Property News

AFI Europe aims to achieve zero carbon emissions for all its projects by 2025

AFI Europe aims to achieve zero carbon emissions for all its projects by 2025 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

06.10.2022

AFI Europe announces a series of plans aimed at achieving ambitious sustainability targets for all its projects, a significant reduction of carbon emissions, the well-being and safety of their occupants, as well as transforming real estate projects into smart buildings with a high degree of access to technology.

According to the company’s sustainability strategy, one of the most important objectives is to obtain, by 2025, the “LEED Zero Carbon” certification for all ongoing office projects, and also for all future AFI Europe’s projects targeted to be developed in the future in Romania. Therefore, AFI Europe Romania enrolled in the process of obtaining “LEED Zero Carbon” certification, process targeted to be finalized within the next 2 years.

The company is assisted by Colliers as a consultant and shall primarily target all operational buildings in AFI Europe Romania’s portfolio. Based on an initial process of evaluation, a set of measures shall be issued and implemented such as: increasing energy efficiency (by BMS optimization, LED lighting and controls, improvement of insulation and other technical improvements), using green energy (100% electricity from renewable sources) and plan improvements to diminish carbon emissions from fossil fuels.

“AFI Europe is taking the impact of buildings on the environment to the next level, by committing to LEED Zero Carbon certification for its entire office portfolio. Obtaining carbon neutrality by 2050 is a target of European Union and AFI Europe Romania acts as a pioneer on the Romanian market by making these early improvements. We are excited that our ESG Strategic Advisory team will consult AFI during the process of LEED Zero Carbon certification. This program has a unique ability to verify this new level of milestone in sustainability by tackling climate change and encouraging enhanced progress on the triple bottom line of “people, planet and profit”, mentioned Oana Stamatin, ESG Chief Officer – CEE & Romania, Colliers.

On the long run, AFI Europe’s strategy involves a carbon-free approach for all ongoing office projects and that will be developed in Romania, and its commitment to a sustainable development anticipates and moves several years ahead of the objectives set at the European level.

7 office projects certified as sustainable projects

To date, AFI Europe has obtained LEED and BREEAM green certifications for all 7 office projects existing in its portfolio: AFI Park, AFI Tech Park, AFI Victoriei Plaza, AFI Park Floreasca, AFI Lakeview, AFI Park Timișoara and AFI Park Brașov, and also for AFI Brașov shopping center and AFI City Bucuresti Noi residential compound which received the certification “Green Homes”. AFI Cotroceni and AFI Ploiești shopping centers are under process of obtaining the green certification.

With regards to the well-being and safety measures for buildings occupants, during 2021 the company has invested in Romania approximately 1 million EUR in the latest Bi-polar ionization air purification system, which has been installed in all office buildings and shopping centers from AFI’s portfolio. To provide comfort, well-being and productivity to all projects occupants and visitors, the quality of the indoor environment is ensured by improved ventilation and increased intake of fresh air, reduction of air pollutants from building materials, adequate thermal comfort or access to natural light.

At the beginning of 2022, the company announced obtaining the Well Health & Safety certification for its entire office portfolio in Romania. This covers five key areas, including cleaning procedures, air quality management and health services. “We are constantly concerned with providing a healthy and safe working environment and community to all tenants present in our buildings, using the most modern systems available today. From our point of view, well-being and health are invariably linked to the impact we have on nature. This is also the reason why all our actions in recent years converge in the direction of sustainability, both in the building’s construction phase, by purchasing sustainable materials and reducing the carbon footprint related to the construction process, as well as in terms of operation and use of buildings. We are investing significantly in the latest solutions for reducing water and energy consumption, using renewable resources, selective waste collection, as well as encouraging sustainable transportation for the tenants by using bicycles and electric cars”, mentioned Emma Toma – Head of Office Division, AFI Europe Romania.

Iulius Town Timisoara reaches 80,000 sqm of premium office space

Iulius Town Timisoara reaches 80,000 sqm of premium office space 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

04.10.2022

The fourth office building in the Iulius Town Timișoara complex is operational and consolidates the regional business hub in the urban regeneration mixed-use project to a total leasable area of 80,000 sqm and a 40-plus company from three continents community. United Business Center 0 has a leasable area upwards of 30,000 sqm and accommodates the offices of 15 companies operating in the IT & Outsourcing, automotive and service industry.

