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JLL: Bucharest attracted almost 60% of the demand for logistics and industrial spaces

By Edwig Ban

Demand in Romania's industrial and logistics market reached 456,000 square meters in the first nine months of 2017, close to the level recorded for the whole last year when it cumulated 463,000 square meters.
Over 70% of the leased area, respectively 330,000 square meters, represents new demand (new contracts, pre-rentals). New demand in total take-up grew over the same period last year, reflecting in declining of vacancy rates. Renegotiations and contract renewals have accumulated 126,000 square meters of industrial and logistics space.
A total of 56% of total demand was targeted by Bucharest, as logistics companies generated more than half of the demand, with 250,000 square meters of spaces taken over across the country. Almost a quarter of the leased area was contracted by production companies.
Piteşti (50,000 sqm), Timişoara (45,000 sqm), Roman (31,000 sqm) and Cluj (25,250 sqm) are other cities where significant transactions in the industrial and logistics segment were concluded during the analyzed period.
"The demand for industrial premises is maintained at a high level and confirms the clients' appetite for expansion, proof being the fact that in the first nine months of this year the total volume represents 98% of that recorded in the entire year 2016", said Costin Bănică, Associate Director, Head of Industrial Agency JLL Romania.
In terms of supply, over the first nine months, projects totaling more than 210,000 square meters have been delivered across the country, so the stock at the end of September was nearly 3 million square meters, of which 1.5 million square meters in Bucharest.
Another 140,000 square meters of industrial space are announced to be delivered this year, both new projects and extensions of existing schemes, leading to the overall level of deliveries of industrial spaces over the one recorded in 2016 and confirming the appetite of customers and developers for expansion. The vacancy rate is below 5% in Bucharest and 7-10% outside the capital.
"The supply of industrial space has kept pace with increased demand. Investors have tasted this year's success of speculative developments and have enjoyed high demand for this type of space as well. The tenants have maintained their preference for the construction sites and have focused mainly on projects under development, at the expense of those still in the project stage", comments Costin Bănică, Associate Director, Head of Industrial Agency JLL Romania.
Rents remains constant, the level being influenced, only punctually, by the vacancy rate of each project.
"The occupancy cost in Bucharest is strongly influenced by the reduced availability of spaces. With the recently announced entry of a new developer on the market, we expect the competition on the industrial segment in Bucharest to increase", said Costin Banica, Associate Director, Head of Industrial Agency JLL Romania. (rbj/26.10.2017)

Number of building permits for residential buildings go up 2.5pct in first 5 months

By rbj

The number of building permits for residential buildings increased in Romania 2.5pct in the first five months of the year, to 15,086, compared to the same period of the previous year, according to data the National Institute of Statistics (INS) released on Friday.

According to the cited source, in May 2017, 4,342 building permits for residential buildings were issued, up 30.5pct from April, and 17.1pct from the same month in 2016. Also, between 1 January and 31 May 2017, 15,086 building permits for residential buildings were issued, 2.5pct more than the similar interval of 2016. Growth is reflected in the following development regions: Northeast (+ 340 permits), Center (+170), Bucharest-Ilfov (+76), North-West (+44) and South West Oltenia (+8). On the other hand, declines were witnessed in the following development regions: West (-178), South-Muntenia (-83) and South-East (-15).

The INS data also reveal that in May 2017 vs May 2016 there is an increase in the number of building permits issued for residential buildings in most development regions. The most significant increases were registered in North East (+205), South Muntenia (+136) and North West (+118), and declines were recorded in Bucharest-Ilfov (-50).

According to statistics, in May this year, compared to April, 4,342 building permits were issued, of which 65.8pct are for the rural area. The regional distribution shows an increase in the number of building permits issued for residential buildings compared to April 2017, in the following development regions: South-East (+238), South-Muntenia (+183), North East (+173), West (+169), North West (+129), Center (+113) and South West Oltenia (+49). Decline was registered in the Bucharest-Ilfov development region (-39 permits), the INS shows.(rbj/30.06.2017)

European Commission launches infringement procedures against Romania over retail trade of agricultural

By rbj

The European Commission on Wednesday launched infringement procedures against Hungary and Romania regarding retail trade of agricultural and food products, according to a press statement released by the European Commission.

The Commission decided on Wednesday to send letters of formal notice to Hungary and Romania on the grounds that their national rules on retail of agricultural and food products run against EU law.

In Romania, large retailers are required to purchase at least 51 percent of food and agricultural products from local producers. This raises concerns with respect to freedom of movement of goods. The same law also requires retailers to promote products of Romanian origin, restricting their commercial decision of which products to place on offer, which in turn runs counter to the freedom of establishment (Article 49 of TEFU Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TEFU).

