guidance, is now very well placed to take the business forward. On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Dennis to his new role with Globalworth. Dennis’ extensive background in CEE property and finance is the right fit for the company and will be vital for strengthening its dominance in the office market”, said Martin Bartyzal, Chairman.

Dennis Selinas has nearly 20 years of real estate experience in Central and Eastern Europe and is currently managing the real estate portfolio of Argo Capital Management Limited, an AIM-listed fund management company, which consists of €500m of retail assets in five SEE shopping centres (c. 275,000 GLA / Romania, Ukraine).

Dimitris Raptory remains connected to Globalworth in an advisory role. He joined the Board of the Company as Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer ahead of its IPO on AIM in 2013, later becoming CEO during 2020. 

Globalworth is the leading office investor in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).


Latest construction innovations discussed at BIMTECH, between 27-28 October

Latest construction innovations discussed at BIMTECH, between 27-28 October 1200 599 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

This autumn, BIMTECH will host the most important annual BIM Conference, BIMcon SUMMIT 2022. 

For the 4th year in a row, the organizers are bringing experts which are up to date with the latest developments and processes implemented globally in the matter of building technologies and standards. The topics include openBIM, Industry 4.0 and Digital Twins, discussed with IT specialists for a blend of innovation and high-tech in the construction sector.

This year’s approach will be a bit different, as participants will get a hands-on experience where the openBIM concept will be applied in an IFC-based workshop with Dion Moult, founder of BlenderBIM, who will introduce the participants to the world of this innovative tool. We will also launch for the first time the buildingSMART Romania working groups, through 4 halls dedicated to BIM related topics.  

The members of BREC benefit of 10% discount. More info on https://bimcon.bimtech.ro/products/bilet-acces-bimcon-summit-2022

Despite numerous challenges, developers are willing to meet the market’s requests for new housing developments

Despite numerous challenges, developers are willing to meet the market’s requests for new housing developments 901 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

Over 150 real estate managers, investors and entrepreneurs gathered last week at Novotel to discuss the main challenges and opportunities at BREC RESIDENTIAL CONFERENCE: The Future of Quality Living.

The economic impact of blocking the regional urban plans (PUZ) in the Capital is a significant one, Bucharest’s contribution to the national GDP already falling by 2.4 percentage points last year, and for the period 2022-2026 the total financial loss in the economy being estimated at 52 billion of lei, according to a study presented by Iancu Guda at the conference. 

One of the investors affected by this blockage is Speedwell, who bought the Griro platform in Bucharest at the end of 2020. Due to the blockage encountered in obtaining the permits, Jan Demeyere, co-founder of Speedwell, stated that they had to release 10% of their personnel. Moreover, the company’s investors might be looking more into Brasov, Iasi and Constanta rather than in Bucharest. Speedwell’s representative presented the project they have planned for Griro platform that should be executed within 10 years, gathering investment of 500 million Euro. 

Regarding the main blockage of the Bucharest residential market, the PUZ, according to Antoanela Comșa, President AREI and Gran Via Real Estate, there hasn’t been any PUZ approved since 2020, which led to a dramatical decrease of the building permits (in 2000 it has been issued approximately 2800 building permits, while in 2021 their number decreased to scarcely 218). The negative impact is felt not only by the private sector, but also by the public one. According to ISC (State Inspectorate of Construction), in 2020-2022 period, it is estimated a blockage of the public investments in a total value of 5.5 billion euro, thus making Bucharest a capital city fully blocked from the investment point of view.  

Raluca Baldea, Tax Partner at Deloitte has introduced us to the main fiscal changes impacting the residential segment: the 5% VAT limit has been reduced from 700.000 lei to 600.000 starting from January 1st 2023, being be a unique purchase with this facility. There is also a transitory period- thus, to the extent that an advance was paid before January 1, 2023 but the delivery takes place during 2023, the conditions regarding the reduced rate of VAT applicable at the time of signing the pre-contract are maintained. More precisely, temporarily, the 5% rate is also applied in the event that more than one house is purchased with a reduced rate for a maximum value of 450,000 lei, respectively a single house with a value of 700,000 lei, to the extent that they have been paid advances before January 1, 2023 and delivery/sale takes place in 2023. The building tax is also to be modified- the residential buildings will start from 0.1% and the non-residential from 5%, without a maximum cap. 

Within the panel dedicated to affordable housing, Tinu Sebeşanu, CEO of Impact developer presented the company’s concerns in entering a crisis due to the imbalanced offer and request on the market. Doubled by constructions costs and financing costs increases, the PUZ blockage can only make the prices of the new housing units go higher. 

