• Eiffel Square Office Building


    office. green. community


    Owned by KGAL


  • Eiffel Square Office Building


    BREEAM certified, green office building


    in a prime city centre location


  • Eiffel Square Office Building


    Award winning, landmark building


    with excellent access


The Building

EIFFEL IS AT THE HEART OF BUDAPEST

Eiffel Square is an outstanding Grade A+ office development in a prime city-centre location in Budapest. Getting to this landmark building is very easy by public transport, car or by bike. It has received several awards, including CIJ’s Best Office Development Award of 2010 and the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence runner-up for Office Development Award worldwide in 2010. Efficiency, flexibility were the main drivers of design for this project. Substantial amenity has also been developed for tenants, including restaurants, cafés, medical & dental centre, supermarket, bank and a car wash facility.

More on the building

  • AMENITIES NEAR EIFFEL SQUARE

    Due to the excellent city centre location of Eiffel Square, all amenities can be reached within a few minutes. On Nyugati square on the opposite side of the Teréz Boulevard, there is a private medical centre, fitness centre, post office, Scala department store and a number of banks. Within a five minute walk of Eiffel Square is arguably the most successful shopping center on the Pest side of the City, West-End Shopping Center. Providing 400 shop units, from catering to fashion, shoes, cosmetics sports goods as well as a supermarket, restaurants and fast food, it provides enormous shopping variety. WestEnd also provides a five star Hilton Hotel and Conference Center and 14 screen Multiplex Cinema. Within a ten minute taxi ride, several 5-star hotels can be reached including the Boscolo, Grand Hotel, Four Seasons Gresham, Le Meridien, Kempinski, Marriott and Sofitel. Virtually every major cultural attraction is within the same distance including the Opera, Music Academy and many theatres.

  • The Building in numbers

    Net rentable floor area 23,586 m²
    Office 17,515 m²
    Retail 2,857 m²
    Restaurant 2,269 m²
    Storage 945 m²
    Car parking 365 spaces
  • The Eiffel Square Office Building

    The Eiffel Square building dominates the east side of the new square and faces the impressive façade of the Western Railway Station. The main façade of the building is designed to reflect the grandeur of the Station in a multi-faceted glass surface of 120 meters in length with, angled sections, breaking up the continuous surface. Changes in façade treatment identify the three main building entrances accessible from the 10m wide pedestrian walkway at ground level.

    This walkway is above the restaurants which have terraces on the large open Square. The design of the Square is based on a microclimate study by the Szeged University forming a natural amphitheatre with a water cascade and feature pond at its north end and a central stage suitable for open air performances in summer and the use of a skating rink in winter. It will create an oasis of calm and culture in the middle of the City.

  • Flexible office layout

    Internally, the design aims to provide a clean contemporary image with the use of the best materials in reception areas and lift lobbies. The layout of the offices is designed around the necessity to provide natural daylight to all permanent working spaces and at the same time limit direct glare and sunlight which can create an uncomfortable working environment. For this reason, the north and south façade of the building are completely different. Equally, the necessity to allow for both fully air conditioned and naturally ventilated space is designed into the building.. Finally and uniquely for such a central location, Eiffel Square can offer up to 3,150 m² of space on a single floor level, thus allowing larger companies to optimize internal communication.

  • Green office building

    • Green roof to increase heat isolation effect
    • Green roofs covered with succulents, reducing water consumption
    • Bicycle storages in and outside of the building
    • Showers and changing room with lockers for cyclists
    • Waterfall, park, protected trees, green terrace
    • Benches and relaxing areas
    • Selective waste collection, compacting and removal
    • Use of green qualified detergents and recycled paper products
    • 12 bird haunts in the park and on the roof
    • Daylight and occupancy sensors
    • Glass façade (high ratio of natural light in the offices reducing electricity consumption)
    • Technical solutions to reduce energy consumption
  • Building attributes

    Architecture

    • Reinforced concrete structure, 8.1m grid
    • Clear internal office height of minimum 2.75 m
    • Large terraces on the 6th floor
    • Double glazed, insulated façade
    • Operable windows for natural ventilation
    • Tea kitchens built out for every unit
    • Secure underground parking for 365 cars
    • Flexible layout on each floor according to Tenant’s request

