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New times-New offices

Interview with Antoniu Panait, Managing Director of Vastint Romania.

2018-03-28 16:18:27 - From the Print Edition

Vastint is an international real estate organization with over 25 years of experience. The goal of Vastint is to create long-term value through property investments. The cornerstones of our operations are the management of portfolio properties and the development of commercial real estate, including residential development and sales.

- What new models can be implemented from the perspective of a real estate developer in order to create workplace environments that bring occupiers added-value?

In Vastint we permanently explore the present and future needs of our tenants. All the experience gathered during our more than 25 years of activity has led us to understand better the expectations of the office space occupiers. Having this mindset shall lead to long term success and added-value for tenants. Both our projects in Bucharest, Timpuri Noi Square and Business Garden Bucharest, are being developed having this mindset in order to provide a welcoming, healthy working indoor environment, by means of a silent air conditioning and ventilation system, thermal comfort control, 3 meter clear floor height and increased natural light provision. Furthermore the projects shall offer dynamic and inviting leisure areas with restaurants, terraces, coffee shops, snack bars and retail amenities for recreation and fun.

- How can the Romanian market stay competitive in the region in terms of real estate services destination? What features and capabilities of local market can be created, improved and stressed locally in this respect?

The Romanian market will be competitive in terms of real estate industry as long as the latest technologies and specifications are used in order to respect nowadays sustainability and environmental expectations. The local economic environment is important and together with the high quality of the local workforce is driving higher interest in the region and especially Romania. Tenants require here similar quality and technical specifications as in any other market, companies being in search of the same type of premises considering that HR wise their needs are the same.
Vastint is active in many countries across Europe, such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. We deliver the same quality and standards throughout the Vastint market and our Property Managers are permanently working with reviewing the performance of existing buildings and recently completed projects in the portfolio. Working actively with measuring and improving the use of different media, utilities and services is positive both from the economic competitiveness of a building as well as reduces the environmental footprint of its use.

- What is the input of real estate developers in creating opportunities for Romania as investment and business growth destination for large players in fast developing industries? (such as IT for instance but not exclusively).

Fortunately, we have in Romania in all large cities with university centers a great pool of talent for all employers and especially for the IT industry. This is the reason why the most active industry was the IT one, creating larger and larger demand. The high interest in IT specialists created as well a high competition between employers. This lead to a shift in the way that the office premises were seen. The micro environment was now very important.
The next step was to consider the macro environment, overall details of the premises: location, facilities and image of the project. All lessons learned in over 25 years within Vastint are kept in mind, importing in Romania the gathered experience in all other European markets.

- The location, office and building amenities play a key role in planning a business development in Romania. What do you advise a client to primary take into consideration when establishing a business operations site in Romania?

The most important thing in real estate is location. In large metropolitan cities, good accessibility can be the main differentiator for an employee looking for a new job. In an HR market that gets very competitive, whatever else comes next to salaries is as well important: access, amenities and facilities.
We at Vastint, do believe in the life/ work balance and life after work concepts. The community is very important, getting together and having fun as well. For example, Timpuri Noi Square offers a dynamic and inviting plaza with restaurants, terraces, coffee shops, snack bars and retail amenities for recreation and fun while Business Garden Bucharest provides an excellent indoor environment, various amenities and hosts an internal garden that will provide areas for socializing and recreation.

- What is your company philosophy and strategy when it comes to real estate business development in Romania? Which are the strong aspects of the company, what are the objective on medium and long term.

To create a better everyday life for the many people! We do this by developing and maintaining comfortable and sustainable living, working and leisure environments.
We have a long-term perspective on our Business and we recognize a responsibility not only towards our co-workers and customers, but also to suppliers, business partners and the community as a whole. We know that long-term thinking, responsible business and profitability go hand in hand. That's why we follow in Romania the same principals as in any other market and have identical technical specifications and quality as in our other projects, no matter where they're located.

We see sustainability as working towards positive long-term social, economic and environmental solutions and developments. We consider it to be a never ending job to continuously learn more and improve our way of working with sustainability.

Within our operations we tackle a wide range of sustainability issues on a daily basis. For instance, societal concerns are taken into consideration when doing planning, the appropriate ways to remediate polluted sites are being assessed, buildings are constructed using efficient solutions and supplies are chosen based on their long-term impact. All such activities can be said to fall under the different areas that are normally encompassed within the expressions Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainability. Consequently, sustainability has been a natural part of our operations and everyday life for a long time.

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