Atenor Receives BakerStreet Occupancy Permit

Office Market

The Liget Center Vitrum office development by Wing.

The first 16,600 sqm phase of BakerStreet has successfully obtained its occupancy permit. The project, in South Buda, has been leased to E.ON Hungária Zrt., with the tenants scheduled to move in this June, according to the developer, Atenor.

Office vacancy in Hungary has risen to 13.8%, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The pipeline for 2024 is 178,000 sqm, although projects could be delayed given the current market climate.

Atenor purchased the 5,700 sqm brownfield BakerStreet plot in 2019. After the demolition of the ex-bakery for which it is named, the construction of the office building, with eight levels, terraces, a ground-floor restaurant, four floors of underground parking and an internal garden, started in 2021.

Simultaneously with the commencement of the construction works, Atenor signed an agreement to purchase an adjacent 8,300 sqm plot on Hengermalom út, on which the 24,500 sqm second phase of the project will be developed. Both phases are ESG-compliant, EU Taxonomy-aligned, and have Breeam “Excellent” and Access4You “Gold” certifications, according to Atenor.

“The fact that BakerStreet I is 100% occupied before its handover obviously proves that there is still serious demand for modern, highly technical and aesthetic workspaces,” said Norbert Schőmer, the country director of Atenor Hungary.

Challenges in Creating the Right Work Environment

Employees demand more freedom and flexibility from the companies that employ them but also want more “experiences” in the office. This poses a double challenge for professionals involved in creating and maintaining the right working environment and for HR departments.

A new approach is needed to ensure employees do not feel compelled to work and perform at their best in the office. That was the conclusion of a joint meeting of the Workplace Environment and Facilities Management and HR committees of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary, which reviewed the latest trends, best practices and solutions related to office use.

“Location is key, the office should be easily accessible, and its design should be tailored to the needs of the people working there, providing the right conditions for efficient working,” Valter Kalaus, managing partner of Newark VLK, told the AmCham event.

“Today, it is also a natural expectation that you should not have to travel long distances to reach services such as restaurants, cafés and shopping facilities during a break or after work. Proximity to a gym or beauty or barber shop can be an added advantage,” he added.

Following his presentation, Kalaus answered questions from participants. The exchange clearly demonstrated that meeting the requirements for an ideal office is a complex task that needs to be tackled jointly by managers and HR staff if they want to ensure that employees see going in to a central office as an experience rather than a constraint and to avoid offices sitting empty. This is the most expensive solution from every point of view.

Sky bar Opens at Budapest Stadium Hotel

The panoramic Cloud IX sky bar of the Ibis & Tribe Budapest Stadium Hotel, developed by Wing, was inaugurated at a ceremonial event; the hotel now offers its guests a full range of services after its soft opening, according to the operator.

As part of Wing’s mixed-use Liberty development in District IX, the co-branded hotel occupies the top floors adjacent to office space. The Budapest Stadium Hotel has 332 rooms that are equally shared between the two brands, with the three-star Ibis offering complementing the four-star Tribe brand.

“As one of the leading real estate firms in Hungary and the region, we are committed to projects that represent high architectural quality and create long-term value. The Liberty reflects our ambition to create a dual-branded hotel with a wide range of services and an outstanding guest experience as part of an internationally acclaimed mixed-use development,” says Noah Steinberg, chairman and CEO of Wing.

OTP Bank has financed liberty, although the energy-efficient, green property also received public funding through the Real Estate Fund sub-program of the Gábor Baross Capital Program. As a co-investor, the Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) also provided funds.

Liget Center Vitrum Structurally Complete

Liget Center Vitrum by Wing will be handed over in its shell and core stage this fall. Vitrum is a near-zero energy building that will offer 2,200 sqm of office space over six floors. The boutique office development is located opposite the Városliget (City Park) and features a combination of Hungarian modernist art and architecture, according to the developer.

“With the completion of the Liget Center Vitrum building, the development of the Liget Center office complex has reached yet another milestone,” says Gábor Angel, deputy CEO of Wing responsible for offices.

“This is a truly unique development, including both the construction of a completely new office building and the renovation of two office buildings listed as historic monuments. In line with our objectives, we have paid particular attention to aesthetics, quality and sustainability: Liget Center Vitrum is a nearly-zero energy building with extensive vertical green spaces. The building offers state-of-the-art technical features for tenants looking for exclusive office space downtown or even a suitable location for their entire headquarters,” Angel adds.

Liget Center Vitrum was designed by Tiba Architects Studio, while the general construction is being carried out by Workup.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of May 31, 2024.

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