When coming to construction sector, Adriana Iftime, general manager of Construction Federation, stated that the main challenge she foresees is the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. In the European forums it already appears to be drawn national directions in this perspective for some countries such as Germany, Belgium, Denmark. The reconstruction process would put a pressure on the construction segment – labor force and materials stocks and prices as well, which should be taken into serious consideration by the Romanian authorities. Also, she underlined, a productive dialogue is impetuous necessary with the local and the national authorities for the development sector not to fail.  

According to Andreea Comșa (Premier Estate Management), the affordable segment of the new residential market has been the most affected in the past 6 months due to changes occurred in the financing process, alongside the increases of the construction costs. On this segment particularly, the difference in the future will be made by the financial sustainable developers, the ones that rely solely upon the down payments of the clients to finance their future developments will probably need to find alternative financing solutions.

From the financing point of view, Sorin Cerbu (Libra Bank) stated that the bank financed residential developments are stable and mostly solid ones. The rhythm of sales is directly influenced by the differentiating qualities of the projects, especially ones relating to sustainability. As for the buyers’ financing, in spite of the current challenges, there is still room to grow, Romania having the lowest degree of financial intermediation in Europe – 47% (by comparison, in Hungary, Poland or Czech Republic it is situated between 70% and 80%).  

Akcent Development is looking forward to their new residential development of over 700 apartments to be built in one phase in Bucuresti Noi, an attractive development area in the northern side of Bucharest. The main challenge encountered is the construction costs instability, but, according to Laurentiu Afrasine, the company’s CEO, the middle-upper market cand sustain the price increases on this market, which he estimates to be next year over 2.000 eur/sqm. A mature market should have multiple layers of prices and the differentiation is normal, so that the market should absorb a few new developments.

The middle and upper middle housing development have a constant request on the market, according to Vincenzo Aquino (Nusco), in spite of the general concern on the market during the past months. The company is also taking into consideration of keeping a stock of apartments for rental, as an investment option for the company. The PUZ blockage and the pressure on the construction costs are challenges to be met, but the prices on this segment will not decrease, in his opinion, due to the market’s pressure, besides increasing costs, and also considering that Bucharest has one of the lowest prices per square meter in Europe.  

The former industrial platforms still represent a valid option for development, but according to Catalin Gavrila, partner at Crosspoint Real Estate, the PUZ blockage makes it impossible to make any kind of predictions. The investors on this type of plots are used to some extent to the permitting issues, but this moment is without precedent on the local market and there will be a significant lack of new housing in the next few years. 

As for the individual houses near Bucharest, Mioara Iofciulescu from Atlantis Romania, the request for villas with generous courtyards has increased in the recent years, so that they decided to develop a 28 villas and commercial spaces in the northern part of Bucharest, in Moara Vlasiei. The fast access towards the northern part of Bucharest – 15 minutes from Aviatiei-Pipera area and the energetic independence of the hoses being the main differentiator factors. The company is also intending to develop a 20 villas compound for rental and also are looking into logistic development as long-term plans. 

The final panel of the conference, dedicated to the fine living segment – the premium and luxury segments of the residential market, underlined the new tendencies on this segment.

According to Beatrice Dumitrascu, One United Properties, the sustainability issue is one of the main focuses on the companies’ developments, the partnership with Veolia being a strategical in this perspective. When discussing the quality of life, the clients are focused on green energy, moreover, given the fact that the energetic resources are a crucial issue in these times. Regarding the developments One United Properties have in pipeline, the request on the market is higher than the demand, the company having in their business plans also keeping a stock of apartments for rent. As for the heritage buildings that the company has in ownership and are in course of renovating and reconditioning, Beatrice is confident that they will be an attraction in Bucharest. 

In the closing of the conference, Eduard Beuran has introduced the branded residence concept developed by CERTION in Romania. For a property to truly be a branded residence (private homes curated and maintained by hotel brands), it must meet the highest standards in terms of location, service, design and amenities. Currently, the CERTION portfolio includes 5 such brand residence projects in Olimp (VOGH Olimp, Galileo, Lago-Solantis and Pharos) and one more in Poiana Brașov (Jakob Sonne). The company is also seeking for new locations in Romania for further developments.

The event was organized in partnership with One United Properties, Impact Developer & Contractor, Certion, Storia.ro, Alukönigstahl Romania and Reynaers Romania. 

