Despite a challenging financing environment, mixed-use developments are gaining ground in Romania as they provide a better mix of facilities for end–users and tenants, concluded speakers of the mixed-use panel of SEE Property Forum 2023, held in Bucharest recently.
Co-living and-working will fuel the demand for mixed-use schemes, alongside the shift towards revitalization and more efficient developments, according to Cristina Dumitrache MRICS, Chief Business Development Officer, Rustler Romania, who chaired the panel.
Angelus Bernreuther, Head of Investor Relationship Management, Kaufland, explained that you have to have passion for the location and be open-minded to find the best solution for the location. “From our point of view, we are a meeting point, not just a shopping point,” said Bernreuther.
Jan Demeyere, Co-Founder and Partner, Speedwell said that the location, good financial planning and time are key for mixed-use projects. “Our approach is to mix the functions and also the typology of buildings,” said Demeyere. He added that Speedwell’s strategy for its CityZen project is to place buildings around public places.
The end-user and tenant are key, you have to understand them, said Brendon O’Reilly, Managing Director, Liebrecht & wooD Management Romania. He explained that a huge leisure development is planned in the Cernica area, where the company has completed an outlet centre.
Marius Persenea, Chief Operating Officer at IULIUS Company, said that mixed-use projects can help companies better retain their workforce. For the developer, success means you are fully let and produce economic growth. Iulius’ oldest project is in Palas Iasi. Although it has been in operation for more than a decade, the demand for space is huge although it is fully let. “It is not easy to finance large-scale assets. All of our core assets are each above half a billion euros,” said Persenea.
Alex Skouras, Managing Partner at Alesonor, explained the market is ready for all types of development. A community has shops, restaurants, schools, health solutions and parks. The mixed-use development is creating something similar from scratch. Skouras went on to say that financing is difficult for mixed-use development as the banks’ approach is oriented more towards individual components.
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