Sustainability is key in future developments, strongly believes Tinu Sebeșanu, CEO Impact Developer & Contractor. To find out more about what is to be expected in Romanian real-estate market, Business Review sat down with the CEO of one of the latest Romanian unicorns (Romanian companies with a market capitalization of over RON 1 billion).
Last year was, yet again, another challenging year for businesses. How was 2021, in terms of results, for Impact Developer & Contractor?
First of all 2021 meant for us adopting a clear and strong sustainable development strategy for the next 6 years and the start of a financing plan for it, issues of additional shares of stock and company bonds. More importantly, we have prepared all the surfaces in our land-bank for launching new stages of development and, overall, we moved forward with the development implementation for 1.800 apartments. We aim to develop more than 1,2 mln. sqm, more than 10,000 affordable apartments until 2027. We have already hit the 1 bln. Lei capitalization benchmark on the stock market with an 123% advance on the shares price year-on-year. We are looking now for 18th February, when according to broker’s estimations the shares of Impact Developer & Contractor could be included in micro cap ategory of FTSE Index – FTSE Global Micro Cap, once we fulfill the liquidity criterea. We are keen on increasing free-float and our company shares attractivity for the next 12 months.
Operationally, we have completed last stage of development at Luxuria Residence, located in Expoziției area of Bucharest, a project with a total estimated value of 150 mld. Euro. Luxuria is the first large condominium in Bucharest which complies with BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) Excellent. With almost 10,000 sqm of green areas, covering 43,5% of the total developed plot, we are talking about a park in between parks. Luxuria offers a rare mix of unique characteristics hard to be found throughout the city, characteristics than ensure an high living standard in the newest hot spot for development in Bucharest. Also we have moved on with our national extension plans launching Greenfield Copou project in Iași. With a total of more than 1,000 units Greenfield Copou shall be one of the major sustainable projects in the Moldova region, meeting nZEB and BREEAM Excellent criterias. This is our third BREEAM Excellent certified project after Luxuria in Bucharest and Boreal Plus in Constanța. As you can see, we might confidently say that we had a pretty good year.
What do you think about last year’s real-estate market and what do you expect in 2022?
We have seen an increasing demand for new apartments as a lot of people are still working from home and are looking for comfortable flats with a generous built surface and located in green neighborhoods, similar to the condominiums developed by Impact, Greenfield and Luxuria. We expect a high demand in 2022 for new apartments and also increases in prices due to the higher price of building materials and inflation. On top of that, starting current year all new residencial developments are required to implement and abide nZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) standards which implies a durable design, adopting new technologies to save energy and using renewable energy sources. It will be an upgrade in living conditions for the customers but it will also mean an higher building cost.
What are Impact’s plans for the next years?
We are looking, as agreed in our long term strategy, at two full cycles of development – completing ongoing projects and launching new ones by taking advantage of our landbank and increasing our company value by national expansion and diversification of both services and products. As we speak, Impact owns over 73 ha of land in Bucharest, Constanța and Iași (Greenfield Băneasa, Greenfield West – Bd-ul Timișoara, Luxuria Expoziției, Luxuria City Center- Verdi Park in Bucharest, Boreal Plus in Constanța and Greenfield Copou in Iași). We also intent to continue national expansion targeting other big urban areas as Timișoara, Brașov and Cluj. As always, our next residential sustainable projects will target mid-market segments with affordable prices and will be developed on big land plots, in outstanding locations, with green surroundings, complying with nZEB and BREEAM Excellent standards and providing complete educational, proximity and relaxation services.
How does Impact approach the transition to green economy processes?
We, at Impact, are deeply committed to sustainability and green economy, and we strongly believe that those principles are not just a trend, but they are at the core of our mid and long term strategy. All our developments are projected to be sustainable, using durable new technologies, alternative energy sources, smart city implementations and even electric mobility solutions. Since last year we have an ESG department in our corporate structure which, amongst other sustainability related tasks, will provide to investors non-financial reports on our commitments made in the Green Bonds Framework. The ESG Department is responsible for the implementation of this Green Bonds Framework, adopted by our company as we intent to issue green bonds to finance new residential projects which will be build using sustainable green technologies in order to contribute to fulfillment of environment and durable development United Nations objectives. The framework clearly defines eligibility criteria in four ares: green buildings, durable management of water and waste water, renewable energy and clean transportation. As a conclusion, we are facing an extraordinary cycle of development, we have all the means to meet our ambitious mid term objectives and, why not, to change the way real-estate market is perceived in Romania.