On May 31st, Palas Iași celebrated the 9 years’ anniversary of its grand opening, substantiated in ambitious and innovative projects, in creating economic and social opportunities for the city, as well as in an integrated approach that translates into urban and economic development. In its 9 year run, Palas Iași put the capital of Moldova back on the map of European cities worth investing, working and living in, with Iași now being the second best city in Europe for new-tech* investments, by creating 75,600 sqm of premium office premises.
Designed right from the start as an urban regeneration project with multiple uses (office, retail, and entertainment), Palas Iași is a pioneering real estate development in Romania and its impact can be seen from an economic, social and urban perspective.
The economic impact of Palas Iași in its 9 years of existence
With a EUR 310 million investment, of which approximately EUR 85 million went into the construction of the largest underground parking facility in Romania (five levels and 2,500 parking spots), an urban garden spanning on 5 hectares, upgrades to the utilities network and consolidation works for the historic buildings in the area, over the course of these 9 years Palas Iași has generated a direct financial impact upwards of EUR 39.6 million in contributions to the local and state budget, including the joint venture (JV) share to the Iași City Hall.
The Palas mixed-use project launched the United Business Center (UBC) brand. Subsequently, this brand grew into a national office building network, coming into prominence as a regional business center and growing the office space infrastructure of the city by 7 office building certified per the LEED sustainability standards, that is a 75,600 sqm gross leasable area. This provided a major boost for the investment attractiveness of the region, assembling a community comprising 50-plus global companies with 8,000-plus employees. These figures translated into a real, constant and major input that went towards improving the quality of life and local talent retention.
The project that launched the lifestyle center concept in Romania brought for the first time in the heart of Moldova more than 270 brands, and there are more than 1,000 people working in the retail component of this complex. In total, the complex in downtown Iași is the everyday work destination for 9,000 people.
In 2020, IULIUS kick-started the works for Palas Campus, the largest office building in terms of total area in Romania (54,000 sqm of office spaces, 6,000 sqm of retail premises), which provides a natural expansion of Palas Iași. The investment adds up to more than EUR 120 million will be delivered in 2022, and is designed as a complex project for revitalizing and giving back to the community an underdeveloped downtown area of the city using a concept that is mixed-use in itself. In fact, Palas Campus is also the first investment in Romania to receive a green credit granted by the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, for sustainable development. This project will create 5,000-plus new jobs, while its impact will also be visible in terms of urban infrastructure and mobility via investments adding up to EUR 35 million.
Palas Iași, heart of the city and of the community
With more than 19 million visits per year, Palas Iași is one of the most vibrant places in Iași and the meeting point for the community, being one of the main generators of social and cultural events of the city. Once the project opened, the people of Iași received a spectacular garden spanning on 5 hectares, drawing inspiration from the Renaissance, as one can only see in the great metropolises of the world. The garden also displays the archeological remains of the former Royal Court and it accommodates every year countless events, cinema caravans, concerts of the Philharmonic, sports championships, food and music festivals, 3D projections, shows, etc.
Also, in order to address the need for a cultural and entertainment infrastructure for the community, the Palas Amphitheater opened in 2017, providing 460 seats and adding up to a EUR 1.2 million investment. In fact, during the pandemic, the Palas Park and Amphitheater became the places where cultural, educational and artistic events could be safely organized.
As part of its commitment to the community, Palas Iași launched programs and projects for advertising the opportunities the city provides for the youth: regional caravans for promoting the universities, the Open Doors Week at UBC, Job Fair, training, mentorship and internship programs for school and university students, and many others.
In 2019, following the constant excellent reviews from tourists, TripAdvisor awarded the “Hall of Fame” title to Palas Iași, which is granted after obtaining the “Certificate of Excellence” for five consecutive years.
*Source: The ranking by Tech Cities of the Future 2020/2021 – fDi Intelligence and TNW