Cluj-Napoca

Music, sports, and film festivals reflect in Romania’s highest hotel pipeline

Music, sports, and film festivals reflect in Romania’s highest hotel pipeline 2560 2560 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

10.11.2023

In the last 10 years, Cluj-Napoca’s hotel market registered the highest increase in Romania at “5-star” category with 613 new rooms, as the data gathered by RPC from tourism consultancy company Est Hospitality show. In Bucharest only 534 new rooms were developed at the same category. 

Cluj-Napoca

The total number of new hotel rooms from Cluj-Napoca increased with 36%, representing 730 new rooms.  The highest increase of 411% is in the “5-star” ranking (613 new rooms), followed by “4-star” category with 31% (221 new rooms).

RANKING202320142023 vs 2013 Hotels
HotelsRoomsHotelsRooms
5*77622149411%
4*189321571131%
3*23960238858%
2*3816266-70%
1*1600 
Total52274146201136%

Branded hotels in the market represent 20.3% from total capacity and most of them have more than 100 rooms.  Double Tree by Hilton, Radisson BLU, Ramada, Golden Tulip Ana Dome, Hampton by Hilton are the five brands present locally, totaling 558 rooms.

Regarding tourists’ arrivals by hotel ranking, Cluj-Napoca registered the highest arrivals in the “4 – star” and “3 – star” hotels. In 2022, the arrivals in hotels units from Cluj-Napoca are still 13% lower than in 2019. Only at “4-star” hotels in 2023 we estimate the arrivals will be higher than in 2019. 

In the next three years there are four hotel projects in pipeline with a total number of rooms of around 600 new rooms representing a growth of 22% for Cluj hotel market. In the next three years (2024-2026), Cluj-Napoca has the highest hotel development pipeline from Romania.

NBBRANDED HOTELS PIPELINENUMBER OF ROOMSRANKINGHOTEL GROUPOPENING YEAR
1Courtyard by Marriott1004*Marriott2024
2Branded hotel & residences2434*International2026
3Ibis Styles1103*Accor2025/2026
4Independent hotel1404*Independent2026/2027
 TOTAL593   

“The number of new hotel projects is a very good sign of confidence in the market growth over the next three-four years. A demand driver that has a direct impact on the market is the development of the city as an IT hub and a calendar of international festivals (ie.: Untold, Electric Castle, etc)” Mircea Draghici, Managing Partner, Est Hospitality.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania’s second office market

Cluj-Napoca, Romania’s second office market 1617 1080 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

08.11.2023

The world-class economic development is sustained by modern working infrastructure. The total stock of Class A office buildings in Cluj is 340,000 sqm, with expected future deliveries of 75,000 sqm.

Cluj-Napoca

Headline rents for prime Class A properties range between 13.5 to 15 EUR/sqm. While the vacancy rate (6%) indicates a landlord’s market, it is important to note that since the work-from-home switch, the total market activity was a fraction of Timisoara’s, registering only 9,400 sqm in 2022 and 5,900 sqm in H1 2023. Moreover, there is a growing number of companies looking to sublease.

On the one hand, the work-from-home/hybrid model coupled with pricy residential led younger professionals to relocate with families in the neighboring counties, thus decreasing the utilization rate of the office. On the other hand, companies are aware of the limited new supply, as the majority of the pipeline is foreseen to materialize in more than 24 months, geographical constraints of Cluj-Napoca in lack of a developed metro infrastructure, and vivid memories of the race to secure space in line with exponential growth in a tight market. Moreover, companies have done further hiring over the past few years and expect the office as is to become right-sized even in a hybrid work world.

Iulius put its toll on Cluj, following the same transformative mixed-use urban regeneration strategy applied in Iasi and Timisoara. The office component, under the United Business Center umbrella, features three separate projects built in 2008, 2014, and 2018, totaling 27,000 sqm, with future development possibilities for UBC Riviera. Companies that chose to work in UBC buildings include Endava, Genpact, Office Depot, and Analog Devices.

The Office is one of the emblematic business parks in ultra-central Cluj-Napoca. The 60,000 sqm of office and retail were built by Mulberry Development and Nepi Rockcastle custom to Cluj-Napoca market needs. As this was an accelerated growth market, the business park was constructed in three phases between 2013 and 2017 with the end goal of delivering a 9,000 sqm united floor plate, that could host up to 1,000 employees on a single level. As the metro project is years in the making, The Office concept features 1,100 car parking spaces and up to 400 bicycle/motorbike racks. The modern amenities, 200 seats capacity conference center, and visually appealing landscaping serve community building purposes for companies such as Deloitte, Yonder, 3Pillar Global, Bombardier, Betfair, Steelcase, National Instruments and Bosch. In 2019, Paval Holding added the landmark property to their portfolio for c.a. 130 million EUR.

Hexagon Offices is a Class A business complex delivered in mid-2019 by a joint venture between local entrepreneurs who managed to secure top-tier tenants such as Cognizant and Accenture. It exchanged hands for 32 million EUR at the end of 2019, being taken over by a Romanian family business.

