Luxury, Sustainable Living Promised in new Riverside Jewel


Kaan Yücel

Take a walk in the Újlipótváros neighborhood of Budapest’s District XIII, and you will notice that the Duna Pearl development, on the corner of Kárpát utca and Pozsonyi út, is very near to completion. The Budapest Business Journal spoke with Kaan Yücel, the CEO of the Turkish developer Polat Holding, about the project.

BBJ: Each building has its own challenges. What are the most complex challenges for a luxury hotel chain in Budapest?

Kaan Yücel: It is a luxury product that will deliver 193 apartments and a four-star business hotel, the first member of an international luxury hotel chain in Budapest with more than 100 rooms. We needed to ensure the quality and standards for both parts. There is also ground floor retail space and a restaurant, which will organically expand and enrich this fantastic district. The underground car park is a real treasure in such a congested city and will help alleviate Újlipótváros’ notorious parking problems. The unique architectural solutions, waterfront panorama, and abundance of green spaces make this residential complex a piece of art, really, a new pearl on the Danube, hence the name. Residents will move into fully equipped apartments with premium kitchens, built-in furniture, automatic blinds, and the comfort of smart homes with IT solutions. The development includes the renewal of the surrounding streets, the renovation of pavements, the creation of new park areas, and the opening of green spaces on all sides. There are newly designed public and community spaces for residents and visitors to the neighborhood to offer quality daily living.

BBJ: Why should someone invest in property at Duna Pearl?

KY: It is safe to say that there will be no new housing available in this popular residential area for a long time, with the Duna Pearl being the last buildable plot. We would argue that the surge in interest in apartments is no coincidence. Unfortunately, these are challenging times in Europe, with the pandemic, war, unfavorable economic prospects, and an unpredictable business environment. But, at such times, property, as a secure, value-proof form of investment, understandably becomes more valuable. This is a significant development of more than EUR 70 million, which will use renewable energy in line with EU building standards, including the very latest in heat pump cooling and heating systems. Investing in a property like this in the center of Europe now is a sure long-term return. But people should not just take my word for that. Delivery starts this fall, and we have owners ready to move into apartments. Clients can, of course, visit a show apartment where they can feel and touch what a home in Duna Pearl will look like.

BBJ: It is well known that the construction industry is one of the most significant contributors to carbon output. What are you doing to mitigate this?

KY: Although the construction sector, in general, is not famous for its green-conscious operations, in the case of Duna Pearl, we adhered to all the necessary regulations and ensured the building would be capable of keeping to the standards required for Leed certification, the most widely used green building rating system. We worked according to Leed practices and sourced materials in accordance with the Leed attitude. So in their operation as homes, they will be environmentally friendly. An essential part of this was that we made sure to properly and safely remove and dispose of the asbestos-contaminated topsoil during the first phase of construction.

BBJ: What other sustainability measures are you taking at Duna Pearl?

KY: We are providing EV charging solutions for more than half of our parking lots. Heat pumps will supply the heating and cooling system energy, a very modern but also convenient and green solution. Highly sealed glass panels and walls are further important features of the development.

BBJ: Are the energy crisis and rising costs for raw and finished materials posing any specific problems?

KY: When the energy crisis hit the region, we were already in the final phase of the construction, so we were less affected than had it arrived at the start of our project.

BBJ: Polat Holding is a Turkish group, although you are working in Budapest through your subsidiary. Are you exclusively using Hungarian subcontractors, or are you also bringing in workers from Türkiye and elsewhere?

KY: The general contractor is a 100% Hungarian-owned company; this is their responsibility rather than ours, but foreign workers were involved. Also, Turkish products that offer genuine value for money, such as premium tiles, sanitary ware, and built-in furniture, were chosen for their competitive prices.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of September 23, 2022.

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