Therefore, AFI speeds the office segment and starts earlier than scheduled the third building in AFI Park, a project that will include at its completion 5 buildings with an area of 70,000 sqm. Until now AFI has delivered the first building, AFI Park 1, in September last year, with a rentable area of 12,000 sqm, while the second building will be delivered in 2Q 2014 and the third in November 2014.

For the first two buildings in the project, AFI Europe already started the process for obtaining the LEED Gold certification.

“There is request from the companies and we see a big interest from the foreign companies aiming to bring in Romania the IT departments”, said David Hay, AFI Europe Romania’s director. According to Hay, Romania represents, by its costs and labour qualification a very attractive destination for the IT multinationals. Besides, this field is the drive of the new contracts and extensions on the office market.

The company started, on the same office segment, to prepare the office project on the plot of the former Inox factory, near Marriott hotel, on an area of more than 17,000 sqm. “We want to prepare the project but for the moment we are focusing on the completion of AFI Palace Ploiesti  mall and the offices in AFI Park”, Hay said.

Currently the other two commercial centre projects of the company, in Bucurestii Noi and the retail park in Arad are on respite. In Bucharest, the company waits for the approval of the transaction Auchan-Real in order to see the effects on the pre-lease agreement Real had for the mall, while in Arad, following a week period of the market, the company put on hold the negotiations with the retailers, until the project AFI Ploiesti will be opened.

The company owns on Bucurestii Noi Blvd. a plot of 65,000 sqm where intends to build a commercial centre on 28,000 sqm, already obtaining the construction permits. The most important tenant of the commercial centre was the Real hypermarket, which was supposed to open a store on 12,000 sqm.

“We are currently focusing on AFI Ploiesti”, said Hay, who sees the retail market in consolidation, with projects to be closed and commercial centres to be reconverted. AFI’s head also declared that his was interested in buying other projects on the market, both completed and planned.

Are now the owners’ requests closer to what investors want? “We are negotiating, for the moment”, says Hay, adding that if to finalize a transaction we will find out if the prices were or weren’t good.

Hay also said that he noticed a slight thaw of the residential market, where he saw more developments . (source: