In 2022, Ukraine will participate in Expo Real for the first time. The event will host a pavilion with an area of 132 sqm dedicated to Rebuilding Ukraine. The organizing partner of the stand is Invest in Projects, a global promoter of the Ukrainian real estate industry.
The Ukrainian delegation will include more than twenty companies and about forty participants. Among them are well-known players such as Bosphorus Development, Kreator-bud, Smart Urban Solutions, NEST, Dragon Capital, Focus Estate Fund, Forum Group, Well Bud, Gleeds Ukraine, RIEL, Stolitsa Group, Avellum, DELTA Ukraine, Corcel, Invest in Projects, Advansys Group, CBM Forum, LUN, Ol.factory, Maxify, and UVCA.
Ukraine’s agenda at Expo Real
The three-day program of the Ukrainian pavilion at Expo Real is designed to reveal the most acute issues of the real estate industry during the war and in the period of subsequent post-war reconstruction.
The Ukrainian pavilion received significant interest from international experts and solid institutional support – for example, the largest association in the global construction market, the Urban Land Institute, and the European Commission initiative “New European Bauhaus.”
For the first two days, the main topic of discussion will be the long-term reconstruction strategy and its main aspects, such as ESG, green construction, and investments.
October 4th is Government Voice Day at the Ukraine stand. Guests will have the opportunity to communicate with Ukrainian and foreign officials and participate in a charity reception organized in association with UNITED24, the leading platform for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine, initiated by the President of Ukraine.
October 5th is Business Voice Day, when we will hear the opinions of the leading Ukrainian and international business representatives. Chaired by Andrew Wrobel, the session will bring together Maksym Maksymenko (AVELLUM), Wolfgang Gomernig (DELTA Group and DELTA Ukraine), Maksym Shkolnik (Focus Estate Fund), Lisette van Doorn (Urban Land Institute Europe) and Tamas Polster (Urbanite Advisors).
October 6th is the final day devoted to fast strategies for rebuilding cities and business environments during wartime.
What quick solutions and immediate strategies can Ukrainian businesses offer to create the foundations for post-war reconstruction? What steps are companies taking to help diversify current risks and envision prospects?
The chair of the discussion is Tamas Polster (Urbanite Advisors). The speakers are Roman Yemets (Smart Urban Solutions), Emil Soloviov (NEST), Andriy Kolodyuk (UVCA, Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA), Colin Ross (Gleeds Ukraine), Anna Lugovska (Corcel Group).
Reality and expectations – Comments of Ukrainian entrepreneurs
Invest in Projects asked the participants of the Ukrainian stand to share how they experienced the first months of the full-scale war and what they wanted to achieve at Expo Real.
The 2022 year started with the announcement of several large-scale projects and investment deals. Real estate developers anticipated quite ambitious plans.
Bosphorus Development reported that they entered 2022 with significant investments and plans to start the first development project — a multifunctional residential complex for the business class.
Advansys Group focused on implementing complex energy-efficient commercial and industrial real estate projects, covering complex engineering and construction works.
DELTA Ukraine worked across mixed-use, refurbishments, social infrastructure, and industrial with flagship projects like Promprylad, which have substantial social and economic impacts on certain Ukrainian regions.
Kreator-bud focused on developing residential projects in the capital. Creator City, Krauss Gallery, and Gravity Park housing complexes were among the most prominent projects.
Smart Urban Solutions declared fantastic results in 2021. The company’s main focus was developing the local shopping center chain, the Food Hall project, a mixed-use complex in the pipeline, and reviewing all real estate assets’ strategies.
Due to the project’s geography, Smart Urban Solutions were among the first who felt the war. The company has lost or not controlled seven out of eleven assets; four projects were destroyed.
In the spring of 2022, the real estate market began reviving, and most developers returned to construction sites.
Wolfgang Gomernik, CEO, DELTA Group & DELTA Ukraine, says the company restarted project execution on March 5th. “Some projects need coordinated stopping, and some need restructuring and new strategies. From May, our clients and partners started new project activities. We found new business opportunities with local and international investors and are actively working with international donors.”