The fourth office building recently opened in Iulius Town Timișoara, the only urban regeneration mixed-use complex in the west of Romania. Comprising two levels of underground parking, semi-basement, ground floor, 15 floors of office space and two technical floors, United Business Center 0 (UBC 0) has a total leasable area of 30,000 sqm and accommodates the offices of 15 companies and 4,000-plus employees.

“The new building is a project adapted to market requirements, addressing a real need in the office segment for premium office spaces adjusted to the current reality and the employees’ expectations for their working environment. Beyond the state-of-the-art technological equipment, which creates optimal working conditions, and furnishings that encourage the exchange of ideas and socializing, it is also very important to note the services and facilities available to employees, which are increasingly relevant for companies. UBC 0 is fully leased to companies with expansion plans or newcomers in the region, who are joining the business community in Iulius Town Timișoara,” said Laurențiu Manea, Office Buildings Manager Iulius Town Timișoara.

The building accommodates the two-floor center of software developer Endava. Companies that occupy one floor each include the Porsche Engineering Romania development center, the software development center of Cognizant Softvision, and the office of market research and survey company Toluna România. The UBC 0 community also includes the offices of IT consulting & management company Infosys Consulting, the software development center of Haufe Group, the customer relations support service center Linde Global Services Romania, doctari group technology hub, Unbabel technology center in translation, IT Vizion industrial IT solutions center, the service center of brake technology developer TMD Friction, and the local office of the professional services firm PwC Romania.

The new premium office building is integrated in the Iulius Town Timișoara mixed-use complex, which provides immediate access to stores and services, themed restaurants and coffee shops, food court, offices of public institutions, kindergarten and primary school, the largest fitness center in Romania, multiplex cinema including the VIP dinner and movie all-inclusive concept, medical services and multiple leisure opportunities.

IULIUS obtains the largest real estate loan granted in Romania to date: more than EUR 410 million

IULIUS obtains the largest real estate loan granted in Romania to date: more than EUR 410 million 810 600 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

29.09.2022

IULIUS Company together with partners Atterbury Europe, recently signed a 410 million Euro financing agreement for the nationwide network of Iulius Mall regional shopping centers in Iași, Cluj-Napoca, Suceava and Timișoara. The loan supports the long-term investment plans of the developer toward consolidating its projects’ regional market leader status in the retail and entertainment segment.

 The 410 million Euro loan contracted by IULIUS Company is a long-term syndicated loan refinancing granted by Erste Group Bank AG, Banca Comercială Română S.A., Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien AG, OTP Bank Nyrt, and OTP Bank Romania S.A. Wolf Theiss, one of the largest law firms in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, provided the legal framework for conducting this transaction.

“This is a landmark transaction for the Romanian real estate market by the volume and characteristics which offer a viable alternative to the capital market. On the one hand, it certifies the financing parties’ confidence in the projects of IULIUS Company that have grown into sustainable and recognized regional centers of attraction in terms of shopping, business and leisure. On the other hand, it certifies our loyalty to and trust in banks as business partners, which are essential values in our organization. The new loan is geared towards implementing the corporate goals in the development strategy of the company,” said Marius Perșenea, Chief Operating Officer.

As of 2017, the Iulius Mall regional shopping mall network in Iași, Suceava, Cluj-Napoca and Timișoara (an integral part of the Iulius Town Timișoara mixed-use project) is owned by companies IULIUS and Atterbury Europe based on a 50-50 joint venture partnership.

The company portfolio includes major real estate projects with an initial investment value upwards of 1 billion Euro, projects that have shifted lifestyle perceptions, redefined, and revitalized city centres, and harmoniously integrated with their respective communities. The operating portfolio currently comprises 310,000 sqm of retail premises located in two mixed-use urban regeneration projects (Palas Iași and Iulius Town Timișoara), the only ones of this kind in Romania, in the nationwide network of Iulius Mall regional shopping malls (in Iași, Cluj-Napoca, and Suceava), as well as the first Family Market project in Miroslava (Iași), a convenience retail concept. These are vibrant spaces that define poles of urban attraction and draw more than 70 million visits every year.