10.4 billion euros, the loss of the added value in the economy, estimated for 2022-2026, because of the permitting blockage in Bucharest

10.4 billion euros, the loss of the added value in the economy, estimated for 2022-2026, because of the permitting blockage in Bucharest 901 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

Bucharest’s contribution to the total national GDP decreased by 2.4 percentage points from 2019 to 2021, the estimated losses for tax revenues being 17.2 billion lei (3.45 billion euros) until 2026. Those are the main conclusions of the first impact study regarding the blockage of the authorization process in Bucharest, carried out by financial analyst Iancu Guda and presented for the first time at the event organized by BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB, RESIDENTIAL CONFERENCE: The Future of Quality Living.

    The administrative blockage and the uncertainty of the urban climate are also reflected in the direct contribution of the construction industries and real estate transactions to Bucharest’s GDP. Thus, if in 2019, it stood at 14.2%, in 2020 it reached 14%, while in 2021 it amounted to 13.3%.

    At a national level, the construction and real estate transactions industries have been very dynamic in recent years, contributing the most to the economy’s recovery after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. These sectors register the highest increase in jobs in 2021 compared to 2019 (+80,703 new jobs), the highest increase in income (+90 billion lei), the highest increase in the balance of fixed assets (+44 billion lei), reflecting the largest investments compared to any other activity sector. Statistical data show that although there was an upward trend at the national level, Bucharest registered a considerable decrease.

    Considering the polarization of this sector (95% of companies have revenues below 1 million euros, representing 29% of total revenues), the decrease in the number of building permits determines that 9 out of 10 companies active in the analyzed sectors, which operate in Bucharest, are exposed to the risk of insolvency. The main vulnerability of these companies is their small size, in the context of a very high level of debt (almost 80%).

The estimated loss for tax revenues is 17.2 billion lei (3.45 billion euros), while the total loss of added value in the economy is approximately 52 billion lei (10.4 billion euros) for 2022 -2026. “The opportunity costs are enormous, given that the potential tax revenues that can be lost could be directed towards the construction of 5 hospitals, 5 high schools and 10 primary schools with kindergartens, in each sector of Bucharest. Alternatively, with these funds, the entire outworn heating network of Bucharest can be restored“, said financial analyst Iancu Guda during the BREC conference.

    “The consequences of the lack of predictability and the administrative blockage can generate financial losses greater than the 10.4 billion euros estimated in the study, through the reluctance of international and local investors to place their capital in new investments on the Bucharest market. The value of these losses is impossible to quantify“, said Despina Ponomarenco, President of the Bucharest Real Estate Club.


The WIPRO office fit-out in Globalworth Square finalised

The WIPRO office fit-out in Globalworth Square finalised 600 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

Globalworth has completed in September 2022 the fit-out project for its tenant, WIPRO, after several months of work. Globalworth Square is now the most technologically advanced building in the landlord’s portfolio. This office building obtained the BREEAM Outstanding certification, with 99% scoring, the 3rd highest worldwide.

The space has nearly 11,000 square meters and includes: flexible workspaces, ergonomic furniture, relaxation areas, plenty of game areas, amphitheatres and fresh materials. The project covers 5 floors (floors 9 – 13 of Globalworth Square) and hosts over 1,000 workstations and a total of 100 meeting room seats. The design was created with the assistance of PROGRAPHIC concept design architects.

One of the key fit-out elements was the integration of nature in the workspace. In addition to the visual aspect, which is a plus, the plants have been placed to act as a biofilter, improving air quality and reducing the carbon dioxide in the environment, releasing fresh oxygen.

“We have truly enjoyed working for a partner like WIPRO. Extremely open to our suggestions, they have always encouraged and supported us. We are grateful for their trust and our fantastic collaboration! It is extremely satisfactory to see the result and we are glad that this space is used by WIPRO, a company that has been in the Globalworth community for many years. Out of the work put in by our team, a creative, vibrant and unconstrained project came out. An office where employees feel creative, inspired and free. An office of the future built and fitted out in the present.”, said Dimitris Pergamalis, MRICS, Group Head of Workplaces at Globalworth.

With Globalworth Square the landlord is creating a new standard when it comes to responsiveness, well-being, sustainability, and reduced costs of occupancy. An important part of the energy consumption will be provided by the photovoltaic roof and to increase safety, direct contact with the surfaces will be limited by implementing touchless solutions with IR sensors in all the sanity facilities, while the access to the building and office spaces will be available through Bluetooth and NFC technologies. Globalworth Square also has an innovative health and safety feature, increasing the air filtration and UVC light disinfection for a hygienic office environment: a system that disinfects the air introduced in the office area as well as in the common spaces with the help of UV-C lamps installed on the inlet connections of the air-treatment stations. This system ensures efficient and effective reduction of microorganisms by up to 99%, even in very confined spaces, and it works against viruses such as Covid-19 and other pathogens. Another innovation is the building’s cooling system, consisting of a heat pump, R1234ze ecological freon chillers and a boot storage, designed to generate low energy consumption. The implementation of the ice storage system is unique for a class A office building in Romania.


