Real estate developer Element Industrial announces a new project in its portfolio, ELI Park Braila, a total investment of over 25 million EUR. The logistic scheme is localized on an 11-hectares plot in Braila Free Zone. Element Industrial plans here the development of a 50.000 sqm GLA logistic park in 3 phases.
“We have recently received the building permit for the first phase of 10.000 sqm, an excellent option for distribution, production or logistics, with direct access to E584”, said Andrei Jerca, Managing Director, Element Industrial, also adding: “Braila has all the advantages a business needs: positioning in the road-naval junction, labor force, the opening given by the bridge over the Danube and, last but not least, local authorities that make every effort to attract investors in the area.”
ELI Park Braila Logistic Park is to be built according to class A standards and for the future phases the developer also targets “built to suit” constructions.
Element Industrial is one of the most active Romanian developers on the logistics market. The developer is working on a series of projects under the ELI Parks brand, logistics parks with areas between 50-60.000 sqm in Bucharest, Bacau, Braila or Ploiesti, as well as warehouses with smaller areas, grouped under the name ELI Xpress in cities such as Bucharest, or Pitesti. The developer also offers an integrated package of built to suit services for production and storage facilities, starting from the identification of the lands suitable for such developments, authorization, design and delivery according to the specific requirements for each project.
ONV LAW / BACK TO OFFICE ANALYSIS: EU recommends managers to support as much as possible employees affected by Covid – 19
Managers have a significant impact on the successful come – back to the workplace of the employees, their actions and behavior being able to influence the employees` capacity of returning to work, points out an ONV LAW analysis over a series of recommendations of the European Union (EU) made via the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work
One of the highlighted aspects in the EU recommendations is the distinction between the « acute Covid-19 » stage, in which the most severe disease symptoms manifest and which can take 2 up to 4 weeks and the « long evolution Covid-19 » stage or « permanent symptomatic Covid-19», with symptoms lasting 4-12 weeks and the « post-Covid-19 syndrome», with symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks.
“The European Union shows that the long-lasting symptoms are usually ignored, although they have a significant impact on the employees` work capacity, thus most of the ones who report persistent symptoms will need workplace adaptations and a slow come back,” states Lorena Ciobanu, ONV LAW Partner.
The 5 main EU recommendations for managers:
- Keep permanent contact with the employees in their work absence period
- Prepare for the employee`s return to the workplace
- Have a conversation with the employee about coming back to the office
- Offer support in the first days after return
- Offer permanent support and organize regular meetings with the employee
The ONV LAW analysis also shows that it may be necessary to apply temporary policies regarding Covid-19, especially regarding absence due to disease and necessity to support versus sanction those who need a prolonged absence period or adjusted tasks. The absence or the diminishing of work capacity for a considerable number of employees can cause pressure on continuing activities or on the employees who remained at work.
EU recommends supplementary work volume at the lowest possible level for employees affected by Covid-19
The EU recommendations also include maintaining the extra work volume at the lowest possible level, as well as limiting supplementary work as much as possible. Direct managers have an important role in monitoring the situation and avoiding employees` overload, thus it is recommended to respect the rules and agreements regarding the work schedule and rest periods; also employers are recommended to allow employees to relax when they are not at work.
Regardless of the vaccination or the return to office rate of the recovered employees, the EU recommends maintaining sanitary measures, including physical distancing, hygiene, using protection masks to prevent virus spread. These measures remain important, even if the vaccination rate increases.
There are numerous actions that can help the returning employees to manage their health and work, thus the telemedicine professionals remark that the best results are registered when the manager and employees collaborate in this regard.
“In conclusion, we can notice that due to the duration and the impact of the post-Covid-19, people may need a slow come back to work, also known as <progressive> return. It is less probable that a standard, instant come back to be adequate for those affected by long evolution Covid-19. Progressive returns can be adapted in time and may last weeks or even months. For employees with fatigue symptoms, remote work and diminishing the work rhythm, meaning working with rest pauses depending on symptoms are important according to the EU recommendations,” concludes the ONV LAW specialist.
A study by Ipsos Romania quoted by ONV LAW shows that almost half (48%) of the employees who worked from home wish very much to come back to their workplace.
Fortress, one of the largest real estate investments trusts (REITs) in South Africa, has reached an agreement with Element Industrial and Paval Holding and signed the acquisition contract for ELI Park 1, a Class A industrial development located in the newest logistics hub in Bucharest North-West, Buftea – Chitila, marking thus their first logistics acquisition in Romania.
