Real estate developer Vastint has inaugurated the first two office buildings at its Timpuri Noi Square project, which have a total leasable area of 32,000 square meters.
Antoniu Panait, managing director of Vastint Romania, said on Thursday that the two office building will reach fully occupancy rate next summer, with the current leasing rate standing at 70 percent. Companies in various industries such as IT, financial services, FMCG and professional services are among the tenants, with some 2,000 people working here at the moment. For instance, debt collection firm KRUK rented 4,000 sqm, while Tremend Software, Impact Hub and Fratelli Group have also leased spaces in this project.
“A community will be created here,” said Panait, adding that the current trend in the market is to have mixed-use projects that have both residential and office components. At Timpuri Noi, the company plans to develop up 100,000 sqm of office&retail space.
Timpuri Noi Square is also designed to include up to 400-500 apartments, but Panait suggested that Vastint might focus on finishing the office component first. The third office building with a total lettable area of 20,000 sqm will be finished towards the end of 2018, said the head of Vastint Romania.
“Right now we are focusing on the office segment,” said Panait. “We are giving back to the city an area that had been forgotten up to now.”
The managing director said that the company could be interested in Public Private-Partnerships if the municipality has plans in this area. At present, Romania has a new draft bill for PPPs that is under debate in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Vastint is working on a separate office project in Orhideea area called Business Garden Bucharest. Panait said that all three buildings will be completed at the end of next year or in 2019.
The company also has 480,000 sqm of land in the northern part of Bucharest. “We are searching constantly for new land in Bucharest,” said Panait, adding that the company is not looking at the “extremities of the city” for the development of new office spaces.
Asked if Vastint is willing to sell the projects developed in Romania, Panait explained that “we are owners on the long term” and that the developer’s strategy is to have a portfolio of buildings.
“Romania still has better yields compared to other countries,” said the executive, who went on to say that the company “doesn’t exclude going with the residential (component – e.n.) in other cities.” The managing director of Vastint Romania cited Timisoara, Iasi and Cluj-Napoca as cities that are growing rapidly due to the expansion of international companies.