Iași City continues to go up in the top of office markets in Romania. A single investment made by IULIUS Company, adding up to more than 120 million Euro, will deliver in the next two years another 60,000 sqm of premium office spaces. Palas Campus, a mixed-use concept in itself, will be the largest office building in Romania. Thus, the regional business hub created in the city center via Palas, the first mixed-use project developed in our country, will add up to a leasable area upwards of 135,000 sqm of class A office spaces. It is equally important that by means of this urban regeneration project, an underdeveloped central area in Iași (the Sf. Andrei area) is given back to the community and reintegrated in the city.
In the difficult context created by the pandemic, the cranes continue to work at a quick pace on the Palas Campus construction site. A mere look will reveal the complexity of this project, and its figures are nothing short of impressive. The project is comprised of six different building blocks, which will add up to a total built area upwards of 86,000 sqm, with a footprint upwards of 15,000 sqm. For the sake of comparison, this surface is the equivalent of approximately 57 tennis courts. In total, the construction requires 56,000 cubic meters of concrete, and the total quantity of armature will exceed 7,000 tons. To this date, the execution of slurry walls was completed, and works are underway for the resistance structure. The construction works also spur the labor market in the construction sector, as the construction site currently engages more than 300 persons simultaneously. The six building blocks will be interconnected both at the ground floor, and on their first three floors, and they will have different heights that may go up to maximum six floors.
Palas Campus is the most extensive project currently underway during this period marked by the pandemic, generating more than 1,700 jobs during the development phase and more than 5,000 after its completion.
“By means of the existing seven office buildings in Palas, with a leasable area upwards of 75,000 sqm, we managed to create a strong business community, with 50-plus companies, both multinational giants and national companies, and more than 8,000 employees. Via Palas Campus we are basically expanding the office infrastructure, stimulating the development of present companies, drawing new investors and offering multiple opportunities for young people. Last but not least, the investment is complemented by new relaxation spaces, green areas, as well as improvements to the existing infrastructure, which will breathe new life into the development of the city,” said Raluca Munteanu, Business Development Manager at IULIUS.
Concept adapted to the new reality – outdoor coworking spaces
The ambitious project will be completed in 2022, when Iași will gain a newly regenerated and activated area. That is because Palas Campus is erected in a central area of the city (Sf. Andrei area), in the immediate vicinity of Palas Project, an area that is underdeveloped and not integrated in the urban landscape. Characteristic of IULIUS Company, the largest developer of mixed-use projects in Romania, the project is designed to combine multiple uses – class A office component, outdoor coworking spaces, the first of this kind in the region, as well as a new food market concept, with restaurants, coffee shops and terraces, a medical hub, and a service area that will promote local producers.
“Urban regeneration is already a hallmark of the projects made by IULIUS. This is the binding agent we use to integrate our projects in the community and that has allowed us to achieve genuine urban developments by means of our input not only at an economic and investment level, but at a social and even urbanistic level. Based on the wellbeing concept, Palas Campus introduces a series of elements that are adapted to the new context, such as the outdoor coworking space, as well as the facilities meant to make life easier and to address the expectations of employees wishing to achieve that «work-life balance», as well as the expectations of nearby residents. We have 10 years of experience in office development and operation, and we know that it’s not the people working in the buildings, but the buildings working for the people,” added Raluca Munteanu.
Connection via nature
The area will be showcased and will become a driver for the local economy, by creating more than 6,700 jobs, as well as via direct contributions to the state budget, which are estimated at 1.3 million Euro during development and 700,000 Euro from annual property taxes during operation. Concurrently, Palas Campus is a project that is open to the community, set to also include a “green” component spanning on more than 4,500 sqm, an investment upwards of 1.4 million Euro in new green spaces, with pedestrian alleys, trees and various plants, as well as leisure spaces.
“The parks and green areas are the signature feature of our projects in Iași, Timișoara and Cluj-Napoca, and they serve a dual (but equally important) purpose. First of all, they ensure the integration of the project in the urban fabric, shaping a natural extension of the city. Second of all, the IULIUS gardens are genuine meeting venues, the «hot spots» that enable people to socialize and spend leisure time in the middle of nature, in a harmonious manner,” added the Business Development Manager of IULIUS.
The entire project is built in line with the sustainability principles that are applicable to green buildings, with benefits in terms of resource savings and cost optimization, as well as to boost the employees’ comfort, such as the changing rooms and showers provided, which encourage them to choose alternative modes of transportation.
Private investments for the city infrastructure
The area will also enjoy a “facelift” in terms of road and pedestrian connectivity and infrastructure. Palas Campus entails the execution of a new arterial road set to connect two main boulevards, as well as widening and upgrading five adjacent streets. In total, this will entail approximately 10,000 sqm of asphalt paving works and 5,500 sqm of sidewalks, an investment upwards of 1.62 million Euro made entirely by IULIUS Company, and the authorization procedures were already underway in this respect. An underground parking facility will also be fitted out, spanning on two levels and with a capacity of 625 parking places, a 33.3 million Euro investment that will provide the community with 3,200 parking places in the center of the city.
In line with the development direction of the projects by IULIUS Company and their support for urban mobility, bike lanes that are approximately 650 meters long, as well as around 500 bike parking spaces will also be fitted here. In the same vein, the project will see to the fitting out of a public transit station, pedestrian connections between the city center and the entire area, as well as facilities for electric vehicles.