Monthly Archives: October 2011

Germany finds €55bn. Heads will roll.

Perhaps only in Germany would there be a scandal if it turned out the country was in less debt than it thought. Hypo Real Estate, now a state-run bad bank, messed up sums, or added something twice, and reported being €55bn further in the hole than it actually was. Spiegel is headlining the article “Germany’s dumbest bank.” The finance ministry was allegedly told of the mistake at the beginning of the month, but now that the press has picked up on it, the Minister Himself will be calling in the bank’s boss for a rollocking.



Caelum begins ParkLake Plaza construction

The Romanian market may be hurting, but it’s certainly producing a decent number of retail schemes. Not only are around seven scheduled to open this fall, but another one has just gotten underway. Caelum Development has assigned Apolodor SRL and Edrasis – C. Psallidas SA to begin foundation work on Park LakePlaza, which will be constructed in the eastern Bucharest neighborhood called Titan. As is Caelum’s way, the scheme doesn’t lack for ambition, with 67,000 sqm of GLA envisioned for 200 stores. Construction is expected to take 30 months. Cinema City, a Cora hypermarket, and Pure Fitness Center are among the tenants already signed up, and the developer claims that 50% of the space has either signed leases or has heads of terms agreed.

Skanska acquires office plot in Wroclaw

Skanska Property Poland, developer of green office buildings, which has been linked to Wrocław by several investments, has acquired the right of perpetual usufruct of a plot of land located at Dominikański Square in Wrocław. The plot, situated in one of the most prestigious areas of the city, has a total area of 9,502 m2. “Central location, easy access to public transport, proximity to hotels, shopping and service facilities, make it an extremely attractive place for potential tenants of office space,” said Waldemar Olbryk, President of Skanska Property Poland.

“We are planning to develop an office building including a service and retail area,” said Bartosz Kalinowski, Project Manager at Skanska Property Poland. “Design works will start immediately, in line with the Local Area Development Plan and the architectural project will be discussed with the City Architect.”


CIJ Investment Roundtable – Hungary

Great discussion at the CIJ Investment Roundtable in Hungary today at Bank Center. It certainly wasn’t all doom and gloom, but the panelists agreed that Hungary’s knack for attracting scary headlines isn’t helping matters.

On the positive side, strong projects continue to perform, providing a certain level of comfort to developers and investors who know they’re investing into projects with solid fundamentals. And if a certain trio of major transactions were to go through, which would silence the pessemists, at least for a time.

And investors continue to land at Budapest’s new airport in order to scout out the opportunities. Unfortunately, they’ve been running into increased resistance from banks to agree to financing of new transactions, to the point that some investors won’t begin due diligence until some level of credit agreements have been put in place. And clearly, the country is still in a tight spot, with the consumer spend continuing to be squeezed by unemployment and the Swiss franc mortgage mess.

There was an overall consensus that it would be helpful if there were a more active approach towards outside investors, be it from the state, the city or from the private sector.

We’ll be featuring excerpts from what was an open and frank debate about the state of the property market in the November issue of CIJ.

ECE continues its Hungarian push

What crisis? Having just completed one mall in Hungary (Arkad Szeged), ECE has pushed on by beginning construction on its next project, Arkad II, which is essentially a continuation of Arkad I, opened 10 years ago in  Örs vezér tere square in Budapest. The new mall will add 20,000 sqm of retail space to the existing mall, spread over three floors. The developers claims that when completed in 2013, the two spaces will form the largest shopping area in Hungary, with over 200 stores and 68,000 sqm of GLA. Renovation and modernization then awaits Arkad 1.

CIJ Awards 2011 step up transparency

A screenshot from the new on-line voting system

With the CIJ Awards season fast approaching, Roberts Publishing Media group has introduced a new set of voting procedures designed to improve dramatically the transparency of the awards, thereby improving the quality of the prizes handed out. At its heart is a new on-line voting system which hundreds of CEOs, Partners and Managing Directors in the property sector will be asked to make their choices for the top projects and companies. The entire list, and the responses given, will be handed over to PricewaterhouseCoopers for independent verification of accuracy in tallying votes, and spot checks of individual votes. The public votes will count for 75%.

The remaining 25% will be made up of a series of Judging Panels, with experts chosen to vote on specific project categories, and on their choices for the top service providers of the year. That means that retail experts will be judging the Best Shopping Development prize, office experts the Best Office development, and so on.

Naturally, no judges with material connections with the projects and companies will be allowed to take part in the voting or discussion of these prizes. Again, PwC representatives will be on hand to ensure proper procedures are followed.

The CIJ Awards season gets going in Warsaw on November 3, to be followed in Prague on November 23, Budapest (December 1), Bratislava (December 6) and Bucharest (December 8).

Premium Distributors agrees with Panattoni in Wroclaw

AXI Immo has helpd bring about leases totaling 7,000 sqm at Brokerska Office Center and Panattoni Park Wrocław, both with Eurocash Group distributors.

Premium Distributors company took 4,600 sqm of space at Brokerska Office Park and 2,600 sqm of warehouse space in Panattoni Park Wrocław. “Since the beginning of 2011, the demand for warehouse space has been increasing steadily, says Renata Osiecka’ – managing partner at AXI Immo.  “This year, the number of transactions will not reach the level from before the crisis, but it will be better than the last two years.”