The pandemic crisis scared everybody, but office buildings owners and managers took health security measures that relaxed renters. The have implemented solutions like periodic nebulaization of common areas from the very beginning, as Antoniu Panait, Managing Partner at Vastint said at Business Review’s Realty Forum 2020, organized by a new concept Garden Zoom-out.
“We even managed, together with Fratelli, to arrange a terrace outside where employees at Timpuri Noi building can eat,” said Antoniu Panait. The building at Timpuri Noi also uses fresh air inside since it is the way it was projected from the beginning.
Employers have gradually begun to return to offices, but now that it is a holiday season, so many companies are announcing September as the moment of the return.
“We analyze any possibility of adapting to the new reality. The virus will not disappear very quickly and we all have to adapt, to be careful about hygiene and other things. We are also looking for solutions for adapting retail in buildings so as to provide security for tenants,” said Antoniu Panait.
The employees are also using the space outside the building to work, on the benches or on the grass. “We were able to create an outdoor social space, but also the indoor spaces were made to be as large as possible. It is very important when projecting a building to think about the future, so you can have much more flexibility,” shows Panait.
There were several talks recently about the possibility that owners should cut the rent since the pandemic crisis hit most of the tenants. “But, in recent years, labor and material costs have risen sharply. And the land price also went up. But the rental price remained the same. If it weren’t for COVID, we probably should have increased rents, but now they’ll stagnate, they won’t go down,” said Antoiniu Panait. “Of course, no one has a crystal bowl to predict the future, but we will see that companies will somehow combine work-from-home with more office space.”
Especially since not everyone can work from home, especially when the boundary between personal and professional disappears.
“Companies with long-term vision and solid business continued the projects they had for 2020. We signed contracts even during this period of restrictions. At Timpuri Noi only a thousand square meters are not rented, and at Orhideea, where we started to deliver the spaces, about 70 percent is already occupied,” said Panait.
“Of course, it is not the same as before COVID-19, many projects are still postponed, but things will return to normal. After a few months off, you still have to get back into business.”
The buildings are in continuous evolution with technology making office-spaces as energy-efficient as possible. “New buildings are ready for the future, they are constantly evolving anyway, especially with the advent of new technologies. And the tenants are more and more educated, with well-trained consultants, who want very good quality conditions,” said Panait.
“When we designed the green spaces at Business Garden, we specified to the designers that we need a garden there because that’s what it’s called and that’s how it should be, 30 percent of the total land,” explained Antoiniu Panait.