    Common areas

    • Contemporary designed reception areas with 24 hour security, 365 days per year
    • 3separated cores on each floor (except 6th floor, with 2 cores)
    • Six wet blocks per floor designed to modern standards (except for 6th floor, with 2 blocks)
    • 9 pieces of 1,000 kg, 13 person high-speed elevators equipped with intercom system
    • Integrated corporate identification and signage concept
    • Proprioceptive sensor lights in common areas, and in the garage

    Access

    • Secure controlled office access separated from the restaurant and retail areas
    • Magnetic card access system with traceable use record

    Mechanical & Engineering

    • Four pipe fan coil air conditioning system with divisible chillers and motorized dampers
    • Fully accessible 8 cm raised floor of 60cm x 60cm panels
    • Two-person floor boxes per every 20 m² providing 4 high voltage outlet
    • 10 sq m/person density with 35 m³/hour fresh air inflow
    • Anti-static, anti-flammable floor carpet tiles
    • Acoustic Suspended Ceiling with recessed computer compatible lighting
    • Double electrical feed and areas for tenant generators and UPS is provided
    • Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) to all public areas
    • ISDN telephony and fiber optic connections
    • Interior shading system
    • Full fire and smoke detection and emergency systems installed throughout
    • Sprinkler system on the underground floors, with a possibility to extend it in office areas

    Miscellaneous

    • Waste selection and compacting in-house
    • Selective garbage collection and removal
    • Car wash facility within the underground garage
    • BREEAM certification

Contact and access

Zeley Csaba

Csaba Zeley
ConvergenCE

Contact us!
Telephone: +36 1 225 0912
Fax: +36 1 375 0445

Metro: M3 - blue line
Tram: 4 and 6
Trolley: 72, 73

Train: Western railway station
Bus: 6, 26, 26A, 91, 191

Our tenants

AXN is a Pay television, cable and satellite television channel owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. It is now spread across several regions in the world, including Japan, Europe, Asia and Latin America. AXN delivers 24 hours a day of action TV series, movies, animations and adventure-reality, lifestyle sports programmes.

The Magyar Cetelem Bank Zrt. started business in Hungary in 1996. Its founder and 100% shareholder is French Cetelem S.A, which has a nearly 50 years’ experience in the area of consumption crediting. Since 1999 Cetelem is part of the BNP Paribas Group, which is the second largest bank in the Eurozone.

The private international medical insurance company and clinic provides services in 30 specialist areas in more than 270 places in Hungary. It was the first to introduce a card based flat rate healthcare service, and in 2008 the Medicover Group established its own health insurance branch in Hungary.

Dealogic is The Platform utilized by investment banks worldwide to optimize their performance and improve competitiveness. With more than 25 years' experience and a deep knowledge of the capital markets Dealogic has numerous long standing partnership with investment banks globally.

Givaudan operates worldwide and is one of Switzerland’s 30 biggest listed companies in terms of market capitalization. The company's scents and flavours are developed most often for food and beverage makers, but they are also used frequently in household goods, grooming and personal care products.

As a critical link among financial institutions and millions of businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide, MasterCard provides services in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard processes billions of payments seamlessly across the globe, and building economic connections that accelerate business.

The last decade was such a strong growth and international expansion for IBERDROLA, which has consolidated its position as the number one energy company in Spain, the world's top wind power producer and one of the largest utilities internationally.

Tesco is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second by profits. It has stores in 14 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK, Malaysia, the Republic of Ireland and Thailand.

In Cafe Frei we offer more than 70 different coffee recipes from the major coffee “kitchens” (Japanese, Italian, French, Arabic, American, Latino). Also on the menu are leaf-tea blends, hot and cold chocolate drinks, homemade lemonades and shakes, an interesting variety of bakery and confectionary products.

Customer insight drives our innovation. For 110 years, ESAB has listened to metal fabricators to develop solutions that provide a distinct advantage. You can find the results in projects everywhere – in world-class football stadiums to award-winning airport terminals, all over the world. From consumables and equipment to automation and personal protection, ESAB offers a full line of welding and cutting products that get the job done. Contact us at esab.com.

News

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KGAL has purchased the “Eiffel Square Office Building” in Budapest, adding a prime asset in Hungary to its property portfolio. The purchase of the building from UK fund manager Europa Capital signals consistent expansion of the KGAL Group’s internationalisation strategy.

 

The seven-storey “Eiffel Square Office Building” overlooking Budapest’s historic Nyugati railway station designed by Gustave Eiffel is located in the heart of the city, at one of its most important transport hubs. The multi-tenant property was completed in 2010 and has received multiple awards such as the “CIJ’s Best Office Development Award” and the “FIABCI Prix d’Excellence runner up for Office Development Award worldwide”.