Radisson Blu Aurum Hotel opens in Brasov in October, after an investment of EUR 16.3 million

Radisson Blu Aurum Hotel opens in Brasov in October, after an investment of EUR 16.3 million 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

27.09.2022

After 34 months of work that involved a team of 250-400 people monthly, Radisson Blu Aurum Hotel opens its doors in Brașov on October 16. The total investment amounts to 16.3 million euros, almost 3 million euros more than the value initially estimated. The hotel in the centre of Brașov rehabilitates a building in an advanced phase of decay and becomes a landmark for premium tourist services.

110 elegant rooms, an event hall with a capacity of 150 people, a restaurant with a terrace, a skybar, swimming pool, SPA, charging stations for electric vehicles, monitored parking – these are some of the facilities that Radisson Blu Aurum Brașov will offer starting this October.

The 5-star hotel in the centre of Brașov combines the old and the new in an elegant symbiosis, preserving some of the features of the original building, built in 1930, but also a fragment of the Brașov citadel – discovered during the execution works. The hotel brings with them a premium design, with exceptional details and a superior quality of services. Accommodation prices start from 125 euros/night.

The target audience for our hotel is a client with high expectations, accustomed with the standards of quality tourism. Brașov is the most visited city in Romania, therefore the opening of a chain hotel offers the opportunity to increase the level of premium services in the Brașov area. We expect Radisson Blu Aurum to be a destination not only for leisure tourism, but also for business, considering the dynamic economy of the area, stated Anca Cristea, General Manager of Radisson Blu Aurum.

Investment increased by the pandemic and the complexity of the project.

The investment in the newest hotel in Brașov amounts to 16.3 million euros, although it was initially estimated at 13.6 million euros. The difference comes from rising costs in both the building materials and labour segments amid the pandemic context and market volatility. The investment was financed through Exim Bank by RaRa Group, owners and developers of the hotel.

In the development and design phase of the investment, which lasted 4 years, more than 120 specialists from various fields were involved. Then, during the almost 3 years of execution works, between 250 and 400 people were involved monthly, and more than 100 local companies with high expertise in their field were contracted. Among the significant challenges of the project is the discovery of the fortress wall, initially perceived as an extreme situation, which then turned into an opportunity to highlight part of the city’s ancient history.

Starting with the excavations of the building built in the 1930s and 1960s, more than 1000 tons of materials were evacuated, and more than 650 tons of reinforced concrete were used for consolidation. If we calculate all the quantities handled in our project, we exceed 3000 tons of materials and over 850 deliveries with different types of vehicles – stated Ramona Neamțu, owner of Radisson Blu Aurum Brasov.

Radisson Blu Aurum aims to contribute to the development of the local economy not only by raising the level of local tourist services, but also by becoming an important employer. The hotel team will have more than 70 employees, and this has already been finalized in proportion to more than 75%.

VGP’S Half Year Results 2022

VGP’S Half Year Results 2022 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

07.09.2022

VGP NV, a European provider of high-quality logistics and semi-industrial real estate, recently, announced the results for half-year ended 30 June 2022.

VGP reports an increased operational yield with a net profit of EUR 153.1 million, newly signed as well as renewed leases worth EUR 35.4 million, leading to EUR 281.1 million total annualized revenues (+9.7 % YTD)1. A total of 1,346,000 m2 under construction, within 40 projects that once built and leased represent EUR 88.1 million of additional annual rent (87.4% are pre-leased areas).

In Romania, at the end of the first semester, 4 buildings were under construction on an area of 102,000 m2, in different areas of the country: VGP Park Arad, VGP Park Brașov and VGP Park Bucharest.

VGP’s Chief Executive Officer, Jan Van Geet, said: “In the first half year we have seen robust growth with € 35 million of new or renewed lease agreements signed and supported by significant rental growth in most countries. This growth was realised despite a more prudent approach by e-commerce sector of which a number of major players have shifted their take-up focus towards 2024 and beyond.”

