Recognizing the importance of South-Eastern Europe’s investment and development markets EuropaProperty was proud to host the 16th annual EuropaProperty SEE Real Estate Awards ONLINE. The live event was simultaneously broadcast using the latest digital technology via the Zoom and YouTube platforms. Guaranteeing that the show must go on, and the top-performing companies from the region could still be recognised for their phenomenal achievements in commercial real estate.

Welcome to the brave new world of ONLINE events

“We at EuropaProperty have become pioneers as well as digital innovators in the field of online events. Like many of our partners, clients and friends we have had to adapt our business model quickly to help in these challenging times. So, I’m very pleased that we have now established ourselves as the number one digital awards event organisers, and have delivered another top-notch event that our clients and partners have come to expect,” commented event organiser and publisher of EuropaProperty, Craig Smith.

Before this current crisis SEE was seen as a potentially very attractive investment and development destination offering a yield premium on the more established CEE markets, albeit for greater risk and more expensive financing. However, despite signs and movement in the market, activity has been hit by the coronavirus. While the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the real economy has been dramatic, market experts are cautiously optimistic and expect a quick rebound and opportunities post-crisis.

It’s clear that businesses are preparing for a post-COVID renaissance for commercial spaces in the SEE region and the 16th annual SEE Real Estate Awards winners reflected these trends.

AFI Europe was a clear investment and development winner on the night and was recognised by the Jury for its growing presence and multi-platform strategy in the region. The company was awarded in multiple categories including Retail Developer, Retail Project and Mixed-use Project for AFI Brasov & AFI Park Brasov as well as picking up Professional Man and Woman of the Year awards for their CEO Doron Klein and Head of Office Division Emma Toma. The company was also recognised for its acquisition of NEPI’s office portfolio in Romania in the Investment Deal of the Year category.

AFI Brasov was singled out for its excellent design and concept as a modern landmark project, located in the heart of the historic city of Brasov. The complex enables the most convenient business and personal lifestyle options, and a work environment that meets modern lifestyles, creating an all-in-one efficient, destination location.

Forte Partners, another multi-disciplined developer, walked away with the Residential and Office Developer awards. The company was also recognised by the Jury for their successful project deliveries of 2020, winning in the Residential and Office Project of the Year categories respectively for their highly successful Aviatiei Park 2 and The Bridge 3 developments.

Another big investment winner was S IMMO, which won in the Investor of the Year category. The company’s investment strategy throughout the region has displayed continued confidence in the region’s office markets. One deal that highlighted this was its acquisition of the Campus 6.2 and 6.3 office buildings in Bucharest from Skanska.

One of the region’s largest office investors, Globalworth, won the Future Project of the Year award for the soon to be opened Globalworth Square, a very ambitious project designed as a business hub that is focused on innovation and efficiency, in the centre of Bucharest.

Regional industrial developer CTP Invest was awarded, Warehouse Developer. CTP’s portfolio in Serbia and Romania collectively covers 1.278 million sqm. This portfolio is rapidly growing while upholding the highest levels of quality and sustainability in every step of its growth. In this way, the company also walked away with the Industrial Project of the Year for CTPark Bucharest West.

Another project winner highlighting the resilience and confidence in Romania’s hotel sector was the ibis Styles Bucharest City Center by  Dentotal Hospitality winning the Hotel Project of the Year award.

Many industry leaders and associated companies from the real estate industry were awarded on the night. Stratulat Albulescu was recognised for its team’s continued legal brilliance and picked up the Law Firm of the Year. Epstein Architecture & Engineering once again walked away with the Architectural Firm of the Year award. Bog’Art received the Professional Service Provider award and Optim Project Management was the winner of the Project Management award.

Other winners included Avison Young, which took hold of the agency side of the business and collected the Agency of the Year award. CBRE won Property Management Firm and Cushman & Wakefield’s Alina Dima beat the competition to win the Property Manager of the Year award and Erste Group Bank was recognised as the region’s Bank of the Year.

EuropaProperty’s esteemed panel of highly-respected business leaders from around the region judged the nominations for the awards categories on their merit and positive impact on the market. World-renowned audit firm EY monitored the scoring and voting process.