Romanian Airports Growth: 25 million passengers in 2023

Romanian Airports Growth: 25 million passengers in 2023 2046 1293 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


The Romanian Airports Association announced that nearly 25 million passengers were recorded at Romanian airports throughout the last year, marking a significant milestone by remarkable pre-pandemic levels.

Iasi Airport

According to the association’s data, the figures for 2023 revealed a remarkable 17% increase compared to 2022 and an impressive nearly 6% rise over the numbers recorded in 2019 (23,234.580 people). David Ciceo, the president of the Romanian Airports Association, expressed optimism, highlighting that air traffic across Europe is expected to reach 2019 levels by the end of the current year.

In Iasi, authorities recently inaugurated a new terminal, following a historic year with a traffic of 2.3 million passengers, making it the third most transited Romanian city, after Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca.

The aviation sector in Romania experienced contrasting trends in 2023. The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs saw a robust 5.6% increase, reaching 233,027, showcasing the resilience of the industry. In contrast, air cargo traffic witnessed a 5.7% decline, with 50,786 tons transported, down from 53,877 in 2022. Despite the decrease in cargo activity, the spotlight remained on the significant rebound in passenger traffic, emphasizing the sector’s overall adaptability and recovery.

Ciceo attributed the passenger rebound to substantial investments in airport infrastructure, including new terminals, expansions, and modernizations. Expressing optimism, he stated, “We expect traffic values to grow steadily, and we estimate that in 2040, Romanian airports will exceed 50 million passengers.” This positive trajectory highlights the resilience of the Romanian aviation sector in overcoming challenges.

Residential market still weak in offers for Romania’s third city

Residential market still weak in offers for Romania’s third city 2560 2560 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


Iasi represents Romania’s third city in terms of population, with strong local universities that nurture over 55,000 students annually. With those figures, the city is still weak in terms of new, modern housing units.


Data collected by RPC from imobiliare.ro show that offers for the first three quarters in 2023 total 1,275 apartments, of which the new units listed count for 410, a minus of 18% as compared to the same period of the previous year.

The two major new residential projects in Iasi are developed by investors with national track record: Impact Developer & Contractor and Prime Kapital. Impact obtained the building permit for a major scheme totaling 1,062 apartments on Copou hill. Prime Kapital is developing a mixed-use scheme on the former Teba industrial platform. The new project has an important residential component, totaling 1,549 apartments to be delivered in different stages of construction. The first stage should be delivered by year end according to previous announcements from the developer, while construction for the second phase is underway. Each construction phase comprises approximately 300 units.

In terms of demand for both new and old units the figures for the third trimester show a plus of 4% as compared to the same period of 2022, while the figures for Q1-Q3 of the current year show a minus of 3% as compared to Q1-Q3 of the previous year.

Transactions for the first three quarters total 4,489 for the entire county, according to data from Cadaster Office – ANCPI. The figure represents a minus of 18% as compared to the previous year.

Regarding the rental residential units, there are increases for both first three quarters – a plus of 11%- and for the third quarter – a plus of 2%. The total offers indicate a minus of 31% as compared to the previous year and another minus of 16% for new listings on the market. The rents have seen an increase of 12% in Q3 2023 vs Q3 2022.

20,000 sqm to be added to the 170,000 sqm of modern retail stock

20,000 sqm to be added to the 170,000 sqm of modern retail stock 2048 1365 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


Iulius Group pioneered modern retail in Iasi when it developed the first shopping center outside Bucharest – Iulius Mall, in 2000. Initially a 19,000 sqm development, the retail scheme doubled GLA through subsequent expansions. Today, it hosts over 180 shops, a cinema, a Carrefour hypermarket, and a food court.

Iulius Mall, Iasi

However, the primary shopping destination for Iasi and the broader Northeast region is Palas Iasi, developed by the same visionary investor. Palas Iasi is part of Romania’s most significant urban regeneration projects. It features the renovation of the iconic Palace of Culture, seven United Business Center office buildings, a hotel, an events expo, an open-air theatre, and a 62,000 sqm shopping center. Probably the crown jewel of the Northeast region, the total investment in Palas Iasi stood at 310 million EUR and served as essential infrastructure for the overall economic development. Increasing living standards by offering modern retail, office, and entertainment options, Iasi attracted the second youngest workforce after Bucharest. In addition, a steady number of multinational companies provided training and an increased average income, making Iasi a desirable destination not just for university studies but for permanent living.