Jan Van Geet continued: “The unstable energy markets have not only given a significant boost to our renewable energy revenue potential, it has also served as an accelerator in our tenants’ desire to switch to renewable energy consumption. Beyond the traditional stronghold countries of Germany and the Netherlands we are now initiating solar projects in almost all regions based on direct tenant demand.”

Jan Van Geet added: “Although we have taken a more cautious approach to our land acquisitions during the first half of the year, an important side effect of these unstable energy markets is that it creates tremendous growth opportunities for us. After all, it accelerates the need for energy-inefficient industries to reinvent themselves and move to more sustainable and energy-efficient housing and operations. One of the side effects of this is that they are putting their old factories, mostly in prime locations, up for sale which consequently offers interesting brownfield redevelopment opportunities for VGP.”

Jan Van Geet concluded: “A strong capital position is important, particularly as such highly attractive brownfield opportunities start to increasingly arise. The significant cash recycling through the completed and anticipated joint venture closings enhances our balance sheet and allows us the flexibility to best serve our whilst enabling us to create significant value for all stakeholders involved.”

VGP has been present in Romania since 2007, and develops industrial parks in Bucharest, Arad, Brașov, Timișoara and Sibiu. VGP Park Bucuresti Nord is developed on a plot of approximately 250,000 m2 and will have a total leasable area of approximately 120,000 m2 divided into 4 buildings. VGP Park Arad, developed on a land of 39 ha, with a rental area of up to 200,000 m2, is strategically positioned in Arad, the most important road junction in the west of the country, part of the IV Pan-European Transport Corridor. VGP Park Brașov is developed on an area of approximately 320,000 m2 and will have a total potential of 140,000 m2 of space available for rent. VGP Park Timișoara is fully rented, with possibilities for expansion.

IMPACT Developer & Contractor has increased its sales with 45% in the first semester of 2022

IMPACT Developer & Contractor has increased its sales with 45% in the first semester of 2022 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

30.08.2022

IMPACT Developer & Contractor, the first real estate developer listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (stock symbol IMP), closes the first semester of 2022 with a 45% sales increase and a 64% gross profit increase compared to the same period of last year.

Thus, the developer obtained 90.3 million lei by selling completed units and a 35.23 million lei gross profit, with a 39% gross margin.

The sales increase is due to having completely finished the LUXURIA Residence compound located in Expozitiei area in Bucharest. In the first semester, IMPACT pre-contracted and reserved 177 new units in the company’s projects located in Bucharest, Constanta and Iasi. Thus, as of June 30, 2022, IMPACT had a total of 618 pre-contracted and reserved units, with a 363.1 million lei value, which will be recorded as income starting the second semester of 2022.

“We have quickly adapted to the new geopolitical context and managed to maintain a good pace of sales and pre-sales. Real estate remained one of the safest investment options and clients who wanted to secure their capital chose our projects due to the quality and sustainability of the developments. The first half of the year was, therefore, an effervescent one, with an intensification of operational activity, through the expansion in Bucharest and in other big cities of the country, a vertical consolidation at group level, and on the capital market, through the conclusion of capital increases, with a cash contribution and by incorporating reserves in a total amount of 45.4 million euro. For the second half of the year, we plan to accelerate production and continue expanding nationally. We are convinced that the ambitious project development program, along with the increase in free-float, will lead to better liquidity of IMP shares”, said Constantin Sebeșanu, CEO IMPACT Developer & Contractor.

As of June 30, 2022, IMPACT owned 89.4 ha of land with an EPRA value estimated at 786.5 million lei, of which 73.5 ha with immediate development potential, on which can be built up to 15,000 apartments, infrastructure and spaces for community services (schools, kindergartens, church, parks) and shopping centers, with a cumulative development value of over 1.5 billion euro.

By the end of the year, IMPACT will open GREENFIELD Plaza, which includes the Wellness Club by Greenfield, and will deliver over 300 new apartments. In the next 12 months, IMPACT plans to complete another 750 apartments and will start new investments nationwide for another 850 apartments, thus creating the conditions for a positive business development in 2023.

SPEEDWELL obtained the building permit for the second residential building in PALTIM, the mixed-use ensemble in Timisoara

SPEEDWELL obtained the building permit for the second residential building in PALTIM, the mixed-use ensemble in Timisoara 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

08.25.2022

SPEEDWELL announced having recently obtained the building permit for the second residential building of the PALTIM mixed-use project developed in Timisoara.