According to EU law restrictions of these freedoms are only permitted when there is a justified need to protect an overriding public interest, such as public health, and no less restrictive the measures can be taken. Neither Hungary nor Romania has provided evidence that their national measures are justified and proportionate. The Hungarian and Romanian authorities now have two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission.

In Hungary, a new law obliges retailers to apply the same profit margins to domestic and imported agricultural and food products, despite the fact that the cost of imported products is subject to currency and exchange rate fluctuations. This may discourage sales of imported agricultural and food products in comparison to domestic ones. The Commission raised concerns on the basis of the principle of free movement of goods (Article 34 of Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, TFEU). (rbj/2017.02.15)

West Gate Business Park, one of the bigest business parks in Bucharest

* Societe Generale European Business Services has leased more than 12 500 m.p. office space in West Gate * West Gate Business Park has a 100% occupancy rate and hosts international companies such as Societe Generale European Business Services, Accenture, Alpha Bank, Carestream, Citi, Dacia-Renault, Ericsson, Siemens, Panasonic and WNS

By rbj

West Gate Business Park, located on the western side of Bucharest and owned by Genesis Development, adds 4000 sqm to the existing lease contract with Societe Generale European Busines Services.

„Taking into consideration that in 2017 the M&A market is estimated to grow with 200.000 sqm additional office space, the fact that a company like Societe Generale chooses to extend it’s office in one of our business parks represents a big plus and confirms our capacity to serve them according to their expectations.” said Liviu Tudor, president and founder of Genesis Development.

The lease contract with Societe Generale European Business Services is valid as of the beginning of 2017. Societe Generale European Business Services uses 12.700 sqm office space, from the total 75.000 sqm rentable space in West Gate Business Park. The lease contract is due to expire at the end of 2021.

„We continue the development of our operations in Romania by extending our offices with an additional 4.000 sqm, within West Gate Business Park, in building H4 and H5. We have decided to extend here, following the quality of the services provided and the support we received for every stage of our company’s development plan.” said Phillipe Garcet, CEO of Societe Generale European Business Services.

Societe Generale European Business Services, owned by the french multinational banking group Societe Generale, serves more than 20 countries (mostly from Europe) for all the major business lines of Societe Generale Group. By optimizing the businesses management and customer care processes, the company wants to become a regional excellent center for Societe Generale Group.

From the beginning, Societe Generale European Business Services has recorded a fast growth rate, setting its target of reaching over 1.000 employees until June 2017. West Gate Business Park is one of the bigest business parks in Bucharest, developed by Genesis Development and located in Militari area, very close to Preciziei subway station. The park has 5 office buildings, having a total leasable area of 75.000 square meters.

Currently, West Gate Business Park has a 100% occupancy rate and hosts international companies such as Societe Generale European Business Services, Accenture, Alpha Bank, Carestream, Citi, Dacia-Renault, Ericsson, Siemens, Panasonic and WNS.

Genesis Development is a real-estate development company, with over 15 years of experience on the local market. The company developed Novo Park and West Gate Business Park, totalizing a leasable area of 150.000 sqm Class A office spaces. Genesis Development is also the develeoper of the first privately owned student campus in Romania,

West Gate Studios, that has 925 rentable studios. The total investment made by Genesis Development in Romania rises over 300 million Euros..

Societe Generale European Business Services was established in 2011 and it’s a service center for Societe Generale Group. The company offers professional quality services for other companies belonging to the same group, in various fields, such as finance / accounting, aquisitions, human resources and IT.(rbj/2017.01.20)

Opus Land Development, Cosmopolis residential complex’s developer aims to sell 540 new homes this year

By rbj

Opus Land Development, the developer of Cosmopolis, the biggest residential complex located in the north area of Bucharest, aims to sell this year 540 new homes and to continue the infrastructure’s development within the complex.

At this moment, in Cosmopolis are completed 2,300 apartments and villas, counting over 4.500 residents. Due to the stage reached, it may be considered one of the largest communities within a local residential project.

Ahmet Buyukhanli, CEO OPUS LAND DEVELOPMENT said: “Our goal for 2017 is to maintain the sales like the year before with a slight increase and to reach 540 sold units. Last year we sold 470 units, with a total value of 30 million euros and we recorded a sales increase of 10% compared to 2015. This year we will keep investing in general development and infrastructure of Cosmopolis.”

In addition, last year, inside the residential complex was built the strip mall, Cosmopolis Plaza, after an investment of 2.2 million euros. It already has opened stores like the ones dedicated to children, a pharmacy, a dry cleaning, a pet-shop, clothing stores, a supermarket, a cafeteria, an interior design store, a natural food shop, a beauty salon and other spaces for services. The strip mall also has a parking lot. Other stores will open in 2017, the occupancy rate reaching 90% in April. Besides strip mall, the residents of Cosmopolis benefit from a range of facilities that includes a kindergarten, primary school, a park, a private beach by the lake near the buildings, seven outdoor pools, outdoor basketball, football and tennis courts, a restaurant and several children playgrounds. In addition, residents have provided transport to subway stations Aurel Vlaicu and Pipera by minibus lines which run continuously every half hour.