Belgian Speedwell performed its first development outside Bucharest – a mixed-use residential and office development named Record Park. The 236 apartments were immediately sold out, whereas the 12,000 sqm of offices were occupied by EON, Mass Mutual, or MHP Porsche. It scheme is completed by co-working (Stables) and a large World Class leisure facility.

The above-mentioned schemes are a select few brand-new Class A projects that support the economic development of Cluj-Napoca. Cluj Business Campus, Liberty Business & Technology Park and legacy projects such as Maestro BC, Amera Tower, and City Business Center are a couple of other notable locally developed offices that served the needs of the city.

It is important to note that Cluj proved itself to be the most liquid market outside Bucharest, with major office sales over the past five years totaling 260 million EUR (10% compared to Bucharest, 3x compared to the third-ranked – Timisoara), marking exits to either local investors confiding in the market’s strength or potent national and international investors.

Moving forward, the future looks bright for Cluj-Napoca. While the immediate pipeline is for approx 7,000 sqm (new phases of Liberty Business & Technology Park), two of the most impactful investors in Romania made plans to deploy more than 850 million EUR over the next 5-10 years in Cluj-Napoca. Iulius and Prime Kapital, in partnership with MAS Group committed to the reconversion of 14, respectively 17 ha of conveniently located industrial platforms – Carbochim and Cesarom. The first phase of the office component of the new Iulius Group is 15,000 sqm GLA, whereas the total office component for Cesarom is 49,000 sqm. Further development is limited only by the capacity to cross the finish line of the metropolitan train and underground projects.

Public infrastructure investments doubled by a reach calendar of events determine a flamboyant business environment in Cluj-Napoca

Public infrastructure investments doubled by a reach calendar of events determine a flamboyant business environment in Cluj-Napoca 1630 1080 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

07.11.2023

Cluj’s economic strength does not rely on a single champion or sector. In addition to the technology, cultural and financial examples with Romanian capital and leadership, companies as diverse as construction materials (Cemacon), textiles (Jolidon), consumer goods (Farmec), infrastructure (E-Infra/Electrogroup), or recycling (Rematinvest) speak of a truly performant region, able to pioneer generation to generation.

Cluj-Napoca

Right now, authorities are working on one of the most important infrastructure investments – a new metro line. The new project is expected to redesign new interest hubs regarding the local land market. According to local consultancy company Simon, Iuga & Partners, prices for permitted plots vary between 80-120 EUR/sqm for logistics development, 225 – 400 EUR for retail developments and 1,000 – 2,000 EUR/sqm for mixed-use (residential & retail) developments.

The world-class economic development is sustained by modern working infrastructure. The total stock of Class A office buildings in Cluj is 340,000 sqm, with expected future deliveries of 75,000 sqm. Iulius and Prime Kapital, in partnership with MAS Group committed to the reconversion of 14, respectively 17 ha of conveniently located industrial platforms – Carbochim and Cesarom. The first phase of the office component of the new Iulius Group is 15,000 sqm GLA, whereas the total office component for Cesarom is 49,000 sqm.

Cluj-Napoca continues to be the most high-priced residential market nationwide, in the context of low levels of new offers. Data from real estate platform imobiliare.ro for August indicate that the residential medium price per sqm is 2,452 EUR in Cluj-Napoca, much higher than the one asked in the Capital City.

The retail density of 522 sqm per inhabitant is quite low compared to the accelerated economic development and the city’s appeal to youth. It represents a testament to the difficulty of building due to geography.

Cluj registers a well-rounded modern stock of industrial and logistics facilities, reaching more than 420,000 sqm. Cluj has a long history of industrial production, particularly heavy machinery, and construction materials, with a well-developed manufacturing & logistics infrastructure.

Music, sports, and film festivals reflect Romania’s highest hotel pipeline. In the next three years (2024-2026), Cluj-Napoca has the highest hotel development pipeline from Romania: 593 rooms.

The region’s future lies in its ability to pivot to the latest technologies and to attract the right talent.

Cluj-Napoca: the IT&C hub in the heart of Transylvania.

Cluj-Napoca: the IT&C hub in the heart of Transylvania. 1200 800 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

In the North-Western part of the country, Cluj-Napoca is one of the most important regional cities, gathering an impressive modern stock in terms of office, logistics and retail developments. With a county population of 740.020 inhabitants, out of which 325.179 are in Cluj – Napoca, the area is a magnet for investors from various domains. The value of the average month salary is 934 EUR, the unemployment rate standing at 2.1%.

According to CBRE, the office stock in Cluj-Napoca accounts for 353,300 sqm with prime rents at 15.50 EUR and a vacancy of 8%. The total leasing activity amounted to 2,700 sqm for the first semester of 2022, with the prime yield at 8.00%. The pipeline for 2022-2023 is estimated at 55,000 sqm.  Cluj – Napoca is one of the most prestigious academic, cultural, industrial, and business centres in Romania. Among other relevant institutions, it hosts one of the largest universities in the country, the Babeş – Bolyai University.

