Monthly Archives: August 2011

C&A opens a trio of new Romanian stores

C&A will open 3 new stores in Sibiu (Shopping City), Focsani (European Retail Parc) and Suceava (Iulius Mall). In Sibiu the store will have 1,200 sqm and opens Sept. 1. The stores in Focsani and Suceava are set to open this autumn. C&A already has stores in nine Romanian cities: Bucuresti, Arad, Baia Mare, Botosani, Buzau Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Focsani and Suceava.

Court throws out permit for ECM Pankrac scheme

Chalk one up for the activist groups. A court in Prague has stripped ECM’s scheme City Epoque of its urban planning permit thanks to a suit brought by local residents. The ruling is unlikely to please creditors of the company, whose huge debts forced it into bankruptcy. The V-shaped building was supposed to house 126 apartments, along with some penthouses that would have their own swimming pools. Like every single other project that’s ever been built in Pankrac, it’s been dogged by persistent local activists.

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RO: H&M to Sun Plaza

H&M will open its sixth shop in Bucharest in November, following a lease agreement for 1,600 sqm in the city’s biggest mall, Sun Plaza. Opened in 2010, the mall was developed by EMCT & S Immo, and offers 210,000 sqm of retail space. Other anchor tenants include Zara, C&A, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, New Yorker, Hervis, Sprider, Koton, Diverta, Humanic and Deichmann. Kulczyk skyscraper cleared by aviation authorities

When Kulczyk Investments tried to get its plans for Chmielna Tower through the urban planning process back in 2007, it got rejected by the Civil Aviation Office (CAO) which objected to its planned height of over 280 meters (antenna included).
In fact, Gazeta Wyborcza reports that in view of its proximity to Warsaw’s airport, the agency set the maximum height at that location at 130 meters. But the developer refused to compromise on its original plan, and the approach now appears to be paying off, after a recent u-turn by the CAO. Chmielna Tower has been given clearance to take off, meaning that construction could begin within two years. The company is currently carrying out the project on its own, but it’s expected that Chmielna Tower, which would be Warsaw’s tallest building, will be placed in a joint venture between Kulczyk Investments and US giant Silverstein, to be called Kulczyk Silverstein Properties.

Warimpex revenues rise 14% in H1 2011

Warimpex reports a “clear stabilization” in the hotel industry over the first half of 2011, which saw its hotel revenues rise by 14 percent, with EBITDA increasing 43% to €9.4m. Its conslidated sales rose by 9% to €51.2m, but it finished the first six months €3.2m in the red “due to scheduled write-downs and lower earnings from property sales.” Along with the sale of 12.5% of Sobieski Hotel in Warsaw, it completed Airport City in St. Petersburg in the final quarter of last year.

Revenues from hotel operations improved by 14 per cent from EUR 42.6 million in the first six months of 2010 to EUR 48.4 million. This change was primarily the result of significantly higher revenues from the recently opened hotels in Ekaterinburg, Łódź, Katowice and Berlin, which have established themselves on the market and are now enjoying stable revenues.

Budapest hotels booking better

Colliers International in Hungary reports that business trips have increased in the first half of 2011, with the number of guest night up by 3 percent compared to the same period in 2010. “Within this, hotels continued to perform above-average, with the number of guest nights rising by 7%. Four-star hotels performed particularly well, with growth exceeding 11%” – said Norbert Szircsák, researcher and valuation consultant at the real estate advisory firm.
The total nights spent by foreign visitors increased by 10 percent, a stat Colliers chalks up to the fact that Hungary held the rotating EU presidency role for that period. The average occupancy rate for hotels was 43%, with 5-star accommodations posting the best result (61%), followed by 4-star hotels (49%).

Total revenues of accommodation establishments increased by 6% at current prices, compared to the same period of 2010. Average room rates at three-to-five-star hotels in Budapest were between HUF 9,000 and HUF 31,000 in the January–June period.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing to be largest Orco shareholder

So this is where it’s all been going…We’ll get some  commentary and analysis on this later on. For now, just read an original Orco Property Group press release that details how MSREI is taking an 18.7% stake in OPG, which would make it the largest shareholder:

“Orco Property Group (“Orco”) and Funds advised by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (“MSREI”) have entered into an agreement regarding MSREI’s investment in Orco. Subject to regulatory and internal approvals and final closing, Orco and MSREI have agreed that Orco will issue 3 Million ordinary shares in a private placement. The subscriptions of said Orco shares will be paid by MSREI through contributions of its stakes in Orco Germany and Endurance Real Estate Fund. Following the completion of the transaction, MSREI will become the largest shareholder of Orco with app. 18.7%. Orco will increase its stake in Orco Germany to app. 87.3% and in the two Sub-funds of Endurance Real Estate Fund as follows, 14.8 % in the Residential Sub-fund and 27 % in the Office I Sub-fund.

“Today, Orco Property Group has set in motion its strategy of reinforcing its control over an Orco Germany portfolio focused on its Berlin investment properties. This is part of Orco’s strategy to focus on its core business in the four cities of Berlin, Prague, Warsaw and Budapest with the aim to simplify the group`s structure. The contemplated sales of our assets in Russia are the next steps of this strategy.” stated Jean-Francois Ott. “We would welcome MSREI as our largest shareholder. MSREI’s wealth of institutional knowledge and experience coupled with Orco’s expertise throughout Central and Eastern Europe will provide a long term benefit to Orco’s shareholders, bondholders and stakeholders.”