Total investments of over 2 billion EURO are currently undergoing or will be soon started in the 5 largest cities in the country (Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Iasi and Constanta). Thus, between the end of 2021 and 2024, in the 5 cities and in the adjacent regions commercial property projects totaling over 370,000 sqm (office buildings, logistics spaces, retail parks) will be completed, as well as 7 large hotels affiliated to international brands and more than 20,000 new apartments, according to the BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB (BREC) – REGIONAL CITIES report launched today. The analysis is performed based on BREC information from companies active on the market and CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield Echinox, Simon & Partners Cluj-Napoca, IMRA Real Estate Constanta and EST Hospitality data.
The real estate dynamics across the main cities of Romania:
TIMISOARA ATTRACTS THE LARGEST VOLUME OF INVESTMENTS, NEARLY 50% OF THE TOTAL
Timisoara attracts almost 1 billion euros in investments, approximately half of the total regional investments, in office, retail and logistics projects of over 190,000 square meters, a 5-star Radisson Blu hotel and over 5,000 apartments that will be delivered by 2024, according to the BREC analysis. Of the 5 regions analyzed, Timis attracts the largest real estate investments due to the excellent connection with the pan-European corridors, the area having already been established as a strategic location for production facilities. Iulius Group is working here on one of the most important office projects, UBC 0, with 30,000 sqm and AFI Europe added AFI Park Timisoara project to its portfolio last year. At the same time, large investors in logistics such as CTP, WDP, VGP and Global Vision are present with ongoing projects of over 115,000 sqm.
IASI: + 65,000 SQM OFFICES AND RETAIL AND +5,000 NEW APARTMENTS
Iasi accumulates investments in office and retail projects of over 65,000 sqm and over 5,000 apartments in various compounds that will be completed by 2024. Iulius Group is working here on one of the largest investments in the country on the office segment, respectively 60,000 sqm at Palas Campus, but also the Family Market retail parks in Miroslava and Bucium, a total investment of 17 million euros. In the context of a high presence of foreign companies in this region, COS, the leader of the office fit-out market (design and arrangement for interior spaces), recently opened a new representative office in Iasi. COS also has regional offices in Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca (also operating the Stables co-working space here) and recently attracted the Sarmis investment fund to shareholders, continuing the regional expansion. The large real estate developers in logistics are still absent in Iasi, but two recent public investments – the industrial parks Iasi Industrial Park and Miroslava Industrial Park – have catered for the demand on this segment.
BRASOV: A NEW DEVELOPMENT STAGE
Brasov is at the start of a new development stage, considering the completion of the new international airport, scheduled for 2022, the strategic location in the center of the country and the tourism potential. According to the BREC analysis, Brasov has approximately 2,500 apartments under construction, over 45,000 sqm of office and logistics space under development and 3 other hotels (Radisson, Ibis, Hilton) under various stages of preparation. One of the largest investors in the area is AFI Europe, which last year completed an EUR 148 million investment in the AFI Brasov mixed-use project and will begin construction of the second office building in the project (10,000 sqm) in next period.
CLUJ – NAPOCA: 3 NEW LARGE HOTELS AND +5,000 NEW APARTMENTS
After a period in which Cluj-Napoca attracted the largest volume of investments in offices after Bucharest, the city and the surrounding areas attract over 20,000 square meters of new logistics spaces, 3 new hotels (including a Radisson hotel and a hotel under the Courtyard by Marriott brand) and over 5,000 apartments in projects already started or which will start in the next period, with completion deadlines between 2022-2024. One of the major investors in Cluj is Immofinanz, which owns the Vivo! Shopping center here, with an area of over 60,000 sqm. After recently investing EUR 22 million in the modernization of this center, the Austrian investor will soon complete the modernization of a new 10,000 sqm area at the Vivo! center Baia Mare.
CONSTANTA: INVESTORS BET ON LOGISTICS & RESIDENTIAL. NO MAJOR OFFICE PROJECT YET
So far, Constanta has attracted investments mainly in the retail and logistics segments, while in recent years it is the target of residential investors, both in the city and in the seaside resorts, for holiday apartments. More than 7,000 apartments are currently under construction or will be launched in the next period, including an investment of EUR 40 million in the second phase of the Gran Via Marina project of the Spanish developer Gran Via, which will complete 500 of new apartments until 2024. The region has high potential for logistics, due to its location and available transport infrastructure. Also, the city could attract in the near future at least a major investment on the office segment, given that no iconic building has been developed up to present.
NEW CITIES AND TRENDS ON ROMANIA REAL ESTATE MAP
New investments in retail parks, a format favored by the social distancing period and by the sanitary restrictions. New cities on the map. Investors Square 7 & Mitiska have recently completed 2 such projects in Baia Mare and Medias, further preparing the expansion of the park in Slatina and a new investment in Giurgiu (20,000 sqm). Also, Iulius group is working on 2 new retail parks under the Family Market brand in the Iasi area (Bucium neighborhood and Miroslava commune), with a total area of 9,200 sqm. Other new investments of this type are expected in the market, considering the need still insufficiently covered on this segment in the secondary and tertiary cities in the country.
Logistics, one of the most active real estate segments in the last 2 years, attracts investments in new regions. Element Industrial is developing 500,000 sqm in cities such as Braila (EUR 25 million), Ploiesti or Pitesti. Element Group relies on both large formats and the ELI Xpress format – proximity logistics, inside cities. Also, as the pandemic highlighted the underdeveloped infrastructure for the medical sector, new logistics formats or other medical destination buildings may enter the real estate investors` radar in the next period.
Real estate investments across the country have also drawn the regional expansion of other players in related sectors, such as the fit-out market, facility management, construction and architectural materials / systems, etc. Alukönigstahl Romania, the local subsidiary of the European leader on the market of aluminum, PVC and steel systems, signed in the first 9 months of 2021 contracts worth 17 million euros, with over 60% of the projects on the residential segment, THETA Furniture & More – interior design solutions integrator is expected to complete a new furniture factory (4 million EUR investment) near Bucharest in Q1 2022, EFMS (Romanian entrepreneurial facility management company) has expanded nationwide, reaching EUR 6.6 million turnover in 2020 and Reynaers Aluminum, a systems for facades and doors supplier, inaugurated 3 new showrooms in Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Timisoara this year.