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BUCHAREST (Romania), May 23 (SeeNews) - Romanian group Dedeman has bought The Office Cluj Napoca building from businessman Ovidiu Sandor and NEPI Rockastle for an undisclosed price, real estate consultants JLL said on Thursday.
This is the biggest transaction involving an office project ever conducted outside Bucharest and represents a new benchmark as regards the price and liquidity of prime real estate assets in secondary cities, JLL, the exclusive representative for Mulberry Development in the sale, said in a statement.
Ovidiu Sandor is founder and CEO of Mulberry Development.
"The completion of the sale of The Office in Cluj Napoca marks a new round of records on the real estate investment market outside Bucharest and the Romanian market overall," JLL Romania head of capital markets Andrei Vacaru said, adding that it is the biggest transaction of a real estate asset in a secondary city signed in the past 10 years and the first of this size where both sides are prestigious Romanian entrepreneurs
The Office is the biggest project of its class in Cluj-Napoca, with a total area of 61,000 sq m, 100% leased, and certified BREEAM Excellent.
With this transaction, Cluj-Napoca regains its position on the real estate investment map in Romania. After two significant but smaller transactions on this market last year, namely the sale of the Maestro office building and the logistics park CTPark, the sale of The Office
proves there is liquidity for institutional projects in Cluj, JLL said.
Vacaru also said that the sale of The Office is an important benchmark as regards the price of prime products in secondary cities and has provided JLL with the opportunity to to identify the groups truly interested in acquiring office buildings in such cities.
According to Vacaru, the emergence of private Romanian buyers as major players on the institutional real estate transactions market shows promise.
"Romania would have much to gain if, besides them, we also had local investment funds or local pension funds investing, the way it is in Hungary or the Czech Republic," he added.
For Dedeman group, a relatively new name on the property investment market, this is the second transaction concluded in the past year in Romania, JLL said.
Founded in 1992 by two Romanian entrepreneurs, Dedeman was mainly focused on do-it-yourself retail but later developed into a group interested in becoming a local real estate player. It currently has 10,600 employees working in 49 stores across Romania.