Investments will continue in the medium and long term and will target additional safety and comfort measures in buildings.
"It is possible that office space will be reconfigured by tenants so as to meet the rules imposed by the authorities. We have already made changes to the common areas of the buildings, to ensure a minimum of social distance. In the future, we will implement all the measures generated by the new post-Covid context. These include adjustments to access roads in buildings so as to ensure separate inflows and outflows and stricter control of visitors and couriers, as well as increased demand for parking spaces, as more and more employees will prefer , at least in the next period, to come with personal cars to the office, to the detriment of public transport. Currently, it is difficult to estimate the total value of the investments we will make in the next 18 months, to adapt to the new context of office space, both in completed projects and in developing buildings. It is possible to witness a decrease in construction costs, depending on the evolution of the labor market and the price of raw materials ", summarized Bogdan Jigman, General Manager of GTC Romania.
The representatives of GTC Romania consider that, regarding the configuration of the office building projects that were already started before the outbreak of the pandemic, no significant changes will take place. "Most of them are class A buildings, which means that they are designed to have a generous area for office space, so it will not be difficult for future tenants to opt for different partitions than they had planned. Therefore, the changes will only occur in the way the companies will organize the spaces for each employee. Also, I think that this could be the end of the era of open spaces and the reappearance of small offices, maybe not individually, but on departments or teams ", points out Bogdan Jigman.
GTC Romania estimates that there will be a delay in terms of delivery dates for buildings under development, as demand for office space will change in the next period. Developers will invest more in implementing legislation and ensuring additional hygiene standards.
"It is still too early to predict how the real estate market will change, especially in terms of demand. A first scenario is that there will be no significant decreases, but even a possible increase, because social distancing will generate a greater need for space. Of course, the second scenario implies a decrease in the need for classic offices. Many analysts anticipate the possibility that more than 20% of employees will continue to work from home, as companies have realized that this is a viable and less expensive option for the employer. However, in the short term, I estimate that the demand will not be majorly affected ", concluded the General Manager of GTC Romania.
Currently, GTC Romania owns and manages five office buildings, located in Bucharest: City Gate Towers, Cascade Office Building, Premium Plaza and Premium Point. The company is in the process of building a new office complex, City Rose Park, located on Expoziției Boulevard, the new business hub in northern Bucharest.
Internationally, the GTC group has buildings under construction in Budapest, Belgrade, Sofia and Zagreb. At group level, the company's net profit stood at 75 million euros at the end of 2019. According to preliminary estimates, the first half of 2020 is stable in terms of key financial indicators. (source: GTC)