 

The fully leased building has an area of around 23,600m2 and includes 365 underground parking spaces and 20 office, retail and restaurant tenants. Alongside its location, the property’s key attributes include the high build quality and the flexible configurability of the rental areas, which have had an occupancy rate of over 95% for some years. The tenants are almost exclusively internationally established companies, the largest being Cetelem Bank (BNP Paribas) and the Dealogic financial platform.

 

Gert Waltenbauer, CEO of the KGAL Group, commented as follows on the acquisition: “In purchasing the Eiffel Square Office Building, KGAL is consistently expanding its pan-European real estate portfolio. The prime property in Budapest is a perfect fit for our targeted investments in prosperous locations in Central Europe.”

 

Source: KGAL Website

 

About KGAL GmbH & Co. KG:

 

KGAL GmbH & Co. KG, a German based asset- and investment manager, with registered offices in Grünwald near Munich (Germany) has been initiating and managing long-term real capital investments with sustainable and stable yields since 1968. The company’s portfolio of services comprises the design and management of funds for institutional investors. The quality of KGAL products in the main asset categories of real estate, aviation and infrastructure is based on the experience of its in-house experts.

 

As of December 31st 2015, the KGAL Group manages an investment volume of EUR 21.7 billion. KGAL currently manages capital for 99,000 investors (incl. multiple subscriptions) with equity investments in a total of 116 active limited partnership funds. Investors have entrusted EUR 7.3 billion in equity capital to KGAL for these funds. The KGAL Group has 337 employees (as of 31.12.2015).

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Zsiráf is the new home of great beer selection, fresh rhythms and a great place to leave behind all your problems and concentrate on relaxing. Swing by for a beer, a burger or have our place as your home office, we will welcome you with pleasue. Try our craft beer selection and almost 20 types of beer, play some table tennis, watch the EURO 2016 games or just feel the sunshine.

The latest open air pub in the city, where a 30m² display and several high quality beer guarantees that from now on Eiffel Square will be a good choice, if you want a memorable night.

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The owners of Eiffel Square Office Bulding, in cooperation with the ’Fel a fejjel!’ program of Gyermekétkeztetési Alapítvány (Up with your head! program of the Child Nutrition Fund) decided to support the everyday life of the Lencsés family for another 12 months, similar to the last 24 months. We hope, that we could contribute to the happiness of the family!

1400-m-leased-in-2014

1,400 m² of office and retail spaces have been leased in 2014 at Eiffel Square Office Building. Out of the total, only 60 m² is new lease agreement, the rest are expansions of existing tenants.

Eiffel Square office building is in the unique situation that since 2011 its occupancy level has been constantly above 90%. As a result, vacant space has only become available where an existing tenant has given back space or moved to another office building due to the necessity to expand. In fact, since 2011, all vacant areas have been leased by existing tenants expanding, with the exception of one small 60m² area occupied by Café Frei. This is also exceptional in the Budapest office market.

The most significant expansion was made by Medicover. They increased their space by more than 25% (540 m²), to occupy almost 2,000 m² out of the GLA 2,900 m² ground floor retail area. ESAB also enlarged its office area significantly with an additional 500 m² increasing to almost 2,200 m² office space. Givaudan expanded to 1,700 m², due to the latest 340 m² expansion. The ground floor retail area is now completed as Café Frei opened in September, offering several delicious coffee specialities from all over the world. Besides Frei Café, Cetelem Bank, Medicover, Tesco and Costa Coffee offer their services in the passage area of Eiffel Square Office Building.

The popularity of Eiffel Square is an outstanding success for ConvergenCE, the developer, asset and property manager of the building. Csaba Zeley, Director of Asset management believes that the strong interest is due to the excellent location, the quality services and the successful business operation of the Tenants.

Pihenjen a város közepén

HVG (Heti Világgazdaság – Weekly World Economics) was guided through Eiffel Square Office Building and Park by its property managers, ConvergenCE. The jurnalist’s experiences are written in the following article. (The article is in hungarian.)

Budapest közepén, mégis a városi nyüzsgéstől szeparáltan dolgozni valódi ritkaság, vagyis inkább luxus. A Nyugati pályaudvar mellett lévő Eiffel Tér Irodaház amellett, hogy modern és hangulatos ezeket az igényeket is maradéktalanul kielégíti. A napokban az ingatlan fejlesztői, vagyon és ingatlankezelői, a ConvergenCE vezettek körbe az impozáns épületen.