Iulius Group brought two other concepts to the market. The first one is Family Market, two strip centers located in Iasi’s most dynamic suburban areas (Miroslava and Bucium). The second is the 6,000 sqm commercial area in Palas Campus, a destination for F&B and services to serve the 5,000 employees in the business center.

Other retail schemes in Iasi include Era Shopping Park, a 50,000 sqm retail park located towards the exit to Bucharest. Inaugurated in 2008, Era Shopping Park is anchored by key retailers such as Carrefour, Mobexpert, Rovere Mobili, Brico Depot, Altex, Decathlon, JYSK, Sportisimo, Pepco, Kenvelo, etc. Shopping Park Iasi, opened in 2014 by Square 7, spans 11,000 sqm leased by Flanco, MaxiPet, JYSK, and Kik. In addition, the 10,000 sqm commercial area in the Silk District that developed in five subsequent phases shall enrich the modern retail offering of the city.

Thus, the total stock of modern retail surpasses the 170,000 sqm threshold. The c.a. 20,000 sqm of modern retail expected on the market should increase the retail density  (retail space to 1,000 inhabitants) to 650, an indicator lower than in most other cities in Romania — the number signals room for growth, pending continuous economic development and wage increase. Iasi’s prime shopping center rent is 55 Eur/sqm, whereas retail park rent ranges between 7 to 12 Eur /sqm.

However, there is encouraging news that places faith in the city’s economic prospects. IKEA most recently announced a 24,000 sqm store, its fourth in Romania, opening in Era Shopping Park in 2024. This step confirms that there is a critical mass of young families looking to buy or update property, with an income level matching Western standard.

Iasi office market capitalizes on the talent pool nurtured by the seven universities in the city

Iasi office market capitalizes on the talent pool nurtured by the seven universities in the city 2560 2560 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


The vision of building the first modern office building in Iasi was the crux of the city’s development. Traditionally, blue-collar jobs set the premises for developing more sophisticated services that require modern infrastructure. However, in the case of Iasi, the pioneering led by the Iulius Group set the premise for the city’s economic development. The group transformed the central area through one of the most significant mixed-use urban regeneration projects in Romania.

Palace Campus, Iasi

Following the bold vision of “build, and they shall come,” Iulius developed the first class A office building in Iasi, United Business Center I – a shy 7,000 sqm in 2010, 15 years later than the first modern Class A office buildings delivered in Bucharest. Fast-forward a decade plus later, Iulius developed 130,000 sqm, representing 50% of the total office stock in Iasi and more than two-thirds of the Class A stock. Its most recent portfolio addition is Palas Campus, a 120 million EUR investment spanning over 54,000 sqm of offices and 6,000 sqm of commercial areas. It is home to Amazon, Microsoft, Cognizant, Expeleo, AMD, Hella, and many others. These reputable companies joined a group of over 70 multinationals that decided to capitalize on the talent pool nurtured by the seven universities in the city.

In addition to the United Business Center and Campus buildings, there are two other notable office developments in Iasi. Moldova Center, the reconversion of a former department store into a functional office building, added 16,000 sqm of GLA in the center of the city. It was fully leased by companies such as Webhelp, Conduent, 3Pillar, and HCL. Tester Group built Ideo Centro (later rebranded as Tester Technology Park), a 25,000 sqm business park hosting KPMG, Tata Technologies, Oracle, and Conduent, among others.

In Iasi, the asking rents range from 12 to 15 EUR/sqm, and the vacancy rate is still in the single-digit range, with a preference to work from the office, as the commute is not as burdening as in Bucharest and the workforce requires more in-person time for training and collaboration. Moreover, people enjoy the modern facilities and sense of community provided by the integrated commercial–office schemes and the apprenticeship that comes from shadowing. However, the low vacancy rate and the limited competition of class A office buildings lead to lower tenant incentive packages than in Bucharest.

Prime Kapital is the second prominent investor who took a leap of faith and embarked on a large mixed-use urban regeneration project in Iasi. Silk District is a large-scale residential and office scheme complimented by 10,000 sqm commercial spaces and a 4 ha private park to serve residents and the neighboring area. The first phase of the BREEAM Outstanding office park (c.a. 104,000 sqm at maturity, 5 buildings) is scheduled for delivery in Q4 2023, after a slight delay from its announced target date. Communication concerning the future tenants is pending.

Iasi to take off in new development stage

Iasi to take off in new development stage 2560 2560 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


Public investments of 1.2 billion EUR and private investments in new, modern, real estate projects of half of billion EUR are transforming Iasi in one of the most important cities on Romania’s investment map.