Some leading Ukrainian players are already preparing to use their resources in reconstructing Ukraine. They have already started taking the first steps in this direction.
Mehmet V. Saçaklıoğlu, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Bosphorus Development, expects Ukraine to turn the tide of this geopolitical crisis which will revive the real estate market – both in terms of investment into new development projects and apartment sales.
Roman Yemets, Director General at Smart Urban Solutions, states that the company is already working on a strategy to balance the assets inside and outside the country and is preparing to reconstruct the unoccupied territories.
“We plan to develop a shopping centre chain within Ukraine with a GLA of 20,000 to 25,000 sqm, and we are also considering a portfolio of logistics complexes with a total area of 200,000 sqm. In addition, we are looking at the possibility of building one or more industrial parks in the south and west of Ukraine,” says Roman Yemets.
The foundation for the post-war reconstruction
Mehmet V. Saçaklıoğlu, Bosphorus Development, highlights three critical factors for future reconstruction: economic reforms, financial support, and, of course, creating conditions that favour innovations and encourage refugees to return home.
To make it all come true, Ukraine needs to stay on course with the reforms which started before the war and harmonize its laws with European legislation. At the same time, it is vitally essential to resume and restore the supply and production of building materials.
“I would also like to highlight the need for building shelters and fortified parking lots: this infrastructure has already become critical, so every modern city should have it.”
Oleksandr Zmikhnovskyi, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Advansys Group, believes that after the war, it is essential to change the paradigm of thinking of the critical mass of the country’s leaders; become more consistent, transparent, and together form a holistic strategy for the development of Ukraine.
The company’s leadership emphasizes the importance of involving Ukrainian experts and the best international specialists in the reconstruction. Funding and partner donor programs are other vital conditions for the country’s rapid recovery and development. It is crucial to attract funds not only for situational problems but also for strategic recovery.
Wolfgang Gomernik, DELTA Group, DELTA Ukraine, claims that successful reconstruction is impossible without reforms and actions in energy efficiency and sustainable development, according to ESG. International money will require standards according to the European Green Deal and similar. Fostering digitization efforts are essential to reduce bureaucracy.
Igor Guda, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Kreator-bud, emphasizes that the Marshall Plan for Ukraine is not our wishful thinking. It is necessary for the entire civilized world in the context of the confrontation with the Russian invaders, which our state is resisting, protecting not only itself, but all humanistic values and the integrity of Europe, he says.
Maksym Maksymenko, Partner and Head of AVELLUM’s real estate and infrastructure, noted that the success of the post-war rebuilding mainly relies on how well we can prepare for it, and we are already working on it together – businesses, foreign partners, and the government.
The real estate industry is steadily recovering from the shock. The developers are resuming the construction works in Kyiv and other cities in the central regions of Ukraine. In contrast, Western Ukraine and Lviv, in particular, came to work even earlier.
The parliament passed several bills to simplify land allotment and housing construction for IDPs, infrastructure, and other real estate sectors. In August, the Parliament also passed an important statement that significantly improved the legal framework of residential real estate construction and provided much-needed guarantees for investors. The Government puts many efforts into PPP legal framework improvement for large-scale residential real estate reconstruction.
In the meantime, foreign partners and IFIs negotiate financing and guarantee the residential real estate construction projects with the Government.
Expo Real for business consolidation
The discussion of the reconstruction of Ukraine at international events will draw more attention from the international real estate community.
Companies expect that participation in the exhibition will allow Ukrainian developers to receive international support, exchange experience, and initiate new partnerships and cooperation.
“Besides war pictures, Ukraine opens new possibilities for future business. And now is the perfect moment to promote Ukraine and show that the Ukrainian economy is working but needs support. The critical message that the companies hope to convey is that there is no need to wait for the war’s end; now is the time to step up efforts to restore the Ukrainian economy,” says Anna Nestulia, Principal at Invest in Projects.
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