Centrally located, with large areas, the plots of the former factories attracted the investors, though some of them are still not exploited. Some of them were sold in pieces to retailers, which launced a real expansion strategy in the last years.
On some of the platforms, the real estate developers are obliged to invest, such as Electroaparataj, Laromet, Inox, Dacia Textile, Ventilatorul, Electronica or Frigocom.
In the country, Brasov is the city with the largest number of investments: Immochan develops a mall on the former platform Tractorul, Echo Investment has a similar plan for the former Fartec, while Cora is looking for a partner for a mall on the plot of former Hidromecanica. The developers paid over EUR 250 million for lands now being prepared for new capital infusions.
AFI Europe paid EUR 77.5 million for the 15.5 ha of the Laromet factory in Bucureştii Noi, the biggest amount paid for a land on the real estate market in Romania. The crises obliged the company to adjust their ambitious plans for this plot: EUR 700 million for a mall, a residential project and offices. Moreover, the developer sold 3 ha to the retailer Dedeman for EUR 16 million.
AFI Europe has the construction permit for the mall in Bucureştii Noi, the general manager declaring that the works could be started in 2013 or beginning of 2014.
The company also owns the plot of the former Inox factory, also in Bucharest, bought for EUR 17 million, Before the crises, the plans provided the construction of a luxury residential complex of EUR 100 million. The situation changed, AFI is planning now an office project on 60,000 sq. m.
Broadhurst sold in 2007 for EUR 60 million the plot of the former Electroaparataj factory in Bucharest district Pantelimon. The buyer is the Austrian company Real4You, which had announced EUR 400 million investments in Mega Mall. The constructions on the plot were demolished after two years from the acquisition, the company only getting the construction permit after another two year. Currently, the Austrians realized they would not be able to end the construction plan, so they sold this summer 70% of the company owning the land to NEPI, which already started to prepare the land for the construction.
The former textiles factory Dacia will be replaced by Victoria City Center mall, to begin construction works in two-three months, as soon as the construction permit will be issued. The developers, Benevo and CD Capital Partners, paid approx. EUR 40 million for this 5 ha land. Construction preparing works are being carried at present and some of the future tenants of the mall were announced: H&M, Cora, C&A, Inditex group. The mall is scheduled for completion in the first part of 2015, despite the announcement made by the developers in 2010, which announced the delivery of the project in 2013.
Immofinanz, one of the biggest investors on the real estate market, bought in 2007 for EUR 200 million the land portfolio owned by Longbridge, a company controlled by Israeli investors. The package included the former Ventilatorul platform, with an area of 5.3 ha.
The developer started the endeavors to obtain the construction permit for a residential project with 100 units in the first phase, also including office component, but the works are estimated to start in two-three years.
An office project will also be developed on the land of another former factory, now in Immofinanz’s portfolio, the Electronica plot in Bucharest. „If the market is prepared we’ll start the construction, which could be in 2013 only if the market conditions are good. For us, conditions mean enough new office requests ", has declared last autumn Daniel Riedl, COO Immofinanz.
Spain’s Gran Via was one of the Spanish investors to bet on Romanian real estate and bought for EUR 100 million three former factories, a total of 30 ha in Bucharest: Frigocom, Tricodava and Electrotehnica. But facing their homeland economic crises, the Romanian subsidiary was also affected.
Towards the end of 2010, Gran Via sold to Lidl almost 5,200 sq. m of the 21,000 sq. m Frigocom plot. On the rest of the plot, the company started the construction works for a residential project. The land was bought in 2007 for EUR 17.5 million. The other lands of the company are for sale, Gran Via also announcing this autumn the sale to Lidl of a 6,500 sq. m plot, part of the four hectares Electrotehnica platform had. The company also owns half of the Tricodava plot.
Two big international retailers, Cora and Auchan, intend to develop malls in Braşov. The projects are ambitious, especially for Cora, whose first tentative for a mall failed in Constanţa, where the commercial area and the investments were cut down.
Immochan started the construction of the mall on Tractorul platform, bought last year for EUR 25 million. Cora bought in 2010 the former factory Hidromecanica plot, where the construction works for a new mall have begun. The retailer is looking for a new partner.
Also in Braşov, another mall is intended to be built by the Poland’s Echo Investment, which bought in 2007 the plot of the former Fartec factory for EUR 24 million. (source: economica.net)