Sokak szerint a hosszan tartó munkába járással értékes órák vesznek kárba a napból. Erre több megoldást találhatunk: távmunka, esetleg a lakhelyünkhöz közel eső munkahelyet választunk, vagy abban a szerencsés helyzetben vagyunk, hogy irodánk könnyen, és gyorsan elérhető. Az Eiffel Tér Irodaház egyik legnagyobb előnye ez utóbbi, azaz hogy Budapest közepén van; metró, villamos és vonatállomások találkozásánál, így tömegközlekedéssel megközelíteni igen könnyű és gyors. Természetesen autóval (háromszintes mélygarázs tartozik az épülethez), de akár biciklivel (számos kerékpártároló van épületen belül és kívül) is érkezhetünk az épületbe.

A hosszú utazáshoz hasonlóan kellemetlen élmény, amikor az egyszeri dolgozó megérkezik egy szürke, lehangoló irodába, ahol a következő 8-10 óráját kell töltenie. Egészen más volt a helyzet az Eiffel Tér Irodaház esetében. Az irodaház előtti parkba lépve mintha egy fészekbe érkeztünk volna, amit a grandiózus Nyugati pályaudvar, illetve maga az irodaház ölel körbe – megóvva minket a város zajától. Erre a jellegzetes „nyugalom szigete” érzésre rájátszott, hogy körbenézve rengeteg zöldet, sőt a gondosan ápolt gyepen piknikező családokat, fiatalokat láttunk. Kedvet is kaptam hozzá, hogy egy kávéval kiüljek a fűbe, de hátra volt még, amiért valójában jöttem: az Eiffel Tér Irodaház.

Az épület tágas és meglepően világos előterében először a bérlők névsora fogadott: itt található többek között a Cetelem, az AXN, a Mastercard, a Medicover, vagy a Givaudan is. De az épület előtti passzázson van Tesco, Costa Cafe és Frei Cafe is – ez így elsőre nagyon illusztris lista, és fontos is az igényes szomszédság, de engem elsősorban nem ők, hanem a letisztult, modern környezet fogott meg. A fa borításnak, az igényes, gondosan válogatott bútorzatnak, valamint a növényeknek köszönhetően azonban itt nem az a rideg, fémes hangulat fogadott, ami jellemző a hasonló funkciójú épületekre. Mágneses kapun keresztül vezetett tovább utunk az épület belsejébe.

Az irodák szintén tágasak (akár 3.150 m2 egybefüggő irodaterület is kialakítható), és igazán bejárja őket a napfény – köszönhetően az üveg homlokzatnak. Ráadásul az ablakok nyithatóak, így közvetlenül is élvezhető a közpark atmoszférája. A legszebb kilátás viszont a meglepően zöld – még madáretető is van – tetőteraszról nyílik, ahonnan minden irányba szét lehet nézni a város felett.

Kifele menet még megtudtam kísérőmtől, Zeley Csabától, az irodaházat üzemeltető ConvergenCE, vagyonkezelési igazgatójától, hogy itt igen komolyan veszik a „zöld irodaház” minősítést. Nem csupán parkosítanak, de a hulladékot is szelektíven gyűjtik – sőt, a helyszínen tömörítik –, illetve környezetkímélő szereket használnak. A kerékpáros közlekedést támogatva, öltözős zuhanyzót is kialakítottak a mélygarázsban. Munkájuk sikerét pedig bizonyítja egyrészt az, hogy az Eiffel bérbeadottsága az átadás óta 95% felett van, másrészt számos szakmai díjat is megkaptak már (CiJ – legjobb irodafejlesztés, első hely, 2010; FIABCI Prix d’Excellence – nemzetközi második hely, legjobb irodafejlesztés, 2010).

Engem azonban nem csak ezek az elismerések fogtak meg, hanem amit az Eiffel Tér Irodaházban és környezetében tapasztaltam – a természet és a technológia tökéletes szimbiózisával találkoztam itt, a város közepén a Nyugati pályaudvar mellett.

Source: hvg.hu

medicover-expands-265x170

Medicover, the private international medical insurance company and clinic expanded its operations in the Eiffel Square office building for the third time since they first occupied the building in 2011. With the latest more than 500 m2 expansion, the largest private medical health clinic in Budapest now occupies almost 2,000 m2 of the GLA 23,500 m2 office building.

