Bucharest new dot on the map
It's time to update the Skanska map. Bucharest in Romania is the newest dot, and Green Court Bucharest is the pioneering office project. This spring, work started on the EUR 46 million LEED Gold project.
Circumstances right to enter Romania in 2012
Romania has been on the radar for some time, and in 2012 the time – and price – was right for a land purchase.
"We've been looking at Romania since 2007 but we took a cautious stance since prices were booming. Ideally we want to enter a market near the bottom of the cycle. Finally the circumstances were right," says Richard Hultin, responsible for Commercial Development Europe in Skanska AB.
Will offer proven concept for healthy, green and flexible workplaces
"Romania is a new horizon with great potential for us. The country is a bit like Poland was, say, 10–15 years ago. There is a huge need for all kinds of construction investment, and international corporations are seeking to establish businesses and back-office units in Bucharest.
"The demand for modern and green buildings is already there. Our brand is already well known, and soon we'll be able to show our first premises in real life. We'll have a strong offer based on our proven concept for healthy, green and flexible workplaces."
Skanska's strong value-based brand advantageous
In Poland, Skanska is active as a developer in five cities. Will we see a similar expansion in Romania?
"We're focusing primarily on Bucharest, where growth will be concentrated in the foreseeable future."
Could ethics be an issue in Romania?
"Our studies of the market have shown that we can work in accordance with our values and our Code of Conduct. We will not compromise, which we have been communicating clearly since entering the market. It's actually a competitive advantage here, with our strong value-based brand. This is also the case regarding workplace safety," Hultin says.
One Skanska approach to entering
the new market
"The construction unit will initially be fully occupied with our own development projects. But as we get increasingly familiar with the local market, we see potential for construction serving external clients," Hultin notes.
Tremendous potential for construction business
"We do not locate new markets by looking for seasonal benefits," says Roman Wieczorek, Executive Vice President, Skanska AB, responsible for construction in Central Europe. "We build a culture and values, among our employees and between contractors. Here, in Central Europe that is crucial. For us, this is a special market: big, still emerging and making up for the Communist era. We have dedicated teams and tremendous potential for our construction business."
Leasing activities are already underway. "We've received a number of inquiries from potential tenants looking for high-quality sustainable products," says Marcin Lapinsky, Managing Director, Skanska Property Romania, who succeeded Andreas Lindelöf, who led the start-up.
Venture headed by international and experienced force
It is a truly international force taking on Bucharest. The Skanska Romanian venture is headed by experienced people from Poland, the UK, Sweden and Finland. Marcin Lapinsky is from Skanska Property Poland, while Richard Burleigh, from the UK, applied his skills at Złote Tarasy and Deloitte House in Warsaw. Burleigh will double as being responsible for the One Skanska establishment in Bucharest and head of the Construction unit. The Skanska team also includes people from Finland, Ireland and Turkey.
Skanska's first office project in Bucharest is located in the Floreasca-Barbu Vacarescu area, one of Bucharest's main commercial office submarkets near the international airport.