For several months, DivercityMag has been exploring the subject of real estate renovation. One of the European countries whose construction market is on the rise for the third consecutive year is Romania, with a double-digit growth.
This constant growth since 2017 is mainly due to an increase in the volume of renovation works. All encouraged by the Romanian government, which has made ambitious commitments in the field of energy transition.
Adrian Zerva is an architect. He created and co-directs the studio10M design and architecture office. He recently commented on the current trend in commercial renovation: “We must first place real estate activities in the recent history of the country. It was only thanks to the 1991 Constitution that the principles governing private property were fully restored, and property returned to their rightful owners, after the end of the communist regime. Only quite recently owners have been able to start managing their property again, in particular by undertaking renovations (commercial or other).“
In recent years, most renovations in Romania have taken the form of rehabilitations or extensions. One example is the Marmorosch hotel in Bucharest, a luxury hotel located in a historic building once occupied by a bank. Equally original: a former shopping centre in Constanta has become a logistics site for beverage traders. The total investment amounted to 4 million euros, an amount that includes both the acquisition and the renovation of the commercial space, that had been closed more than 15 years ago.
Converting offices into homes
Another rather unusual project is under study: it involves adding co-living spaces to offices. “Located in the northern part of the capital, Novo Park will become a mixed-use project that will foreshadow the future of work and life and will contain all the additional elements that the office park of the future will have.” Few details are yet known on this project led by Liviu Tudor, at the helm of Genesis Property, the largest owner of offices in the local market.
But this trend towards renovation is not yet dominant. As the representative in Romania of corporate real estate consultancy company Colliers International says, “renovation still suffers from the great availability of virgin land in Romania in the big cities and their close surroundings, as well as the ease of obtaining building permits. It is only in strategic places (the hyper-centre) that, with the help of the lack of space, renovations have taken on importance, as have demolitions/reconstructions.“