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2015 CEEQA Gala | Review

Making Waves

The twelfth edition of the CEEQA Gala drew over 700 company owners and leaders in the field of European real estate investment that are engaged in the project of building the future of New Europe. And they did’t leave disappointed.

The calibre and international profile of the CEEQA Gala, as well as its traction among industry leaders and insiders, are central to its status in the European real estate business firmament, supporting the goal of promoting the achievements and opportunities of the sector to the international investment arena. The 2016 CEEQA Gala let no one down.

Record Participation

Following a dynamic year for the sector with a convergence of international market trends combining to trigger capital activity in company acquisitions, project and portfolio transactions, coupled with a high level of project completions, we’re proud to report that CEEQA 2015 achieved record participation as well as unprecedented levels of regional and international exposure supported by expanded regional and global publicity partnerships across the awards programme and four separate events: CEEQA@Mapic, CEEQA@Mipim, the Jury Dinner and twelfth annual CEEQA Gala, undoubtedly our most successful cycle of market events to date.

CBRE, Griffin, HB Reavis, P3, David Mitzner & Hot Chocolate steal the show, Monika Rajska-Wolinska named Industry Professional of the Year

CEEQA 2015 Review

International advisors CBRE shone brightest with a hat trick of awards in the Property Management, Office Agency and Capital Markets categories, their first CEEQA awards since 2009. Other big winners on the night were Griffin Real Estate, named overall Company of the Year as well as Rising Star, industrial developer and investor P3 Logistic Parks with the Investor of the Year category and HB Reavis were named Developer of the Year for the first time, while Monika Rajska-Wolinska of Colliers Poland became the second woman to lift the award for Industry Professional of the Year and Dentonsretained the Legal & Financial Services award once again. Also among the company winners were Panattoni Europe(Industrial Developer), Colliers International (Industrial Agency), JLL (Retail Agency), Helaba (Lender), Arcadis(Development Services) and Skanska SA (Construction). The building awards went to Eiffel Palace in Budapest (Office Development), Atrium Felicity shopping centre in Lublin Hilton (Retail Development) and Hilton Kiev (Hotel, Leisure & Residential Development), while Quadrio in Prague and AFI Park 2&3 in Bucharest were named overall buildings of the year for CEE and SEE respectively.

The dinner and awards ceremony was hosted as ever by leading Polish broadcaster Monika Zamachowska and was opened by special guest Pawel Tamborski, President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. After dinner the legendary soul funk band Hot Chocolate took centre stage, lighting up a night of outstanding entertainment and hospitality, supported by acrobatic dance group Red Pop Dance Creator and DJ Trent, while earlier in the evening rising Polish stars Kuba & Sabina, the Mimellos and CEEQA stalwart Albert Kurowski kept the troops’ spirits high. Gala guests raised nearly 20,000 euros for children’s charity Fundacja Dziecięca Fantazja.

Floreasca Park shows leadership in green building

Prior to the Gala in March, this year’s four RealGreen awards for green building were presented at the CEEQA@Mipim New Europe Breakfast. In its fourth year, CEEQA@Mipin provides an important focal point for the sector at the Mipim global real estate fair in Cannes. For the third year in succession the Skanska Commercial Development Europe were named RealGreen Developer of the Year, RealGreen Investor was Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, RealGreen Service Provider was Arcadis and Portland Trust’s Floreasca Park project in Bucharest was named RealGreen Building of the Year. Floreasca Park also took this year’s overall Green Leadership Award at the Gala, cited for outstanding leadership in raising the certification of the building from BREEAM Very Good to BREEAM Excellent in the year following its completion, having lifted the title of joint Office Development of the Year and Building of the Year SEE in 2014. More on p19.

David Mitzner 100

The biggest highlight of the night was a live video link-up with sector legend David Mitzner at his base in Houston, and a standing birthday tribute on the occasion of his 100th birthday. A previous winner of CEEQA’s Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate award, he was presented this year with a unique award for Double Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by the Financial Times. A typically fiery and uplifting acceptance speech was followed by presentation of the award, after which gala guests stood in unison and raised their glasses to one of the sector’s greatest heroes with the most extraordinary back story and sang a resounding and memorable Happy Birthday in English and Polish. Certainly one of CEEQA’s finest ever moments.

