New Europe on the global stage
This year’s CEEQA@Mipim lifted the lid on how emerging trends in future office could turn the financial dynamics of leasing and investment on its head, and blows the cobwebs away with a special one-off reunion concert by one of the most celebrated pop duos of the 80s, and more!
The annual CEEQA@Mipim Insight Summit brought together a group of the most experienced operators in the New Europe property markets to discuss potentially the next big wave of change in market mechanics, the changing function and design of the work place driven by the changing life and work dynamics of a generation brought up on gaming consoles and the internet.
A RICS Futures keynote by RICS Managing Director for Europe, Russia & CIS Maarten Vermeulen, targeted the issue as one of 6 major focus areas for the industry, but one that the industry could be strategically undervaluing as the millennial generation moves society values from the work-life balance ethic of Generation X to the work-life blend ethic of Generation Y.
Hadley Dean concurred strongly, arguing that in heading up the EMEA roll out of the Compass Office brand as both a tenant and a serviced office provider he was unconvinced that many developers were moving forward on this issue.
This was against a general consensus among panelists also including Daniel Harris of Tristan Capital Partners, HB Reavis’ CEO & Head of Strategy Pavel Trenka, JLL’s Tomasz Trzoslo and CBRE’s Sean Doyle, all seasoned experts in investment and development in the New Europe region, that tenant demand for technical innovations, space design as well as community and environmental ethic considerations – all key elements in the future office mix – is being, and would increasingly be, driven by the tenant just as the green building trend had been over the past decasde, with those developers and asset owners moving quickest to meet the demand getting an advantage.
Benchmarking against progress elsewhere, Colliers International’s EMEA head of cross border investment Richard Divall said the same was true in other markets where hi-tech tenants like Google and Compaq, and buildings like The Edge in Amsterdam, are leading the charge and while some developers and asset owners were reacting it is still more ad hoc than strategic, despite the added push of urbanisation. From a financing standpoint, Helaba’s head of international real estate finance for continental Europe, Martin Erbe, felt that banks were a long way off from making calls on the trend but it was clear that, as with the green revolution, buildings that lead the way will find debt finance more accessible as the assets would be more attractive in the long run.
The conversation then turned to the Warsaw office market as a prime example where demand-supply imbalances and the changing landscape of the office could intersect sooner rather than later, where the past few years have seen a charge on investment into a strong output of new projects amid relatively static tenant demand and falling rents. However Tomasz Trzoslo in particular argued that net office take up in 2015 was stronger and was supported by Sean Doyle in the view that the prognosis for both tenant demand and investment demand in the near future was highly positive.
The presentation and panel was followed by announcement of the 2016 CEEQA RealGreen Awards for leadership and innovation in green building given out annually at CEEQA@Mipim in Cannes. Skanska once again dominated with awards for RealGreen Developer of the Year for the fifth time running as well as for RealGreen Building of the Year for Corso Court in Prague, while Hines weighed in with the award for RealGreen Investor of the Year and Arcadis once again took the title of RealGreen Service Provider of the Year for the fourth time in five years.
Also announced at the event was this year’s short list for the main CEEQA Awards which will be presented at the 2016 CEEQA Gala on 12th April in Warsaw, the sector’s flagship annual gathering attended by more than 700 regional and international business leaders active in the CEE and SEE property markets. The winners of this year’s RealGreen Awards in four categories automatically go through to selection by the CEEQA jury for the overall CEEQA Green Leadership also to be announced at the CEEQA Gala, which this year will host a live concert by global music legend and multi Grammy winner Bonnie Tyler.
The awards are the sector’s most respected industry recognition, organised each year in association with the Financial Times to reward excellence and to showcase the achievements and opportunities of the New Europe real estate sector to the international investment arena. They are free to enter and are judged by a jury panel of senior industry representatives of market leading companies across Central & Eastern Europe and Southeast Europe with the voting closely supervised by globally trusted consultants Deloitte.
More than 200 guests were treated to a unique one-off reunion concert by celebrated COCK ROBIN duo Peter Kingsbery and Anna LaCazio as well as a lounge session by Milan based musician and DJ/producer Gioli Lipari. The event was hosted by well known Polish broadcaster Monika Zamachowska.