“Romania is one of the most exciting long-term logistics and warehousing investment propositions globally due to the high industrial and consumer growth potential and close access to Western Europe. The market is in the development phase with a lot of runway for real estate investment for Fortress,” said Steven Brown, CEO of Fortress REIT Limited.
“We are satisfied that by developing ELI Park 1 at high standards we have attracted a new player on the local market, South Africa’s largest logistics owner and developer, which brings valuable know-how and experience in Romania,” said Andrei Jerca, Managing Director of Element Industrial. “The transaction confirms Buftea-Chitila as the 3rd logistics hub near Bucharest as well as the developing force of Element Industrial, recognized by a worldwide real estate giant,” he added.
ELI Park 1 is a 50.000 sqm GLA Class A logistics and industrial park, located 15 minutes from North of Bucharest and 5 minutes from the ring road, near the connection with the future A0, Bucharest new ring road. This is expected to change the logistics industry for Romania’s Capital City. ELI Park 1 is leased to tenants such as Arctic, Decor Floor, Dentotal, Euro Games Technology Romania, Kalapod, Mobilier 1, Novomatic and Paste Baneasa. ELI Park 1 was developed in joint venture by Element Industrial (founded by Romanian real estate investor Ionut Dumitrescu) and Paval Holding (founded by two Romanian entrepreneurs, Dragos and Adrian Paval).
The transaction has been coordinated by a joint team from the sale – side: Diana Nanu and Alexandra Popa from Element Group and Karina Paval and Narcisa Stanimir from Paval Holding, assisted by the real estate consultant CBRE Romania led by Mihai Patrulescu and legal experts from Kinstellar, led by Alexandru Mocanescu.
On the buyer`s side, the transaction has been coordinated by Steven Brown, Howard Penny and Maciej Tuszynski of Fortress, assisted by Bogdan Papandopol, in consultation with Perry Zizzi, of Dentons, Cushman &Wakefield Echinox (led by Tim Wilkinson) and PWC (led by Cornelia Bumbacea).
Part of Element Group, with diverse investments in logistics, retail and office, Element Industrial is one of the most active local developers on the logistics market. The pandemic created new opportunities in the logistics market, in the context of acceleration of digitalization and the growth of the e-commerce market.
Through the diversity of products in the portfolio of Element Industrial, the developer aims to be a flexible partner for logistics space tenants in Romania. Besides the investments from the Buftea-Chitila hub, Element Industrial is working on several projects located in cities such as Bacau, Braila, Ploiesti or Pitesti. The company’s target is to develop 500.000 sqm by 2026.
10% participation discount for BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB member companies. The event will be held in a hybrid online-offline format.
The annual event dedicated to the sustainable development of Romanian cities and regions is at its 9th edition and has consolidated its position as a top event for the business environment, architecture, urban development and administration.
Encouraging the sustainable development of the country, promoting measures to increase its attractiveness for new investments and stimulating the country’s competitiveness are essential factors for the organizers. Cities of Tomorrow offers a platform for the exchange of ideas, concepts and know-how between the public and private sectors, with the ambition to create a context conducive to concrete actions leading to tangible results.
Relevant authorities, as well as business representatives, both German and Romanian experts will take part in the event. Confirmed panelists list includes Sebastian Metz, General Manager of the German-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania), Andreas Lier, President of the German-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Romania), Christian Plate, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bucharest, Radu Mihaiu, Mayor of District 2, Bucharest, Burkhard Drescher, Managing Director, ICM – Innovation City Management GmbH, Ioan Popa, Mayor of Resita, Andreas Kipar, Co-Founder, CEO & Creative Director, LAND – Landscape Architecture Nature Development, Eugen Panescu, planwerk Cluj, Executive Board Member at Architects Council of Europe, Dorothee Hasnas, Architect and Cultural Manager.
To book a seat at the conference, please fill out the registration form.
If you represent a public authority, participation is free – register here.
Read more about AHK – The German-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
IMMOFINANZ generated strong growth in the results of operations and net profit during the first half-year. The expansion of the portfolio through acquisitions in Bucharest and Italy during recent months will be continued, with an acquisition and development project pipeline in volume of of more than EUR 1 billion.
IMMOFINANZ reports strong results for the first half of 2021, even though the markets generally remained under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures. The results of operations rose by a sound 73% to EUR 103.3 million, above all due to an increase in the results of asset management and the results of property development combined with cost savings, and shows the professional performance of IMMOFINANZ employees in all markets. The progress of vaccination campaigns and the related economic upturn supported the recovery of part of the crisis-related property write-downs from the previous year. Net profit turned strongly positive and, at EUR 228.6 million, clearly exceeded the pre-crisis half-year in 2019. FFO 1, which excludes valuation results and reflects the company‘s operating cash flow earning power, improved by 7.7% to EUR 64.4 million and also substantially exceeded the pre-crisis FFO 1 from the 2019 reference period.
