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GTC to launch office investment

A sketch of the planned White House.

Real estate developer GTC will, in the coming weeks, launch a 21,500 sqm office building investment, referred to as White House, on Budapest’s Váci út, GTC Commercial Director Bori Gedai announced at a June 9 conference.

The investment volume was not disclosed. Cushman and Wakefield and CBRE have been granted exclusive rights to lease the offices of the planned property.

Construction of the “A” category office building is expected to be launched within the next few weeks and be wound up by December 2017, raising the Hungarian portfolio of GTC International Group to 140,000 sqm, the developer announced.

“The greenfield investment is looking to receive a LEED Gold Certificate, and this was a consideration throughout the entire planning and designing process,” Gedai said. “We are happy that after so many years we can finally create something,” Gedai added, commenting on the difficulties of the past few years following the crisis in 2008. “The old elevator factory, which was built in 1910, will be preserved and built into the new building,” she added.

“The new building will fit the expectations of tenants looking for office buildings on the Váci Corridor,” according to Gedai.

The office market appears to be on the mend after a number of slow years following the crisis. “The vacancy rate has reached 11% to date; it has never been so low,” C&W Hungary CEO Gergely Pados said at the event. “The market is expected to pick up through an increase in leasing activities,” Pados explained in his summary of market conditions.

“Take up has grown significantly, and pre-leases are becoming a trend,” Judit Varga of CBRE said at the event. “In the past few years new office buildings were either fully rented through pre-leases or by the first year after opening, at the latest,” Varga commented.

GTC Hungary manages a total of 120,000 sqm of office space in the country with five buildings and 58 tenants. GTC Hungary owns four of the buildings and manages an additional building.

Europa Capital sells Eiffel Square office, retail, park complex

Europa Capital and its local partner, ConvergenCE, announced on June 14 that they have completed the sale of the 23,000 sqm Eiffel square to the Germany-based asset and investment manager, KGAL for an undisclosed fee. Eiffel Square (pictured) is located next to the Western Railway Station and consists of office space and street front retail and services, in addition to a park area. “The sale is completed at a time when the Budapest market, having recovered from the global financial crisis, is entering a period of strong growth,” commented Robert Martin, head of CE at Europa Capital.