Monthly Archives: December 2010

ING REIM gets 4 CEE buildings BREEAM-ed

Four properties owned by the funds managed by ING Real Estate Investment Management Central and Eastern Europe (ING REIM CEE) have been awarded BREEAM certificates for sustainable buildings. Campona Shopping Centre and Pólus Center in Budapest, and two buildings in Prague – Centrum Zlatý Anděl and an office building BETA in BB Center (Building Beta) are officially sustainable.

The buildings were assessed on nine primary criteria, such as materials used, energy consumption, health and well-being of the internal environment, access to public transport, the monitoring of water use, waste storage and sorting facilities. The certification of all four commercial properties was executed by Dutch company Grontmij.

Fitch downgrades Hungary

Turns out that whole pension-grabbing incident in Budapest a few weeks back hasn’t gone down too well abroad. The government claims that seizing private pension funds is designed to improve the country’s fiscal position. The bean counters can fight somewhere else if it’s not just papering over some structural cracks. But the foreign markets Hungary relies on so heavily for funding simply were about as impressed with the pension fund raid as they were by strange Central Bank meddling and costly bank levies.

So now, Fitch has joined Moody’s and S&P by parking the country’s credit rating one step above junk at BBB-.  The year isn’t exactly ending on an upbeat note for Hungary’s government. But at least it has the first half of 2011 to look forward to, since it will be assuming the presidency of Europe. Let’s just say we doubt it will be entirely devoid of incident…

AEW Europe/Tristan buy Jantar from Mayland

European Property Investors Special Opportunities, an investment fund managed by AEW Europe and Tristan Capital Partners bought Centrum Handlowe Jantar, a mall developed by Mayland Real Estate in northern Poland’s coastal town of Słupsk.

The volume of the transaction for the 22,250 sqm mall was €92m. Jantar’s size is set to double, as an expansion is planned to be completed by 2012.  Mayland will remain the mall’s manager.

Ott would sell shares in Orco subsidiaries

Speaking again with Bloomberg, Orco Property Group CEO JF Ott reveals that he’s considering selling shares in some of the listed company’s subsidiaries.

“It’s a smart idea for Orco,” he said in an interview in Prague. The developer will hold “serious” talks with some investors in the next “few” weeks. “My goal for the future would be to buy them out.”

There is no explicit clarification on this in the article, but the next paragraph of the story mentions the shareholdings Orco has in MaMaison, Orco Germany, and the Endurance fund, which it manages.

Orco’s announcement a couple weeks ago  that it planned to unwind the Endurance fund raised eyebrows, not least because it appeared to admit frayed relations with the fund’s investors, who are demanding greater control over the liquidation process.

Ott told Bloomberg he believes 2011 will be “a year of growth” for Orco, adding that in particular, former and current US investors in the company had a “fundamental appetite” for real estate exposure in CEE.

Use of Poland’s Civil Code point 685.1

Last week,  the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza published an article about an unnamed tenant in an unnamed building in central Warsaw whose landlord had suddenly jacked up its rent by 60%. The only way not to pay would be to leave.

Turns out, they’ve decided to pay, and to fight it. And it didn’t take too much digging to find out the name of the company in question. What makes unilateral rent rises possible is a previously obscure piece of Polish law  [to be specific: Civil Code point 685.1] which the building’s landlord claims allows landlords to “terminate” the original rental rate. Really??!? Bet that’s news to a few tenants around town.

The owner of the building is not an international fund, but rather a separate company, and as we’ve been informed that the matter is currently a matter of arbitration, we’ve removed our original post and will wait to see how it all turns out before commenting further.

In the meantime, we would still like to know how widespread this practice is, as the law clearly has serious implications for owner/landlord relations. We welcome any views on this, of course.

ProLogis fills A1 park Bucharest

ProLogis has signed a lease with logistics provider Geodis Calberson for than 17,300 sqm of space in Building Four of ProLogis Park Bucharest A1. The SNCF (FrenchRailway) subsidiary expanded its lease in Building Two so that it now totals 3,490 sqm. Thanks to this, the park is now full, says the developer.

ProLogis Bucharest A1 is made up of  four buildings totalling 108,000 sqm. Other tenants there include Augsburg International Impex, cargo-partner, Centrum Logistics, Gefco, Kuehne + Nagel and Omega Transport & Logistics.

Nazdravi! Bauhaus sold in C. Budejovice

Enough of the Awards romp already, there’s business going on as the year closes up. For example, in the city that inspired Budweiser (sic), a Bauhaus store has been sold by Immofinanz to….

Yes, once again, CPI is the winning bidder. Having bought just about everything else sold this year in the Czech Republic, this one was probably never in any question. Sale price of EUR 17.2m is being reported for 42,000 sqm of space.

In just under a month, we might point out, CIJ will carry an interesting interview with CPI boss Zdenek Havelka.