Special reports

Financial Times Special Report 2015

The Financial Times eight page property special report tie-in with CEEQA, published each year on the day of the Gala in print and online, is one of the highlights of the CEEQA programme, shining a global light on the key issues, trends, companies and people of the New Europe property sector. This year’s report looked at the increasing push into regional cities in the more mature Central Europe markets, both because of core city saturation in some segments and as a result of burgeoning BPO activity, as well as the emergence of the Romanian market as a serious investment target, and the recent re-emergence of Hungary – despite the backdrop of market unease about Ukraine situation and the economic effects of international sanctions against Russia.

The annual WBJ Observer pre-Gala 20 page report provided an in depth review of the important trends affecting the market place addressed by CEEQA’s two insight summits at the recent Mapic and Mipim real estate fairs, as well as a round of past CEEQA Galas and plans for 2015. Both reports are available to download on the CEEQA website.

Insight summits

Our study in the previous year of the wider impact of the digital revolution on global and New Europe real estate led us inexorably in the 2014-15 campaign to an examination of two separate but converging trends at our CEEQA@Mapic and CEEQA@Mipim Insight Summits in Cannes, both delivering clear and imposing outputs for market participants. The first on the The Future of Fashion Retail at the Mapic retail real estate fair in November analysed how online fashion retail could be an important partner for retail landlords. With challenges major fashion retailers are facing servicing their e-retail platforms serving to drive their online customers back onto the shop floor, retail landlords could capitalise in various ways as long as the current mode for turnover rents can be adjusted to register footfall and even footflow success. More on p15.

Either way, warehouse developers look set for a long term windfall as a forward shortfall of e-commerce distribution facilities across the region, and across Europe in general. An issue that took centre stage at the CEEQA@Mipim event which examined the basis and prognosis of the current Wall of Capital pouring into the region with industrial real estate – and developers themselves – a natural target in the context of the resulting forward demand, with BPO not far behind. A sea change for the markets, or a sugar fix?

Decision makers

Special Report WBJ Observer 2015

Vital to CEEQA’s role and place in the market is the composition and function of the CEEQA Jury. Our gratitude to this year’s jury members for their time, knowledge, expertise and patience. Comprised of senior representatives of market leading companies, places on the jury are rotated each year among developers, investors, lenders, advisors and services providers, with five major international agents operating across the region retaining permanent seats on the jury: CBRE, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, JLL and Knight Frank. The rotated places are decided by a selection process led by this group of Agent Partners and coordinated by the CEEQA Team in consultation with our awards supervisor, Deloitte, to ensure the jury as a whole has a functional and fair geographical, disciplinary and segmental balance, as well as the required market overview and seniority.

The jurors decide the shortlist in all award categories through a rigorous assessment and scoring of more than 500 entries from across the sector. The shortlist for the main CEEQA awards as well as the winners of the four RealGreen awards are announced each year at the Mipim global real estate fair in Cannes, before the jury panel convenes in Warsaw prior the CEEQA Gala to select the final winners of the CEEQA awards announced at the CEEQA Gala.

Monika Zamachowska

This being her seventh year anchoring the CEEQA Gala and also playing a key role at CEEQA@Mipim each year, it is fitting that we give a special thanks to Monika Zamachowska (previously Monika Richardson) for her immense contribution to the professionalism and appeal of CEEQA. So much more than a common or garden celebrity presenter, an experienced journalist and broadcaster, Monika has worked closely with us at all levels of the operation over the years, and hopefully for many years to come. Some things change, some things are better remaining the same.


Finally we say a big thank you to all our commercial, media and operational partners. In the Genesis of CEEQA over the past dozen years to its role and place in the market today we have come to work with some of the best service providers in the region and most important sector and international business media platforms, which have been vital to the growth and success of CEEQA. We also owe a huge debt of thanks to our many commercial partners and customers at all levels whose participation and constructive contribution in sharing of our strategic vision makes possible all the value and enjoyment CEEQA provides to the market place today. We look forward to re-engaging in the coming year as we lay the foundations for CEEQA 2016.

  • For more information about 2015 award winners visit our 2015 Awards page and for information about our 2015 Insight Summits visit our Future of Fashion Retail and Wall of Capital pages.
  • For information about entry to the 2016 awards visit our 2016 Awards page.
  • For information about the CEEQA Jury visit our 2016 Jury page.

Cee Markets:

Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine

See Markets:

Albania, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia

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