The extension of the Medicover space was project managed and fitted out by ConvergenCE which is also the asset and property manager of Eiffel Square. The total cost of the fit-out works was HUF 80 million. The project was delivered on time and on budget.

László Benedek, the Finance Director of Medicover said: “Eiffel Square is perfectly located for our Pest side clinic and the layout and flexibility of Eiffel Square has accommodated the continued expansion of our successful business. We also receive a high standard of service and management from the building owners and ConvergenCE.”

2010-07-06

Europa Capital LLP, on behalf of Europa Fund II, and ConvergenCE have concluded a significant new loan to refinance Eiffel Square in central Pest, with pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank. The EUR 33 million refinancing from pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank closed at the end of 2013.

Eiffel Square is considered to be one of the leading office investments in central Budapest, due to its excellent location, quality of construction and full occupancy. The blue-chip tenant line-up includes Cetelem Bank, Mastercard, Sony AXN, Medicover Health Care Center and Tesco. The leasing, property and asset management of Eiffel Square is undertaken by ConvergenCE, owned and run by Alan A. Vincent. ConvergenCE is Europa Capital’s local country partner.

The 23,500m2 building was developed by Europa Capital together with ConvergenCE and DVM in 2009 on land adjacent to the Gustave Eiffel designed Western Railway Station, Nyugati, on Teréz körút in central Pest. With excellent access to public and private transport networks, the office building also contains retail and restaurant units. The site also features a landscaped urban park, which has become a popular local attraction.

James Pennington, Senior Associate, Europa Capital added; “We are delighted to have concluded this new loan with pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank on Eiffel Square, based upon its sound property fundamentals. Having added significant value to the investment from leasing and management, we have now been able to return capital to our Fund Investors and joint-venture partners. This investment strategy is representative of Europa’s active asset management within its investments, working with ConvergenCE on the ground in Hungary and with its major banking relationships.”

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As a result of a successful and flexible cooperation during 2013, the owner of Eiffel Square Office Building decided to support the same needy family for another 12 months. The ‘Gyermekétkeztetési Alapítvány’ (Child Nutrition Foundation) is coordinating this charitable gesture under their program called ‘Fel a fejjel!’ (‘Up With Your Head’).

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A ConvergenCE közel 120 millió euró értékű ingatlan-portfóliót kezel Közép-Európában. Magyarországon az Eiffel Tér Irodaház a cégcsoport „zászlóshajója”. Fábri Gabriellával, a ConvergenCE ingatlankezelési igazgatójával beszélgettünk a property menedzsment-piac kihívásairól, a zöld irodaházak terjedéséről, a bérlők igényeiről, valamint az üzemeltetési költségek csökkentésének lehetőségeiről.

– Az épülő, illetve a már működő zöld irodaházak aránya elérte a 10 %-ot a teljes budapesti irodapiacon. Ez a tény milyen kihívások elé állítja az ingatlankezelési piacot?

– Az irodaházak zöld minősítése az ingatlankezelés területén is fenntartható, környezetkímélő megoldások alkalmazását követeli meg. A mindennapi munkában figyelemmel kell lennünk az alkalmazandó tisztítószerek, papíráruk összetételére, a közművek gazdaságos használatára, az új műszaki megoldások kiválasztásánál pedig a fenntarthatóság alapelveinek érvényesítésére. Továbbá az ingatlankezelés feladata és a bérlők igénye a zöld területek ápolása, vízkímélő locsolása, lehetséges bővítése. A szelektív hulladékkezelés ma már nemcsak a környezetkímélés, de a gazdaságos üzemeltetés eszköze is. A ConvergenCE zöld ingatlankezelése az Eiffel Tér irodaházban megfelel az épület nemzetközi bérlőinek ISO és zöld iroda minősítési kritériumainak is.

– Bár a 10 %-os arány jelentősnek mondható, mégsem éri még el azt a kritikus tömeget, hogy a zöld irodaházak alapvető hatást gyakorolhatnának a bérleti díjakra. Mikor várható, hogy a fenntartható épületek meghatározzák az irodapiacot?

– A folyamat lassú, hiszen az egész ingatlanpiac lelassult. Ma már szinte hihetetlen, de volt olyan év korábban, amikor 100.000 m2 fölött volt az átadott új irodaházak területe. Ugyanakkor azt látjuk, hogy az a kevés, óvatos fejlesztés, amely megjelent Budapesten, már szinte kivétel nélkül a zöld minősítést célozta meg, és ez jó fogadtatást talált több nemzetközi bérlőnél.