“The strong development of our business and portfolio in the first half of 2021 underscores the excellent position of our real estate products in both crisis times and for the following years as well as our pioneering role in Europe – with regard to our high-quality, flexible myhive office solutions and our standing as Europe’s leading retail park operator. From this basis, we intend to continue our growth course as one of the major European real estate companies and are planning acquisitions and development projects for more than one billion euros by 2024“, states Dietmar Reindl, COO of IMMOFINANZ.
Plans include the further expansion of the existing asset classes with myhive in Vienna and in the capital cities of the core countries. The STOP SHOP retail park portfolio will grow from roughly 100 to 140 locations, whereby the country focus will be placed on Italy and Croatia, CEE and, selectively, also on Western Europe.
“We are very well positioned for this growth with a robust balance sheet structure, more than one billion euros of available liquidity, our investment-grade rating and favourable financing costs of 1.9%. In view of the strong earnings and financial situation and successful crisis management, we will make a recommendation to the annual general meeting for the 2020 financial year to increase the dividend from EUR 0.55 per share to EUR 0.75 per share“, explains Stefan Schönauer, CFO of IMMOFINANZ.
Property portfolio grows to EUR 5.1 billion
IMMOFINANZ’s portfolio included 209 properties with a combined carrying amount of EUR 5.1 billion at the end of June 2021 (31 December 2020: EUR 5.0 billion). Of this total, approximately 64% are attributable to the office business and 35% to the retail business. The gross return equals 5.9% based on IFRS rental income and 6.2% based on invoiced rents. The occupancy rate equals 94.1% and continues to represent a high level in international comparison (31 December 2020: 96.0%). The retail properties are essentially fully rented with an occupancy rate of 97.5%, and all of the space in our shopping centers and retail parks is open without limitation. The office business registered a slight decline in the occupancy rate to 90.3% during the first half-year – primarily due to a reduction in the space leased by a major tenant in Germany which was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the still challenging environment, we completed several new major long-term rentals: for example, nearly 11,000 sqm to a leading Romanian medical center provider in Bucharest.
More than EUR 1 billion of available liquid funds
IMMOFINANZ has a robust balance sheet structure with an equity ratio of 47.4% (31. December 2020: 45.1%) and cash and cash equivalents of EUR 966.9 million. Furthermore, a revolving credit line of EUR 100.0 million is also available. The net loan to value remains at a conservative 38.1% (31 December 2020: 37.8%). The average remaining term of the financial liabilities is 4.25 years, and the average financing costs declined to 1.91% per year including derivatives (31 December 2020: 1.99%). The hedging quota is high at 88.6%, and the unencumbered asset pool (investment property and S IMMO shares at the EPRA NAV) totals EUR 2.0 billion or 35.6% (31 December 2020: EUR 2.0 billion or 34.9%).
EPRA indicators and book value per share improve by roughly 8%
The EPRA NTA per share rose by 7.8% to EUR 30.0 as of 30 June 2021 (31 December 2020: EUR 27.8). This increase is primarily attributable to the positive development of earnings in the first half of 2021. The book value per share increased by 7.8% to EUR 27.2 (31 December 2020: EUR 25.2).
BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB took the opportunity to visit the new 5-star Marmorosch Hotel, recently inaugurated in Bucharest Downtown historical center, under the Autograph Collection brand by Apex Alliance, after a long and careful restoration process led by CUMULUS Architecture Studio.
The rich architecture of the Art-Deco, as well as the interior design, tell a story of progressive ideas of the time evoking the thrilling sense of historical importance and optimism that is closely tied with the era. Currently, the hotel features 217 rooms from standard category to suites, 4 meeting and ballrooms, 4 F&B outlets (restaurant, lounge, bar as well as a coffee corner), a fitness center and an SPA with an indoor pool and treatment rooms. Here is what we liked most:
1. The careful conservation of a valuable La Belle Epoque building
The Marmorosch, a class A monument decorated in neo-Romanian style, became the first hotel opened under the Autograph Collection brand in Romania. The restoration process was a difficult and challenging one, as the architects state, most of them due to the responsibility of the building’s heritage. The interior design reflects the interwar period and every inch has been restored or reconditioned, implying a total budget of EUR 42 mil. from investor Appex Alliance.
