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Future Getting Greener in the Industrial Property Market

Interview

Rudolf Nemes, CEO of HelloParks.

The industrial and logistics sector has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Manufacturing and assembly companies have started stockpiling resources locally. To cater to such demand, electric vehicle suppliers are renting quality industrial real estate. Today, tenants are concerned with cost- and energy efficiency and sustainability. Rudolf Nemes, the CEO of industrial property developer HelloParks, shares his views with the Budapest Business Journal about the company’s recent investments and future plans.

BBJ: How can the logistics and industrial property market continue to grow in the face of a shrinking construction sector?

Rudolf Nemes: We expect continued growth in the logistics and industrial property market this year, following 2022’s record levels. Among other things, this is due to the growing importance of foreign direct investment and industrial real estate development resulting from shorter supply chains. Chinese and South Korean companies, in particular, are keen to bring manufacturing and assembly operations to Hungary for better access to markets in the European Union.

BBJ: Established just three years ago, HelloParks has already emerged as a competitor to the most prominent players in the Hungarian market. How have you managed to achieve this in such a short time?

RN: We began with a startup spirit in 2020, recognizing the changing market needs, so we launched significant industrial developments in three popular commercial zones. An innovative approach has defined our business from the very beginning, which is why we are building environmentally-conscious and sustainable industrial properties that are unique in the country. Our megapark developments are designed to create livable, people-oriented, user-friendly environments. These forward-looking projects create long-term value for our partners. As a recognition of our hard work, we have recently received an international accolade: The European Property Awards, where entries are judged by an independent jury of more than 80 industry experts, recently awarded our PT1 building in Páty a five-star rating.

HelloParks Fót FT1 warehouse.

BBJ: How do your developments deliver added value to your tenants?

RN: When choosing an industrial warehouse, potential tenants increasingly look beyond the price factor, seeking green solutions. We pay particular attention to this emerging requirement from the drawing board onward. All our buildings are built to the highest “Outstanding” sustainability criteria in the Breeam New Construction category and are aligned to the EU Taxonomy. At least 85% of the construction waste is diverted from landfill, and the primary energy consumption of the offices in the finished buildings will be zero thanks to the solar panels mounted to the roof and renewable energy heat pump cooling and heating systems. Even rainwater is collected through the rooftops to be repurposed for irrigation. Energy-efficient LED lighting, solar renewable energy and energy-efficient engineering are standard features. Public spaces are equipped with smart-ready lights, while electric vehicle chargers and access to electric golf carts ensure zero-emission transport. Less than 3% of buildings worldwide are rated “Outstanding;” currently, we are the only developer in Hungary to build structures with this criterion in mind.

BBJ: What developments have taken place so far, and what can be expected this year?

RN: Our current portfolio consists of 264,000 sqm of high-quality industrial space, which comprises six completed properties, with an additional 102,000 sqm of warehouse development to be launched this year. Our first two buildings in Maglód and Fót, MG1 and FT1, were 100% occupied by tenants in record time last year. In the newly completed MG3 building in Maglód and FT6 in Fót, 18,000 sqm have already been let. FT2 and PT1 (the largest single modern warehouse in the Budapest area) have also recently obtained their occupancy permits. Preparatory works are already underway for the PT2 hall in Páty, and we have also started construction on a fourth key site. This 60,000 sqm industrial property in Alsónémedi (25 km southeast of central Budapest) is scheduled to be handed over next year.

BBJ: What types of businesses are interested in renting warehouses from HelloParks?

RN: We have already concluded lease agreements covering more than 190,000 sqm in our warehouses to a mix of tenants active mainly in logistics or light industry. Many of them are regional or even global players. We are delighted that two additional blue-chip companies have recently chosen our halls under construction for their operations, which shall be announced shortly.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of July 14, 2023.

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