Monthly Archives: December 2009

ECM sells City Tower

ECM has apparently sold City Tower for €130m, but no word on who the buyer is. Readers, please help out!

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Comings and goings

We don’t comment on every single changing of the guards, but we do cover some of the more interesting ones. And there were some interesting legal stories today. In Prague, Monika Rutland has announced that tomorrow will be her last day in the White & Case office in Prague. Quite a switch after nineteen years. The forwarding email address is a personal one, so no word yet where she’s headed.

Meanwhile, down in Budapest, Kinstellar announced that Andras Csapo would be leaving the company as of the end of the year. Nothing else to report – yet – though we can’t rule out some last minute updates.

Update: So in reaction, we’re told that a lawyer in Poland is leaving one of the big-name firms to join a logistics giant, while a defection of property lawyers from a company in Prague could be imminent. Wait and see.

Yareal sells Cristal Park to Azora Europa at “mid sevens”

The sale of Yareal’s office project, 10,300 sqm Cristal Park at Aleje Jerozolimskie in Warsaw, to Spanish investors Azora Europa, has been in the works for months. Last Friday, however, CIJ learned from two independent sources that the deal went through. Yareal and Azora agreed for a price of circa €30m, representing a yield of “mid sevens”, according to our sources. When contacted for a comment, Yareal told CIJ that it would speak about the sale officially only in the New Year.

Hungary’s base rate falls again

Hungary’s central bank dropped its base rate 25 bps, somewhat less than had been expected. With forecasts of continuing trouble for the country’s economy, global uncertainty, along with the failure of Hypo Alpe- Adria Bank (which was taken over earlier this month by Austria) and fears over Greece’s solvency, the message seems to be that caution is advisable. At 6.25%, though, it’s a long way from last July when the rate hit 11.5%.

Orco Germany sells 2 ha plot

Orco Germany has sold its 2 ha plot on Berlin’s Leipziger Square to developer Harald G. Huth and his company High Gain House Investments (HGHI), according to media reports. Huth plans to develop the site, together with Berliner BSS, into a €450m mixed-use project with a shopping center, offices and 200 residential units. The original plans for the area, drawn up by architect firm Kleihues + Kleihues following an urban design competition last year, will still be followed. Orco bought the property in 2006.

In other Orco news last week, general meetings with bondholders were put off until January when a quorum wasn’t achieved. The developer is still trying to reach an agreement with these creditors in order to improve its cash flow outlook and general viability. The failure to achieve this a couple months ago led to the demise of a bid by Colony Capital to provide a significant equity injection.

Centrum Metropol underway in Wroclaw

Centrum Metropol, Hilton Garden Inn

New projects are a rarity these days, so announcements that something’s gotten going is always news. Centrum Metropol by McCarthy-Harte is the developer of this 32,700 sqm scheme, which got underway a couple days ago in Wroclaw. It’s a mix of 4-star hotel, 13,000 sqm of office, 36 flats and 15 retail units. DTZ is currently acting as advisor to the developer.

Joanna Kowalska-Szymczak, Director of Investment and Development at DTZ said “It is an important step for Wrocław on the way to enhancing the city’s position as a business and tourist destination. I strongly believe that this modern mixed-use project will create a valuable addition to the city’s infrastructure, architecture and business environment.”

Ireland steps back from the brink

Ireland’s economy is likely to show a 7.5% fall in GDP this year, and a 1% further drop by the end of 2010, but recent figures indicate that the country has officially moved out of recession. Those figures are that GDP actually rose 0.3% in the third quarter of the year. Realists point out that since much of this came on the back of multinationals (who export their profits), the gross national product still fell, as did consumer spending (down 7.3%). Still, if the government stimulus/parachute is actually having some impact, finally, who’s going to argue? The Irish Times has a great breakdown of all the figures, worth a read for those who want more numbers.