RECORD PARK CLUJ-NAPOCA

The modern retail stock accounts for 157,600 sqm, while the retail stock density (SQM/1,000 Inhabitants) reached the level of 485. The dominant projects in the city are VIVO! with 61,000 sqm and Iulius Mall, with 57,000 sqm, part of Iulius Group. Iulius Group announced earlier in 2022 a large mixed-use scheme, on the former Carbochim platform. The project will comprise among numerous functions and facilities the largest retail area in the country (115,000 sqm). It also proposes to become 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.

IULIUS CARBOCHIM CLUJ-NAPOCA

In terms of logistics & industrial, Cluj-Napoca is part of the West/Northwest Region, an area which collects 21% of the total 5,9 million sqm national stock. The local modern logistics stock in Cluj-county is 423,000 sqm, with a vacancy rate of 6.1% and a prime rent of 4.10 EUR. Cluj is an important industrial hub, connecting Romania’s western borders with the center region, creating a great logistic pole.

LOGISTICS CLUJ-NAPOCA

CREDITS: IULIUS COMPANY / E.ON RECORD PARK / FORTIM STUDY

E.ON Business Services Cluj moves its headquarters to Record Park after one of the largest rental transactions outside Bucharest

E.ON Business Services Cluj moves its headquarters to Record Park after one of the largest rental transactions outside Bucharest 770 584 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

03.11.2022

E.ON Business Services Cluj, the accounting services division of the German group E.ON, moves its offices to the Record Park project in Cluj-Napoca, where it has leased 3,500 square meters, one of the largest areas traded so far by a company outside Bucharest.

E.ON Business Services was established in Cluj-Napoca in 2012, with the aim of delivering financial and accounting services to internal clients of the E.ON Group worldwide. The company reached 600 employees and a turnover of over 20 million euros in 2021. The company’s offices are moved from Amera Tower, an office building developed by investors Ádám and Enikő Ambrus, on two consecutive floors in Record Park, project which offers a total of 15,000 square meters of office space and 236 apartments. E.ON has leased almost a quarter of Record Park Offices, a project delivered in 2020 that also houses the headquarters of MHP Consulting Romania, a subsidiary of Porsche AG, and that of the American insurance company MassMutual.

The Record Park Offices building is owned by AYA Properties Fund, a Belgian real estate investment fund. At the beginning of this year, Speedwell sold Record Park Offices in Cluj-Napoca to the Belgian investment fund AYA Properties Fund for 35 million euros. There is limited shareholder overlap between Speedwell and AYA Properties Fund.

Last year, Speedwell announced that it had invested around 90 million euros on the Romanian market, the equivalent of some projects with a value of around 400 million euros, and that it aims to place an additional capital of 90 million euros with the aim of doubling the portfolio in the next 4 years. The company’s expansion plans are secured by an investment fund launched in 2019 and in which several wealthy Belgian families have investments.

Top cities that attracted the most office tenants in the third quarter of 2022

Top cities that attracted the most office tenants in the third quarter of 2022 420 250 ROMANIA PROPERTY CLUB

03.11.2022

Across the country, in the last three months, companies have leased modern offices with a total area of 108,747 sqm, both new offices and contract extensions, up 9% from the same quarter of 2021, according to an analysis by Fortim Trusted Advisors, an alliance member of the BNP Paribas Real Estate.

At the country level, large cities have an increasing share in the total number of office rentals, to the detriment of the capital. In Bucharest, contracts were rented, pre-rented and extended for a total office area of about 75,700 sqm, while in Iasi of 11,355 sqm, in Cluj-Napoca of 9,293 sqm and in Timisoara of 6,415 sqm.

“Office segments in cities such as Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Timisoara are developing, but more cautiously. Investors only move from one stage of the projects to another after making sure that there is a current demand. Until now, regional markets have attracted more and more large demand, from multinational companies, which have seen an opportunity in the well-trained workforce, in regional universities and which are now expanding easily from one city to another, depending on the availability of quality office spaces”, says Nicolae Ciobanu, Managing Partner – Head of Advisory Fortim Trusted Advisors, an alliance member of the BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Among the large office tenants who have chosen another city, besides Bucharest, there are also Accenture (in Cluj-Napoca), Linde Global Services, Hella (in Iasi), Tech Mahindra (in Timisoara), Expleo (Iasi).

In the third quarter of 2022, Accenture rented an office space in the Hexagon Offices building in Cluj-Napoca, Linde Global Services pre-leased in the UBC 0 building, from the Iulius Town Timisoara project, and Preh Romania, Hella and Expleo pre-leased in the Palas Campus project.

The new office buildings in the primary and secondary cities of Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Timisoara, Brasov and Craiova have the same high-quality standards A and the same types of facilities for employees (retail areas, services, common spaces for socialization, green certifications), as those in Bucharest.

In addition, in primary and secondary cities, other premium office projects are in development, which will ensure constant deliveries of new offices over the next two to three years.

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.

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.