2. The edgy interior design
The consolidation and restoration work for the Marmorosch – Blank Palace and converting the former Bucharest bank into a 5-star hotel took 3 years, under the coordination of CUMULUS Architecture Office. The Art Deco and Art Nouveau architectural heritage include architectural and artworks, restored murals, specific furniture for the bank’s activity and many other bank references that can be found at every step in Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection.
“The Marmorosch building is itself built on an early stylistic experiment of undeniable value. The whole process of design, coordination and execution of the project meant for us at CUMULUS a privilege to be able to contribute to the conversion of a bank building into a hotel, thus rendered to the public through its open function”, said architect Adrian Soare, Senior Managing Partner at CUMULUS Architecture and lead author of the project.
Marmorosch Bucharest has a total of 217 rooms, split between Silver and Gold rooms, with the addition of Heritage and Platinum suites and the spectacular Marmorosch Palace Suite designed by YES Design Lithuania.
“Marmorosch Blank is a private bank that was the foundation of modern Romania, the monument building being of a unique stylistic value for Bucharest. The conversion and restoration project in The Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection is about bringing back to the public circuit a historical heritage that we can be proud of, to open to the city an abandoned, forgotten building and to create a reference point on the emotional map of the city”, architect Adrian Soare ads.
For interior design & other specialties, the architects collaborated with YES Design, a pioneering design studio from Lithuania.
3. Contemporary atmosphere, while thoroughly respecting this heritage building
We loved the modern adaptation of various interior design elements under this historical building. As an example, a cool contemporary bar has been set up on the former safe deposit location, underground the building and all over the building modern elements naturally blend with the original architecture of the place.
The architects` challenges were also the adaptation of the building to the operational safety and fire safety requirements in force in Romania, as well as to the strict standards of the Autograph Collection by Marriott brand for a luxury hotel while preserving all the existing valuable elements.
The former premises of Marmorosch Blank Bank were designed and erected in several phases starting with the year 1912. The initial design was elaborated by the architect Petre Antonescu and given its spatial and decorative qualities, the building represents an eloquent example of bank architecture of traditional inspiration of the early 20th Century.
Photo Credit: Bianca Dobrescu
This year between October 11 – 13 in Munich, Germany, BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB teams up with AHK Rumänien – the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry to support the official participation of Romania at EXPO REAL, the most prestigious real estate industry international event, traditionally held every year, since 1998.
“The importance of EXPO REAL as an international trade fair for property and investment is unbroken. We witness a huge demand for face-to-face encounters and have taken every precaution to ensure a safe stay for everyone involved,” explained Klaus Dittrich, CEO of Messe München.
To date, more than 800 companies—exhibitors as well as co-exhibitors—have confirmed their participation. The number of registrations will further increase because the main exhibitors on the numerous joint pavilions are now registering additional co-exhibitors. Exhibitors already registered include real estate companies as well as cities, regions and countries. Exhibitors include companies such as Aareal Bank, Aurelis, BayernLB, Bayerische Hausbau, Berlin Hyp, BNP Real Estate, CBRE, Colliers, Commerz Real, Deka Immobilien Investment , DIP Deutsche Immobilien Partner, Dreso, DWS, Edeka, Garbe Industrial Real Estate, Goldbeck, Helaba, Instone Group, Invesco Real Estate, JLL, KGAL, Logicor, Nassauische Heimstätte, pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, Savills, Signa Group of Companies, TREI Real Estate, UniCredit, Union Investment Real Estate, Zech Group or ZIA.
At EXPO REAL 2021, in partnership with AHK Rumänien, BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB will promote the largest real estate investments in Bucharest and the Regional Cities of Romania – major Urban Regeneration Projects, Office Developments, New Retail, Logistics and Residential investments.
THETA Furniture & More, one of the largest players in the interior fit-out segment in Romania, announces the start of construction works for its new production factory, near Bucharest, with 5.000 sqm capacity. Using cutting-edge technology, the factory will produce custom-made furniture and it is planned to start operations early 2022.
The construction had the break ground in May this year with the location set up in the vicinity of the current factory, near Bucharest. THETA Furniture & More is the single general contractor on the Romanian fit-out market owning an operating an owned factory.
The project and its development represent an investment of approximately EUR 4 mil. “With the construction of the factory, we predict a doubling of our production capacity and significant improvement of the factory efficiency, ensuring superior control and optimization of our custom-made furniture process,” company officials stated for BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB.
“The most important investment for THETA is our people. As the current rapid pace of digitalization and artificial intelligence is transforming the whole furniture industry, we are constantly acquiring new equipment and refurbishing the existing ones.
