(21 April 2004)
The Europolis real estate portfolio. Quality makes it a market leader in Central and Eastern Europe
Since 1997, Europolis has managed the real estate portfolio of Investkredit Bank AG, in which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) London had a 35% share in 2001. Professionalism, high standards of quality and transparency are core values for Europolis. This quality was recently confirmed by the award for “Central & Eastern European Investment & Finance
Company of the Year 2003”, which was presented as part of the “CEE Real Estate Quality Awards 2003” in Warsaw in January 2004. The portfolio, which is noted for its many real estate prizes, is amongst the most highly valued in this region. According to DTZ Research, Europolis was the largest investor in commercial real estate in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of 2003. The same research also reveals that since 1998 a total of around EUR 3.7 bn have been invested in commercial real estate in this region, with more than EUR 1 bn of it coming from Austrian investors. Europolis’ share of this stands at around 60%. This corresponds to a market share of about 17% in Central and Eastern Europe. Growth during 2003 saw the market value of properties under majority ownership of the Investkredit Group nearly double, from around EUR 326 m at the end of 2002 to EUR 597 m at the end of 2003. The Europolis portfolio is expected to reach a value of around EUR 1 bn by the end of 2006.
Clearly structured areas of business are a factor for success
Europolis achieved its position in Central and Eastern Europe within just seven years. Its aim is to be the “engine” behind the development of the property sector in Central and Eastern Europe. The property portfolio comprises offices, logistics and commercial property in the first and second round of EU accession countries. Europolis is unique in that it combines the investment types of “project development” and “standing investment”, both with long-term orientation, covering the whole range
of activities from classic project development to forward purchase agreements and pure investment activities. Projects are always selected on the basis of long-term income potential. For this reason, particular attention is paid to the quality of the location, the design and technical quality of the building, the creditworthiness of the tenants and the long-term contractual safeguarding of rental incomes. All projects conform to international investment standards.
Currently, Europolis has 30 employees working at its offices in Vienna, Prague and Warsaw. A representative office is opening soon in Budapest.
The real estate portfolio currently contains 19 properties, including
> 4 in Prague (“Danube House”, “Hadovka Office Park”, “Technopark”, “Nile House”)
> 2 more in the Czech Republic (shopping centres in Mladá Boleslav and Teplice) > 6 in Warsaw (“Warsaw Towers”, “Saski Point”, “Saski Crescent”, “Sienna Center”, “Bitwy
Warszawskiej Business Centre” and the “Alliance Logistics Center”)
> 5 in Budapest (“City Gate”, “Infopark Research Center”, “Airport Business Park”, “M1 Business
Park” and “IP West Office Park”)
> 1 in Bucharest (office building “Europe House”)
> 1 in Vienna (office building “Akademiehof”)
The entire rentable area (offices or commercial areas in logistics and shopping centres) of Europolis 2is currently over 500,000 m. At all of the properties, particular value is put on the lasting satisfaction of tenants. For this financial year, this was confirmed by low level of fluctuation and the extensions of substantial tenancy agreements.
Focussed core market strategy
90% of the entire portfolio, including approved developments, falls within the core markets of the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary.
In the Czech Republic, “Danube House” was the first building to be completed within the key River 2City Prague project. With a useable floor space of 21,000 m, this office building was chosen from
amongst 120 entries for the “Best Future Office Building 2003” award at the MIPIM real estate fair in
Cannes. The building also won three prizes in the Czech Republic. Due to the excellent level of occupancy at “Danube House”, construction of “Nile House” began early in 2004. The completion of 2this 19,350 m office building in the River City Prague project is scheduled for the end of 2005. Within the entire development, properties with a total investment value of nearly EUR 160 m should be constructed by 2010.
Within the framework of forward purchase agreements (these guarantee that properties will be taken
over from developers when they have been completed and the rental level previously agreed upon has 2been reached) "Technopark", a 7,600 m office building in Prague was taken over from HOCHTIEF
Development in 2003.
In 2003, Europolis also invested in shopping centres for the first time: two “Olympia shopping
centres” were purchased from Koninklijke Ahold N.V., the largest retail group in the Czech Republic, and fourth largest in the world. This purchase signalled the start of a partnership, given the company’s intention to invest in other shopping centres in the region. This should also raise the
proportion of retail space in Europolis’s total volume..
Since its acquisition, “Hadovka Office Park” in Prague, which was awarded the prize of "Best Office
Building 2000", has been fully occupied. Rental incomes are now safeguarded in the long term.
In 2003, the office building “Saski Crescent” in Warsaw, which was awarded the prize of “Best
Office Building 2003”, was taken over by AIG/Lincoln. Together with the office buildings of “Warsaw
Towers”, “Saski Point” and “Sienna Center”, Europolis now holds the largest, high-quality portfolio
in Warsaw’s central business district. In order to satisfy the demand for a non-central business site,
the office building “Bitwy Warszawskiej Business Centre” was purchased in 2002. In addition, two
logistics buildings at the “Alliance Logistics Center” in Blonie, near Warsaw, were acquired in 2003.
In the area of real estate investment, Europolis took over the remaining 50% of the shares in “City
Gate”, an office building in Budapest, in 2003. The largest transaction in the real estate industry in Central and Eastern Europe was concluded in 2003 with the purchase of three AIG/Lincoln projects in Hungary. The total value of this transaction was EUR 150 m. The portfolio consists of two logistics parks (“Airport Business Park” and “M1 Business Park”), as well as the office development project
“IP West Office Park”, which is located right near the “Infopark Research Center”, purchased in
Due to the economic and legal development of the second round of accession countries, Europolis is pursuing its goal to become increasingly active in the aspiring new markets. In view of this, the company invested outside the core countries for the first time by purchasing the office building “Europe House” in Bucharest in 2003. With the acquisition of an office development property in Zagreb, a further building was secured as part of a forward purchase agreement.
In Vienna, Europolis manages the “Akademiehof”, which is fully owned by Investkredit Bank AG.
This office building, designed by architects Roland Rainer and Gustav Peichl, was built on the last empty site in the first district, and suitably rounds off a real estate portfolio in which design plays an important role.
Exhibition “Impressions of Architecture”, 21 April 2004, 6.30 pm
“DESIGN MATTERS. DOES DESIGN REALLY MATTER?” is the theme for this stimulating lecture by Lee A. Polisano on the occasion of the exhibition entitled “Impressions of Architecture” on 21
April at 6.30 pm at Investkredit Bank AG (Renngasse 10, 1010, Vienna). Lee A. Polisano is president of KPF Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, London and chief architect of “Danube House”. As part of the exhibition, the entire portfolio of Europolis is on display, photographed by famous architecture photographers from the respective regions. The exhibition runs until 31 May. Entry is free. To arrange a viewing, please call +43/1/53 1 35/269.
For further information please contact:
Alexander Bosak, Tel. +43/1/319 72 00/60, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Rieger, Tel. +43/1/53 1 35/112, email@example.com