Multifunctional Center to be Developed at Puskás Metro

Office Market

Main photo shows an artist’s rendering of the Centrale development. The file photo below, from 2021, gives a good idea of how busy the area is. The smaller Papp László Sportaréna is in the center, with the larger Puskás Aréna behind it.

The Centrale, a multifunctional complex by the Hungarian outfit Chain Bridge Ventures, will be developed at the Puskás Ferenc Stadion metro station. The 29,000 sqm project will provide service space, food and beverage outlets, an office center and a hotel at the residential and commuter hub.

Chain Bridge Ventures is a newly established boutique developer formed by partners with experience as investors. It says the Centrale project has been in active preparation since 2017.

Centrale will be located at the intersection of Kerepesi út and Hungária körút where more than 100,000 vehicles and 70,000-plus pedestrians use the intermodal transport hub on a daily basis, according to the developers. The site is at the center of the residential Districts XIV, X, and VIII and adjacent to the Puskás Aréna (the national stadium) and the Papp László Sportaréna.

The complex, designed by Bánáti + Hartvig Architects, will include 40 shops and service outlets on a 6,000 sqm area on the ground floor, including a supermarket, drugstore, pharmacy, banks, telecoms, FMCG and beauty services. A 2,000 sqm F&B area will be located on the second level. Above the commercial center will be an office tower of about 5,000 sqm on three levels. There will also be a 170-room, 4-star hotel and parking capacity for 1,000 plus vehicles.

High-level Certification

The developers say they are aiming for a “high-level” Breeam certification. The complex will include a 7,000 sqm landscaped green roof. The company founders and investors are financing the project in addition to loans from Hungarian banks.

“Already back when the Papp László Sportaréna redevelopment was announced [in 2000] and [it was obvious] the football stadium would have been redeveloped sooner or later, I realized that the area has great potential,” says Michael Gagel, partner at Chain Bridge Ventures.

“Seeing the dilapidated state of the [old] Puskás Ferenc Stadion and buildings, I had the vision of extracting value out of otherwise disused land on top of a public transport site, as is popular in modern cities around the world,” he explains.

“I began to implement this vision, but it has been a very long road and complicated process due to the legal, legislative, and technical nature of this project, involving numerous public stakeholders. Putting this puzzle together needed a lot of vision and perseverance; luckily enough, all involved parties understood the vision and the need to drive this site forward for the sake of the public realm and the major public investments that occurred and will occur in this area,” Gagel adds.

Public Benefit

The developers emphasize a significant public benefit through infrastructure improvements in their plans to redevelop the Puskás Ferenc Stadion metro station entrances. In doing so, both passenger comfort and ever-growing capacity needs will be elevated to meet the modern requirements of this continuously developing area, Chain Bridge Ventures insists.

“In response to the challenges of modern living, we offer a unique mixed-use solution that stands out from traditional shopping centers and standalone office and hotel assets,” says Beni Gagel, also a partner at Chain Bridge Ventures.

“The carefully put together mixed-use elements will be a rare example of where the ‘sum of the parts is greater than the whole.’ I can report that, although we have been in a challenging economic environment, the market and potential tenants that we have discussed the project with have all understood its power and future potential,” he argues.

“This has allowed us to achieve a nearly 50% pre-lease even before we had a building permit in place. We will make further announcements on this in the near future,” Beni Gagel adds. Chain Bridge Ventures expects to complete the project in 2026.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of January 26, 2024.

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