Skanska to offer flex office spaces in partnership with DBH Group

Skanska to offer flex office spaces in partnership with DBH Group 783 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

Skanska leased at the beginning of September 2022 a total 5,100 sqm office spaces to DBH Group, to serve as flex office space. The long-term partnership includes 1,800 sqm in the Equilibrium 1 building in Bucharest, Romania, and 3,300 sqm in H 2 Offices in Budapest, Hungary.

DBH Group develops and manages flex office spaces across the EU market. The new agreement allows Skanska’s commercial development business unit in the CEE to extend the services for tenants in the two buildings mentioned above. Spaces will be available for both smaller occupiers, while benefiting from the advantages of Skanska’s future-proof buildings, as well as for existing tenants looking for flexible growth.

”During the pandemic, DBH Serviced Office realized that large corporate clients are more and more open for premium flexible office solutions. When it was about the Bucharest opening, it was no question that DBH needs a high-quality building in a first-class location. Equilibrium is in the heart of Floreasca office district and, also close to the central business district. Skanska as a developer was the guarantee for the building’s finest materials & services, and a guarantee for an ecosystem appreciating flexible solutions”, said Dr. Sándor Erdei, CEO of DBH Group.

Equilibrium 1 is a 12-storey Class A office building with a leasable area of 20,700 sqm and 3,500 sqm of green area specially designed for outdoor work and recreation. After the completion of the second phase of the project, Equilibrium 2, the complex will provide a total area of 40,700 sqm.

Skanska and DBH can trace their business cooperation back to 2011 when Skanska opened its Romanian entity in a DBH flex office in Bucharest.

IMPACT – new capital increase in support of 1.3 billion EUR development projects

IMPACT – new capital increase in support of 1.3 billion EUR development projects 800 600 BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB

IMPACT Developer & Contractor issued a maximum of 125,000,000 shares in August 2022. The raised capital will support the company’s development strategy, which includes current projects with a gross development value of 1.3 billion EUR. 

IMPACT is the first real estate developer listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and has the stock symbol „IMP”. This operation is the second share capital increase through private placement in 2022. The action comes after a successful first action finalized earlier this year and was intermediated by Swiss Capital as licensed broker. 

Despite the challenges generated by the economical global context, IMPACT has proven that it has the ability to adapt and continue to implement its mid-term growth development strategy. We are continuing our expansion both in Bucharest, where we are accelerating the development of Greenfield Baneasa, and nationally, with ongoing projects in Constanta and Iasi. In the coming months we will focus to launch the project in Iasi, the biggest masterplan project in Moldova, as Iasi is one of the fastest growing cities in the country with strong presence of various companies and with an increasing demand for residential.“, says Constantin Sebeșanu, CEO of IMPACT Developer & Contractor. 

Greenfield Baneasa is IMPACT’s flagship project with an estimated total value of more than 800 mln EUR. The project will include more than 6,000 apartments situated on over 600,000 sqm of land in the northern part of the Capital. At the moment, at Greenfield Baneasa, work is underway to complete the last 435 apartments part of Phase 4, which totals 1,167 BREEAM Excellent certified apartments. Greenfield Baneasa has one more phase and will be finalized in 2028.

IMPACT will also start working this year at Greenfield Copou, in Iasi, as well as Boreal Plus project in Constanta. Greenfield Copou aims to be the largest sustainable residential project in Moldova. In Constanta IMPACT will develop a mixed project of villas and apartment blocks. 

In its more than 25 years of uninterrupted listing on the BVB, IMPACT has attracted financing of 128.5 mln EUR for the development of its projects, through a series of financial instruments, including investment loans and the issuance of new shares and bonds.

IMPACT has 31 years of experience on the market and is the first real estate developer listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The shares of IMPACT are listed on the premium category of the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The company has a market capitalization of 1,119,649,277.87 lei (aprox. 231 mln EUR). 

IMPACT uses the best practices of corporate governance, transparency, accountability and communication with investors, obtaining the 10th rating at the VEKTOR valuation made by the Association for Investor Relations on the Romanian Stock Exchange. The mission of IMPACT is to develop communities through sustainable projects, at BREEAM Excellent quality standards, nZEB certified, both in Bucharest and in the major cities of the country.