Ongoing public investments:

  • 100 million EUR for the expansion of the airport Terminal 4, with the aim of reaching an annual traffic of 3.3 million passengers.
  • 670 million EUR for Iasi Emergency Regional Hospital.
  • 300 million EUR for Mircesti-Pascani lot from A7 motorway.
  • PNRR 175 million EUR for city modernization: trams, schools, and old blocks refurbishments.
  • 40 million EUR from EBRD for Dacia tram depot.

Real estate investors such as Iulius, Impact Developer & Contractor, Prime Kapital, plus retailers such as Ikea and Jumbo, also added Iasi to their portfolio.

Iulius finalized this spring a 120 million EUR investment in Palas Campus. Impact obtained the building permit for a major scheme totaling 1,062 apartments on Copou hill. Prime Kapital is developing a mixed-use project on the former Teba industrial platform: 1,549 apartments and 100,000 sqm of class A offices. Jumbo inaugurated a 10,000 sqm unit in October, while Ikea announced Iasi as the third city where it will build a new store in Romania.

The modern office stock counts for 260,000 sqm. The asking rents range from 12 to 15 EUR/sqm and the vacancy rate is still in the single-digit range.

The city is weak in terms of new, modern housing units. Data collected by RPC from imobiliare.ro show that offers for the first three quarters in 2023 total 1,275 apartments, of which the new units listed count for 410, a minus of 18% as compared to the same period of the previous year.

Regarding the retail sector, 20,000 sqm will be added to the existing 170,000 sqm. The broader Northeast region is the least developed in terms of industrial and logistics, representing a mere 2% of the total modern stock.

In the last 10 years, although Iasi hotel tourist arrivals increased by 105% (around 156,000 new tourists), the number of new hotel rooms increased with only 11%. Branded hotels represent only 12% of total rooms capacity and all of them are within “3-star” ranking.  There are no 4* or 5* branded hotels in Iasi.

The county hosts 983,506 people, second only to Bucharest. The metro area of the city of Iasi is where more than half of the county’s population resides. The strong base of an educated workforce attracted dozens of reputable multinational companies, transforming Iasi in Romania’s Silicon Valley.

The proximity to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova makes Iasi an informal capital for the broader region.

Iulius has signed a partnership with IFC, a World Bank member, to create a decarbonation strategy for the entire property portfolio

Iulius has signed a partnership with IFC, a World Bank member, to create a decarbonation strategy for the entire property portfolio 2048 1152 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


IULIUS has recently signed a partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, for the purpose of developing a strategy to decarbonize the entire portfolio of the company and achieve net-zero emissions. IFC will use the Green Pathways for Real Estate Institutional Portfolios (GRIP) platform to provide solutions for defining, implementing and financing the plans of IULIUS to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to reach CO2 neutrality as soon as possible. This would be the first such engagement in Romania.

IULIUS Palas, Iasi

IULIUS is consolidating its sustainability goals for the following years and has thus entered into a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC)a member of the World Bank Group. IFC will use the GRIP platform to support the company in the process of putting together a plan of actions to help reduce the carbon footprint across the entire portfolio. “Buildings are responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Through this partnership, Iulius and IFC are helping to accelerate climate action in real-estate development”, said Ary Naim, Regional Manager for IFC in Central and Southeast Europe.

In fact, IULIUS has always built in an environmentally conscious manner and owns the only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified nationwide shopping mall network in Romania. This adds to the Palas Iaşi and Iulius Town Timişoara mixed-use projects and the 15 office buildings in the United Business Center network in Iași, Timișoara and Cluj-Napoca, which are all green building certified. “We are particularly excited about this new partnership, which will help us take our sustainability strategy to the next level. The company has already undergone a comprehensive process of implementing high standards of energy efficiency, sustainable management of green spaces, outdoor surfaces and waste, and other sustainable solutions, as confirmed by the LEED certifications. However, we want to contribute even more to maintaining a healthy environment by reducing the carbon footprint in all eight of our projects,” said Dan Adrian Chelaru, Group Sustainability Officer IULIUS. 

Examples of certifications 

  • Palas Iași – the only LEED® Neighborhood Development certified project in Central and Eastern Europe
  • All 15 buildings in the United Business Center network are LEED® certified, of which UBC 0 (the most recent certification) and UBC 3 Timișoara are LEED® Platinum certified.

In addition to meeting the highest modern technical requirements, their implemented solutions, comfort and safety, the projects developed by IULIUS also benefit from hundreds of bike parking spaces, electric vehicle charging stations, excellent access to public transit, all of which helps reduce the use of personal vehicles and cuts pollution. They are also the only real estate projects in Romania to include urban gardens, which are initial investment upwards of € 17 million.