The selling price of a residential unit in Cosmopolis starts at 35,000 euros and it could reach 150,000 euros, excluding custom villas. Of the total units for sale last year, studios and apartments with two rooms were best received among buyers, with 58% rate, followed by villas (27%) and three-room apartments having 15% rate of total sales.

Cosmopolis is one of the largest real estate investment made in Romania, located in the north-east of Bucharest. Since 2007, the building project was developed gradually turning into a true European city with a community that has over 4,500 residents and has many facilities right inside the complex. At this point, Cosmopolis covers an area of 800,000 sq. m having completed over 2,300 apartments and villas. The investments in Cosmopolis residential complex amounted to approximately 280 million-euro, budget allocated for buildings, infrastructure, commercial and green spaces. Future plans include the construction of at least 7,000 new homes and the continued development of infrastructure and facilities offered.

Cosmopolis manager and exclusive agent is Coldwell Banker Romania, one of the largest real estate consulting companies in Romania after the latest financial official results. This is the company with the strongest activity in the residential segment, the manager and agent for over 15 exclusive residential projects in Bucharest and around the country. The company sold in 2016, directly from the developer, more than 1,500 new housing only in Bucharest.(rbj/2017/01.19)

Cosmopolis will have its own strip mall, the first one built in Romania in a residential complex

By the end of November, Opus Land Development will open for Cosmopolis residents, but not only for them, a commercial center for shopping and leisure. Cosmopolis Plaza will extend over a 10,000 sq m area and it is representing a 2.2 million-euro investment. The budget was allocated to develop the land and the construction and to provide the space with equipment and necessary facilities. This process lasted a year.

Cosmopolis Plaza will have as a main anchor a Carrefour supermarket, with a gross leasable area of 950 sq m. Other familiar brands that will be present in Cosmpolis are: Inmedio, VET Life pet shops, Ocean Fish store and Domino's Pizza. The total rentable surface has 4,100 sq m. Conceived as a space for leisure, Cosmopolis Plaza will also provide the consumers restaurants, coffee bars, a children playground, a beauty salon.

"We will open the strip mall to provide another facility for Cosmopolis ‘s residents. Since we had started to develop the project, I knew how helpful is for people to find everything they need nearby. We strongly believe in the things that add a real value to our project and by offering so many facilities near people’s homes, we give them the opportunity to save time. From now on, the residents of Cosmopolis, most of them young families with children, have this opportunity and they can go shopping or spend some time close to their homes. Another very important thing I had in mind when I started to sketch plans for the strip mall, was to give the local entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their businesses, regardless of size. Thus, besides the main anchors, Cosmopolis Plaza hosts smaller business developed by its residents, and that makes us proud." said Ahmet Buyukhanli, CEO Opus Land Development.

Some of the smaller businesses developed by local entrepreneurs from Cosmopolis are: a beauty salon, an organic products shop, a shop for children, a flower shop, a bakery, a butcher shop and a coffee & sweets shop.

The facilities that Cosmopolis Plaza will provide, will complete the existing facilities: playgrounds for children, seven outdoor swimming pools, a decorated lakeside beach, tennis and basketball courts, transportation to subway stations Aurel Vlaicu and Pipera and permanent security service. About Cosmopolis residential

Cosmopolis is one of the largest real estate investment made in Romania, located in the north-east of Bucharest. Since 2007, the building project was developed gradually turning into a true European city with a community that has over 4,500 residents and has many facilities right inside the complex. At this point, Cosmopolis covers an area of 800,000 sq m having completed over 2,300 apartments and villas. The investments in Cosmopolis residential complex amounted to approximately 280 million-euro, budget allocated for buildings, infrastructure, commercial and green spaces. Future plans include the construction of at least 7,000 new homes and the continued development of infrastructure and facilities offered.

Cosmopolis manager and exclusive agent is Coldwell Banker Romania, one of the largest real estate consulting companies in Romania after the latest financial official results. This is the company with the strongest activity in the residential segment, the manager and agent for over 15 exclusive residential projects in Bucharest and around the country. The company sold in 2015, directly from the developer, more than 1,500 new housing only in Bucharest.(rbj/2016.10.29)

The EUR 60 mln Veranda shopping mall opens in Bucharest

The 30,000 square meters Varanda shopping mall that Prodplast Imobiliare, controlled by Romanian businessman Florin Pogonaru, has been developing in the Obor area of Bucharest officially opened today.

Construction on the site started in 2014. At that time its owners were forecasting that the mall will have some 20,000 visitors per day and will generate between EUR 6 million and EUR 7 million of rental income in the first year.

