NEPI Rockcastle, one of the largest investors in the Central and Eastern European real estate market, has acquired 17 hectares of land on Portului Street in Galati for a mixed-use real estate project, in a transaction brokered by the real estate consultancy company Colliers. Eversheds Sutherland Romania provided the necessary legal assistance to NEPI Rockcastle. With a property portfolio valued at around €6.1 billion, NEPI is consolidating its position in the city, where it also owns the Galati Shopping City shopping centre.
The transaction, with confidential value, is part of NEPI Rockcastle’s medium and long-term local expansion strategy, focused on the development of mixed-use projects (where the anchor remains the commercial centre and is enhanced by complementary functions, mainly residential), being an important benchmark for local market liquidity and contributing to increased investor confidence.
“We focus on long-term investment strategies. So NEPI Rockcastle real estate projects offer communities viable and effective solutions that define a modern lifestyle. The future is represented by places and spaces where people have easy access to all quality aspects of life. The new transaction further emphasizes the group’s confidence in the attractiveness of mixed projects – retail and residential. We estimate that the works for the project in Galați will start in 2023, after obtaining the necessary authorizations”, said Marius Barbu, Asset Director of NEPI Rockcastle.
Eversheds Sutherland Romania advised NEPI Rockcastle on all stages of this complex transaction, from drafting and negotiating documentation (pre-contracts, related contracts) to due diligence on the land area concerned.
“The transaction represents a strategic acquisition of the NEPI Rockcastle investment fund and will certainly be a landmark for 2022, even though the year has just begun. The land is located on Portului Street in Galați, on the Intfor industrial platform, very close to the central area, but also to the city promenade, and allows a flexible concept, with the mix of functions adjustable according to market requirements”, explains Sinziana Oprea, Director of Land Agency at Colliers, an agency that mediated including the acquisition of the land on which the current Galati Shopping City shopping center was built.
In 2020, with the sale of four office projects to AFI Europe for €307 million, NEPI Rockcastle, the leading investment and real estate development group in Central and Eastern Europe, was also at the forefront of the largest office transaction in the history of the Romanian market, also advised by Colliers.
With a portfolio of over 1,500 plots of land for sale across the country and a network of 200 investors active in the land market, Colliers’ team dedicated exclusively to land transactions has over 16 years of experience in the market and offers a multidisciplinary approach and solutions to any problems that may arise during each transaction.
2021 was a record year for the land market in the last 15 years. Transactions exceeded €800 million, increasing more than two and a half times compared to the estimated volume in 2020, according to Colliers data. Retailers and residential developers have been extremely active, with land for such projects accounting for about 90% of the total.
The outlook is also good for 2022, as it benefits from a good deal flow right from the start. Colliers consultants expect a volume of the land market that could very well turn out similar to that of 2021, in a context in which residential and retail developers will remain very active. Assuming the expected recovery of the office market starts to take shape, Colliers consultants will expect these developers to return to the table in much higher numbers than in 2021.