After starting construction works for the first phase of PALTIM, which includes 123 apartments, SPEEDWELL has received the building permit for the second residential building of this project. This milestone marks the third successfully obtained permit, in addition to the one granted for the rehabilitation works on the historical monument villa.

As a mixed-use ensemble, besides the residential component, PALTIM will also include office and retail spaces. The process for obtaining the final permits for the office component of PALTIM, including another revitalized building, linking the project to its past heritage, is well advanced and scheduled to occur in the next few months.

The works are well underway for the first residential building of the ensemble after SPEEDWELL has signed an agreement with STRABAG for the role of General Contractor.

The second residential building of PALTIM consists of 113 apartments, from studios, to 2, 3, and 4-room apartments. Together with the units in the first building that is already in the works, the project reaches a total of 236 premium apartments.

Located on the banks of Bega River, PALTIM introduces a high-end concept that aims to create a new community in one of Timisoara’s most sought-after areas, within walking distance from the city center and the Central Park.

PALTIM also is an urban regeneration project. SPEEDWELL is currently working on refurbishing a monument villa and will soon start works on a section of the former hat factory that will be rehabilitated, thus conserving the historical and cultural heritage of the site.

In addition to the urban regeneration component of the project. PALTIM is built according to the nZEB standards using superior quality materials. Sustainability is a concept that can be found in all the projects SPEEDWELL is developing.

Sales for the first building of the project have been launched in October 2021 and more than half of the available stock of apartments has been sold.

Construction works are ongoing for the first building and the monument villa refurbishment and are going according to plan.

„Obtaining the building permit for the second phase of the project marks an important milestone and a much-awaited moment the team has worked towards. With the construction going ahead for the first building, we are getting closer to the moment PALTIM will become reality and create a new community and living standard. We are happy to be present in Timisoara, where the authorities are demonstrating that a constructive dialogue is possible and are certain that PALTIM will contribute to the city’s and area development”, states Didier Balcaen, CEO and Co-Founder at SPEEDWELL.

UNStudio’s solution won the international architecture competition organized by IULIUS for a new development in downtown Iasi

UNStudio’s solution won the international architecture competition organized by IULIUS for a new development in downtown Iasi 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

01.07.2022

The architectural complex designed by UNStudio for the international competition organized in Iași by IULIUS company was selected by a specialist jury as the winning solution for an upcoming development set to become a contemporary landmark in the downtown area of the city.

Described by the members of the jury as “the most complete and balanced answer to the complete set of criteria in the competition theme,” the project proposed by UNStudio provided a highly creative and innovative solution to all the challenges generated by the specific features of this valuable and dominant historic and cultural heritage-laden site.

After two days of deliberations, the jury comprised of architects Șerban Țigănaș, Augustin Ioan, Dragoș Ciolacu, Mihai Corneliu Drișcu, and Matei Bogoescu, and historian Cătălin Turliuc, specialized in terms of heritage, urban planning, contemporary architecture and public realm enhancement, named the winner of the international architecture competition that challenged contenders to propose a contemporary architectural complex that would complete the current urban landscape of downtown Iași, that is defined by iconic landmarks of various architectural ages.

The four solutions submitted by the reputable architecture firms that were invited have equally demonstrated remarkable depth of research and knowledge of the complex and particular context of the construction site for the upcoming development. The strategies for addressing this context have been different, none of them failing to pay attention to the quality of public spaces, to the essential views toward historical monuments, to nature and the social component, and to highlighting recent archaeological discoveries in the area.

“Bridging Time, Bridging Communities”

The project was created by UNStudio from Amsterdam architects and was developed following the “develop around the theme of City Horizon” principle. In its reasoning, the jury concludes that “the volume is flat and the lowest of all the proposals. The horizon of the city is in fact an extension of the plateau of the Palace of Culture Square, which lends itself to a 360 degrees panoramic view of Iasi and its urban scape. The spatial connection between upper and lower levels of the site is mediated by the planted parcourse, a real oasis.”