Veranda shopping mall has required an investment of EUR 60 million. “We have a financing agreement with Raiffeisen Bank and Raiffeisen Bank International for EUR 25 million which can be increased to EUR 28.5 million. The remainder of the investment, meaning almost 60 percent, is covered by our own capital,” Andrei Pogonaru, member of the administration board of Prodplast Imobiliare told BR this May.

The mall is located on the grounds of the former Prodplast plastics factory, which has been relocated. It is situated in the Obor neighborhood of Bucharest, one of the capital’s traditional commercial areas, right next to the Obor farmers’ market. Veranda is being branded as the first green and proximity mall in the city and is meant to be complementary to the existing traditional retailers in the area, according to its owners.

The shopping mall features some 100 stores and it is anchored by a Carrefour hypermarket, the French retailer’s 12th in Bucharest and its 31st in the country. Veranda is the second shopping mall to be opened this year in the capital after Sonae Sierra and Caelum Development opened the 70,000 sqm ParkLake shopping mall this September. (RBJ/2016.10.27)

British Romanian Investment Partnership builds New Residence Bucharest

* The second residential project developed in Romania is an investment of 10 million euro

By Edwig Ban

British Romanian Investment Partnership, part of the British investment fund ARDC (UK) Ltd announces the release of their second residential project developed in Romania, New Residence Bucharest complex, comprising 24,000 sqm build on a plot of 10,000 sqm.

With an investment of 10 million euro, New Residence Bucharest, the residential complex located in Drumul Taberei neighborhood will comprise 216 turnkey apartments, with English style architecture and low height structure.

Currently, the project is in its first phase of construction, which will be completed in December this year and the entire project is scheduled to be delivered in the spring of 2017.

‘’New Residence Bucharest is a special residential project, both in terms of architecture and facilities. As well as before, we took into account the criteria underlying the choice of a home, whether it's about quality, price, accessibility and comfort. We are inspired by the idea of making happy this year hundreds of families in a residential complex with facilities carefully chosen and also to provide quality housing at an accessible price." said Cristian Mercioniu, General Manager New Residence.

New Residence Bucharest will have studios and apartments of 2 and 3 bedrooms and it will be built on a solid structure according to anti-seismic norms in force. Those 45 studios will be available in 5 different models and will be positioned at both 1st and 2nd floors or at the attic, some of them having a special architecture with triangular form. The 117 two-bedroom apartments of 57 to 77 sqm will be available in 13 different types with one or two balconies.

More, New Residence project will also include 5 types of apartments with three rooms, figuring 54 units with 85 sqm to 95 sqm. >p>The residential complex will offer modern facilities such as secured common areas, elevators, private parks, social club, parking, 14 commercial properties, supermarket, gym, afterschool, pharmacy and playgrounds for children.

Moreover, near New Residence are located shopping centers, schools, kindergartens, health clinics, public transport, in order to complete the whole map of facilities.

ARDC (UK) Ltd is a company registered in the UK, earning through its associates extensive and relevant experience in multiple areas. ARDC (UK) Ltd is the majority shareholder of the company Romanian British Investment Partnership SRL based in Bucharest and it is the developer of New Residence Bucharest. Through this project, ARDC (UK) Ltd achieved the second real estate investment in Bucharest, after successfully completing the New Residence Magurele residential complex in 2015 – more than 180 apartments, 4 commercial properties, and 8 individual and duplex-type houses. New Residence builders are the only real estate members present in the Technical Cluster MTCH from Magurele.(RBJ/2016.10.25)

Israeli developer AFI Europe starts new office project in Bucharest

Israeli developer AFI Europe, which owns one of the biggest malls in Romania – AFI Palace Cotroceni, will start working on its new office project, AFI Tech Park, located close to the JW Marriott Hotel and the Parliament’s Palace in Bucharest. The project includes two office buildings and an office tower with a total leasable area of 50,000 sqm. The project’s first phase, AFI Tech Park 1, should be delivered in the first quarter of 2018. This will include 20,000 sqm of office space and a service area including a supermarket, a fitness club, a restaurant, a café, a drug store, and others. The office project is located between Progresului and Tudor Vladimirescu boulevards, across the street from NEPI’s Vulcan Retail Park and close to Liberty mall and the Green Gate office building. “We are sure that this business area will become a center of interest for expanding multinational companies, similar to Bucharest’s central-western area,” said David Hay, CEO of AFI Europe Romania. AFI Europe recently finalized its AFI Park office compound, which consists of five office buildings located next to the AFI Palace Cotroceni mall. The group has already initiated talks to sell three of the project’s buildings.(rbj/2016.09.13).

Contact
The Romanian Business Journal
Constantin Radut
Editor in Chief
031726 Bucharest, Romania

+40 725 511 887 office.rbjournal@gmail.com www.rbj.ucoz.ro
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