Also, we picture the new factory as an innovation center that is offering us strategic advantages. In the near future we are planning to build a few niches product line, with the goal of exploring and achieving new advancements in performance, range and the development of innovative products, that will allow the company the flexibility needed to rapidly adapt to emerging technologies,” states Gelu Florian, COO of THETA Furniture & More.
Smart materials, accessories and technologies
“We consider that modern furniture manufacturing industry plays a big part in the economies of a country. Our specialists from the factory are working with modern materials, innovative accessories and uses state-of-the-art technologies in creating custom-made furniture, smart ceilings, practical floors, lighting fixtures and more. The partnerships with important architects in the field and the exclusive partnerships with global renowned materials manufacturers for standard furniture products, are the ingredient of our unique concepts,” also say company representatives.
Transport & storage
After its production, the furniture pieces need a space that generally is disproportionately larger than the space required by its raw materials. Therefore, transport and storage require a lot of effort – especially if it is meant for shipping abroad. The new factory has a better space optimization and comprise areas such as office, production, processing, painting area, storage area, the last one being well equipped for easy and quick packaging & transport of the furniture pieces and linked to the car fleet area, the company officials say.
“THETA is synonymous with innovation and courage and we are a key player in the local interior design journey towards a sustainable future. Investments like this support job creation and represent our long-term commitment,” states Florin Gheorghe, Co-Founder & CEO THETA Furniture & More for BUCHAREST REAL ESTATE CLUB.
Lithuanian group Apex Alliance Hotel Management opened the Marmorosch Bucharest Hotel, Autograph Collection in Bucharest’s Old Town area, following a 42 million euro investment.
Marmorosch Bucharest has 217 rooms, split between Silver and Gold rooms, plus Heritage and Platinum suites and the Marmorosch Palace Suite.
“After a year of uncertainty and challenges due to the pandemic, we are delighted to now present a mesmerizing project and the first Autograph Collection hotel in the Romanian market with the opening of Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection. It is a unique hotel, situated in a former palace of Marmorosch-Blank Bank with a special history of more than 100 years. The meticulous restoration has honored the building’s storied past, and we have worked to reawaken its rich architectural Art Deco and Art Nouveau heritage. This elegant hotel situated at a fantastic address in the city will appeal to both the corporate and leisure segment of guests who seek new experiences in the city,” said Gerhard Erasmus, CEO of Apex Alliance Hotel Management.
The opening marks Autograph Collection Hotels first hotel in Romania, Marriot International’s diverse and dynamic portfolio of hotels that champion values of vision, design and craft. The building has the status of a historical monument, and the restoration works were carried out with the help of local craftsmen, who brought back to life the interwar design of La Belle Époque.
“We understood we are in the business of taking care of people. Everything around us is based on perceptions, and we all want and expect to create or receive fantastic, memorable experiences. With Marmorosch Bucharest this is our goal – to offer not just a room, not just a bar, but a complete luxury, hotel stay experience”, said Harmen Silver, General Manager of Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection.
The Lithuanian group’s main financial partner in financing the Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection hotel opening was BCR.
“We are glad that we can contribute to the rejuvenation of the architectural heritage of Bucharest, by supporting a sustainable reconversion project of a historic building, which contributes to achieving a better and safer future for the Capital city. There are plenty of heritage buildings in the historical center that need rehabilitation and upgrades, and such initiatives are a proof of the city’s tourism and development potential. There are many investors interested in contributing to the urban regeneration of Bucharest, based on sustainable principles, and we are ready to support them”, said Bogdan Cernescu, BCR Corporate Coverage Director.
The consolidation and restoration work for the Marmorosch-Blank palace, decorated in neo-Romanian style, lasted three years and were led by the Cumulus architecture office. The Art Deco and Art Nouveau architectural heritage includes architectural and art works, restored murals, specific furniture for the bank’s activity and many other bank references that can be found at every step in Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection.
“The Marmorosch building is itself built on an early stylistic experiment of undeniable value. The whole process of design, coordination and execution of the project meant for us at CUMULUS a privilege to be able to contribute to the conversion into a hotel of a bank building, thus rendered to the public through its open function”, said architect Adrian Soare, lead author of the project, Senior Managing Partner Cumulus Architecture
Apex Alliance Hotel Management is an independent Lithuanian operator focusing on establishing and developing longstanding partnerships with institutional investors, property owners or private equity funds while providing the management services to their existing or future hotels. The company operates five hotels in Bucharest, with a total capacity of more than 1.000 rooms. These include Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town, Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Airport, Courtyard Bucharest Floreasca, Moxy Bucharest Old Town and The Marmorosch Bucharest. In Romania, so far, the group has invested around EUR 120 million.
Credit photo: Mihai Georgiadi