This year’s big winners include: Romania with three building awards, as well as CBRE with three company and agency awards. Colliers International, Skanska, Arcadis and Griffin went home with two statuettes each
Romania had all other CEE and SEE countries beat at the recent 12th edition of the CEEQA Gala, boasting as many as three building awards: the grand award for the Building of the Year SEE (AFI Park 2 & 3 in Bucharest), as well as two statuettes for the recertification of Floreasca Park in Bucharest: RealGreen Building of the Year and the Green Leadership Award. Floreasca Park, developed by Portland Trust and completed in Q4 2013, is already a major success story. Having won the 2015 award for RealGreen Building, Portland Trust’s Floreasca Park went one better with the overall Green Leadership Award. The project was already awarded, back in 2014, the Office Development of the Year (joint award) and the Building of the Year SEE, but has since been improved and recertified at the BREEAM Excellent level. This year’s success proves the developer made the right decision upgrading the scheme.
Other countries with trophies included the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine (each with one statuette). Quadrio, a 16,400-sqm office scheme in Prague, won the grand award for the Building of the Year CEE. The recently refurbished Eiffel Palace in Budapest won Office Development of the Year 2015, while Atrium Felicity in Poland’s eastern city of Lublin was awarded the Retail Development of the Year. Hilton Kiev, a 262-room project completed in Q1 2014 by Saint Sophia Homes, beat out its rivals for the Hotel, Leisure & Residential Development of the Year.
Nearly 700 regional and international real estate leaders from more than 50 countries gathered to celebrate the successes and success stories of the New Europe property sector during the past calendar year, and legendary soul funk band Hot Chocolate lit up the night that saw outstanding entertainment and hospitality.
The awards ceremony was opened by Pawel Tamborski, President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. One of the biggest highlights of the evening was a live interview during the awards ceremony with sector legend David Mitzner, the founder and president of Rida Corporation & Apollo Rida. The Holocaust and Russian Gulag survivor and deal maker extraordinaire turned 100 in April. Mitzner was awarded the CEEQA Lifetime Achievement Award for the first time exactly 10 years ago, in 2005, for his tremendous contribution of bringing international investors to the Polish real estate market. This time around, he was presented with another unique accolade, the Double Lifetime Achievement Award, via a live video conference from his home in Houston.
The Professional of the Year statuette went to Monika Rajska-Wolińska, Colliers International managing partner in Poland.
In good company
HB Reavis won the Developer of the Year Award, while Panattoni Europe was named Industrial Developer of the Year. Interestingly, P3 Logistic Parks, a developer turned proxy investor, was chosen the Investor of the Year. Helaba defended its title from last year as Lender of the Year, while Dentons was recognized in the Legal & Financial Consulting Firm category for the third consecutive time.
Arcadis was awarded the statuette in the Development Service Company category for the fourth time running (previously under the Arcadis EC Harris name). They also snatched up the RealGreen Service Provider award. This year’s RealGreen Investor of the Year was Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management.
Skanska, which scooped a record seven awards last year, was selected as Construction Company of the Year and RealGreen Developer of the Year. Griffin Real Estate not only scooped up the Rising Star honors, but was also chosen by electronic vote of CEEQA Gala guests as Company of the Year.
The agency that took center stage this year was CBRE, which picked up their first CEEQA awards since 2008, hitting back with a hat trick of Agency of the Year awards for the capital markets and office categories as well as Property Management Company of the Year. JLL was chosen the retail and leisure Agency of the Year, while Colliers International was selected, for the fourth time running, as industrial Agency of the Year.
The sector’s most prestigious industry awards are granted for business performance and achievement across 18 countries in Central & Eastern Europe and Southeast Europe and are organized in association with the Financial Times to recognize business excellence in commercial real estate investment and to showcase achievements of the sector on the international investment arena, including the best buildings, companies and industry professionals. The awards are judged by a panel of senior representatives of market leading companies active across the New Europe and voting across all the awards is supervised by globally trusted consultant Deloitte.