In 2021 IULIUS also obtained the first green loan granted by IFC to a Romanian company, in the amount of € 72 million for Palas Campus in Iaşi. The ample office project, set to open this spring, is also undergoing a dual green certification process: EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) by IFC and LEED by the US Green Building Council.

Iulius opens second Family Market in Iasi, following a total investment of € 24 million

Iulius opens second Family Market in Iasi, following a total investment of € 24 million 1548 871 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


IULIUS inaugurated the second Family Market project, in the Bucium neighborhood of Iași. The proximity retail project brings services and products needed on a daily basis to the residential area that has seen constant development in recent years. McDonald’s Drive Thru, Auchan supermarket, Sinsay and 23 other local and national entrepreneurs provide the customized mix of products and services resulting from community consultation.

IULIUS Family Market – Bucium, Iasi

This year, IULIUS inaugurated two Family Market projects in Iași: the first in Miroslava commune, last summer, and now the one in the Bucium neighborhood. “It is an investment of 12 million euros and we have a retail area of 5,500 square meters, in which we have brought together 26 brands, which have created over 180 new jobs”, says Radu Pârlea, Shopping Center Manager Family Market. “Most are local and national, with fresh and healthy products, from florists, groceries, pastry shops, restaurants, to auto parts, barbershops and services that you need on a daily basis. The concept is designed to respond to the public’s interest in local consumption”.

The new project integrates a McDonald’s restaurant, the second location of the brand with Drive-Thru service and the fourth in the city of Iasi. The restaurant integrates the latest technologies, being equipped with digital screens for displaying menus, kiosks for ordering products. The anchor of the project is Auchan supermarket, a large format concept of more than 2,000 sqm, where customers can find more than 11,000 items on the shelves. The shopping offer is completed by: Sinsay, La Bottega, La Ciambella, Kosarom, Spartan, Fusion To Go (sushi), Dolciano, Dulcinella and Teo`s Café.

German company Infineon Technologies AG opened an R&D center in IULIUS Group’s Palas Iasi complex

German company Infineon Technologies AG opened an R&D center in IULIUS Group’s Palas Iasi complex 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB


German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies AG is growing its presence in Romania by opening an office in Iași, located in the Palas mixed-use complex, an investment by IULIUS Group. The new research and development center will initially occupy a 600 sqm area, and will expand in the future. Infineon engineers working here create semiconductor solutions for the automotive industry.

The company currently operates an R&D center in Bucharest and is expanding its business to Iași, by opening an office in the United Business Center 3 office building in the Palas mixed-use complex.

“We are glad that Infineon Technologies decided to join the business community in Palas Iași, an established regional center for major tech companies that create essential solutions for a better life. Iași has grown a lot in the last 10 years and is on the radar of big companies in the most dynamic sectors of the economy, being an attractive city in terms of investments, competing not only with Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Timișoara, but also with other similar European cities,” said Ionuț Pavel, Office buildings Manager Palas Iași & Palas Campus.

The new center will accommodate specialists in the development of semiconductor solutions for safer, greener and smarter cars. The office has an initial area of 600 sqm and the company plans to expand in the future.

Infineon Technologies entered the local market in 2005, when it opened a research and development (R&D) center in Bucharest and has grown to over 500 engineers in Romania.

Infineon Technologies AG is a world leader in semiconductor solutions that make life easier, safer and greener. Microelectronics from Infineon are the key to a better future. With around 50,280 employees worldwide, Infineon generated revenue of about €11.1 billion in the 2021 fiscal year (ending 30 September 2021).

The United Business Center premium office space network developed by IULIUS Group includes 14 class A office buildings, with a total area upwards of 182,000 sqm, located in the urban regeneration projects in Iași (7 buildings – 75,600 sqm), Timișoara (4 buildings – 80,000 sqm) and Cluj-Napoca (3 buildings -26,200 sqm). All the buildings are designed, built and operated in an environmentally friendly and people friendly manner, so they are all either certified or pending certification in line with the LEED international sustainability standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In Iași, the business community formed in the Palas complex has grown steadily, attracted by the young and talented workforce generated by the university center and the modern office infrastructure provided by IULIUS. The interest of the business environment in the Group’s projects was the cornerstone for developing the new Palas Campus project nearby the Palas mixed-use complex. Palas Campus is the largest A class office building in Romania, with a gross leasable area upwards of 60,000 sqm; it is set to open early next year and is already fully leased.

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


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.

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


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.