IULIUS Company has organized this competition, wanting to develop a project based on the city residents’ vision, the expectations of a community and the aspirations of a generation.

IULIUS is launching a new investment in Cluj-Napoca – the largest urban regeneration project in Romania

IULIUS is launching a new investment in Cluj-Napoca – the largest urban regeneration project in Romania 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

04.04.2022

With more than a decade’s worth of expertise in developing and operating mixed-use urban regeneration complexes in Romania, the only projects of this kind in the country, IULIUS Group is now launching a new project in Cluj-Napoca.

The investment upwards of half a billion Euro focuses on the Carbochim platform, set to become the largest urban reconversion project on the Romanian market. This urban development endeavor will transform the industrial area into a vibrant space in Cluj and will be integrated as part of the city. The Carbochim factory will be relocated this year and upgraded, without any periods of business interruption. The new project includes:

  • the largest retail area in the country (115,000 sqm)
  • a center dedicated to performing arts
  • conservation of two industrial heritage buildings and reintroduction thereof into the public circuit
  • a model of integrated approach to green spaces, connecting the urban garden spanning on 4-plus hectares with the adjacent parks, and a complete reconfiguration of the road and pedestrian infrastructure
  • a new bridge and a pedestrian walkway over Someș River
  • an eco-neighborhood integrated in a mixed-use project
  • bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure along the Someș River waterfront
  • consolidating a new business hub
  • the largest underground parking lot in the country, with 6,000-plus parking spaces.

After 15 years of presence in Cluj-Napoca, IULIUS is launching the largest urban reconversion project in the country. Using a massive investment, estimated upwards of half a billion euro, the Carbochim industrial platform will be converted into a destination of the city, a unique meeting place for the community. As far as magnitude of investment, urban development impact, and diversity of the uses integrated therein go, this will be the most prominent project in Transylvania, after the Cluj-Napoca metro line project.

Carbochim is the largest manufacturer of professional abrasives in Romania. The industrial platform spans on approximately 14 hectares, with less than 30% of the area currently utilized for manufacturing purposes, while the rest is either underused or residual. The factory will be relocated this year in the industrial area of the city, in the former industrial facilities of Tricotaje Someșul on Muncii Boulevard. More than € 5 million will be invested in relocating, modernizing and upgrading the production unit, without interruptions to its activity.

“We want to give to the city a piece of itself by transforming the Carbochim platform into a space for the entire community. The urban reconversion investment will be a large-scale one, in line with the general urban development strategy of Cluj. This project is designed for the present, but also for the generations to come. It expresses our vision of gratitude for the past by continuing the industrial activity, while also creating the future via a sustainable and resilient project,” said Iulian Dascălu, President of IULIUS Company.

Filip & Company assists Tiriac Imobiliare in the sale of a 14.5 ha land at the north of Timisoara

Filip & Company assists Tiriac Imobiliare in the sale of a 14.5 ha land at the north of Timisoara 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

30.03.2022

Filip & Company law firm assisted Ţiriac Imobiliare in the sale towards Dedeman of a land plot with an area of 14.5 ha located at the north of Timisoara city, in Dumbrăvița locality, Timis county.

“There is a certain upward trend in the number of transactions on the market with land plots for real estate projects, given the growing number of transactions that have already been or that are to be made in the near future. Țiriac Imobiliare is one of the successful stories of the Romanian entrepreneurship. Having the entrepreneurial spirit in its DNA, Țiriac Imobiliare has always shown a capacity to constantly optimize its business model. We were glad to have had yet another opportunity to work with them as a team. It was an excellent experience, as always”, said Ioana Roman, partner and head of Real estate at Filip & Company.

The team that assisted Țiriac Imobiliare in this transaction was coordinated by Ioana Roman and included Andreea Gheorghiu (associate) and Alexandru Popa (associate).

The real estate team at Filip & Company has gained its reputation of participating along the time in the most important transactions in Romania and has the required capacity and experience to cover all legal services ancillary to real estate transactions. The team’s expertise includes the structuring of complex transactions, from real estate acquisitions to the sale of projects, including the development and financing of real estate projects, leases, PPPs in the real estate sector, infrastructure projects as well as advising on various regulatory issues related to the development of real estate projects.