We had the pleasure to talk to Mr. Andrei Timofte, CEO Transilvania Constructii, about the company’s projects and plans, as well as about the particularities and opportunities on the local real estate market.
What is now changed on the property market of Cluj-Napoca, comparing to the moment you had your first real estate development? Did you see many investors coming to the city?
The market in Cluj has matured. The tenants are more determined regarding the facilities and utilities a building should offer and they are more demanding in their choices. Cluj-Napoca is attracting every year more and more developers, as well as investors.
How would you describe the emergence of Novis Plaza in the local office market, what were the reasons behind the development decision?
Novis Plaza comes with a new concept in Cluj-Napoca. We focus on improving the tenant's productivity and well-being. We are currently developing new projects within the building that increase this sense of well-being and comfort at work. At the time of taking over the building, it was unfinished, and we, Transilvania Constructii, saw the potential in developing an A class office building, completely different from what is now available on the market.
Why do you think companies choose Cluj-Napoca and in particular your office project?
Cluj-Napoca is constantly developing, a dynamic and growing city, the education system is well established, especially the higher one. Geographic positioning is also very accessible, the city provides airport, highway and European roads to all key locations in Romania. Another reason for multinationals choose to develop in Romania is that workforce is much cheaper here than in Western Europe.
What are the most interesting facilities of an office project for a tenant looking for offices in a secondary or tertiary city in Romania? What are the main decision makers in choosing an office?
From our experience a first factor is the location. Many companies are heading to central locations or very close to downtown. Other important features are the facilities that employees could find within the office project. For example: parking spaces, fitness room, restaurants, banks and shops.
How would you describe the Novis Plaza project in relevant figures?
Novis Plaza described in relevant figures would look like this: 14,500 sqm usable leasable area - 7,500 sqm A Building and 7,000 sqm B Building, a total of 313 parking places, an atrium of 400 sqm in the A building and a furnished terrace of 1,000 sqm.
How would you rate 2018 in terms of your business? What are the predictions by the end of the year?
We can say that 2018 will be a very productive year for us. We will lay the foundations for new developments and projects that will start in the beginning of 2019: we will deliver the B Building within Novis Plaza office project, we will expand the park in Jucu village, Cluj, and develop the logistic and industrial project in Bacau.
What is in your opinion the current trend in the office market, both at regional and global level?
At regional level, developments will be conditioned by labour availability. As far as global trends are concerned, the focus is on office buildings that offer flexibility and have as many benefits as possible for employees.
How will Novis Plaza develop in the future? You have plans to expand, integrate into mixed projects, etc.
We plan on expanding Novis Plaza with two more buildings. Works for the fitout of B Building, already existing, will start in 2019, and then we plan to develop the C Building on a 4,000 sqm area.
What are your forecasts for the Cluj office market in medium and long term?
It is quite difficult to make a forecast, at least at this moment. First of all, there are many factors that affect company expansion decisions, two of them being the unstable political climate and the lack of skilled labour force. We are reserved to make a forecast, but we hope the office market is on the rise.