– A fenntarthatóság előtérbe kerülésével a nem környezettudatos irodaházak értéke hogyan változik? Egyáltalán a mai nyomott piacon mi határozza meg az ingatlan értékét?

– A jelen piaci helyzetben fokozottabban előtérbe került az irodaházak elhelyezkedése, mint értékmeghatározó tényező. A rossz helyen lévő, nehezen megközelíthető épületek értéke jelentősen csökkent, aminek oka a bérbeadhatóságuk csökkenése. A jó helyen lévő, jól látható, tömegközlekedéssel jól elérhető épületek azok, ahol van esély a bérbeadásra, a bérleti díjak fenntartására és az épület értékének megőrzésére, amennyiben a szükséges műszaki fejlesztéseket elvégzik.

– A régebbi irodaházak hogyan képesek tartani a lépést a fenntartható irodaházakkal?

– A régebbi irodaházak esetében elsődlegesen nem a magas minőség, hanem legtöbb esetben az alacsonyabb bérleti díj a meggyőzés eszköze. Természetesen vannak olyan régebbi irodaházak, melyek jó elhelyezkedésük és kedvező építészeti kialakításuknak köszönhetően alkalmasak arra, hogy felvegyék a versenyt az új épületekkel, ezért gépészeti és elektromos rendszereiket fejlesszék, alkalmassá tegyék a kor követelményeinek. Ez az előrelátó és hosszú távú szemlélet beruházási készséget követel meg az épület tulajdonosától, amivel viszont biztosítja az épület gazdaságos és nívós működését, értékállóságát.

– A üzemeltetési költségek tekintetében mekkora megtakarítás érhető el egy fenntartható épületben egy hagyományos ingatlanhoz képest? Illetve egyáltalán a zöld minősítési rendszerek hogyan hatnak az üzemeltetési díjakra és az adott ingatlan értékére?

– Az üzemeletetési költség meghatározó részét képezik a közművek, elsősorban az elektromos áram, amit jelentősen befolyásol az alkalmazott gépészeti és világító rendszerek fogyasztása. Innovatív megoldásokkal, energiatakarékos rendszerekkel és programozással jelentősen csökkenthető az üzemeltetési költség, amihez az áramdíj sikeres tenderezése is hozzájárul. A hagyományos épületek esetén is kínálkoznak költségkímélő megoldások, melyek alkalmazása előnyös lehet, és nem feltétlenül igényelnek nagyberuházást. A zöld minősítés önmagában bár pozitív üzenettel rendelkezik, nem jelenti az üzemeltetési díjak csökkenését. Ehhez meg kell találni és alkalmazni kell azokat az innovatív megoldásokat, melyek már rendelkezésre állnak, de alkalmazásuk nem képezte a hagyományos üzemeltetés részét. Amennyiben az üzemeltetés költségek csökkentése elérhető, az növeli az ingatlan értékét, hiszen a bérlő vagy ennek köszönhetően fogadja el a bérleti díjat, vagy pozitív helyzetben még magasabb bérleti díjra is hajlandó.

2013-09-05

It’s been nearly a tradition- as this was the fourth- that the ‘DBH’ (Drinks Before Home) is organized under the coordination of ConvergenCE at nU bisztró & l’bor in Eiffel Square. At this time the occasion was sponsored by the newly designed Margit Palace (www.margitpalace.com) and Terrapark Next (www.terraparknext.com) office buildings, which are owned by JP Morgan and asset managed by ConvergenCE.

The first ’Drinks Before Home’ was organized by the Construction & Investment Journal (‘CIJ’) 7 years ago to provide an informal venue for real estate professionals working in Central & Eastern Europe. Due to the sunny, late summer weather conditions a fair number of professionals attended to the event. Similar to the previous ‘DBH’-s coordinated by ConvergenCE, the guests had a very pleasant and relaxed evening together.

2013-04-03

With real estate investment transactions for 2012 totaling only €120 million and new supply of commercial real estate 75% or more down on historic levels for 2013 and 2014, it is clear that not only has there been a dramatic and necessary response to the oversupply of commercial space but that the availability of domestic bank debt financing is extremely limited.

It would be easy to blame the lack of bank financing on the bank tax and political tensions between the government and foreign owned banks. However, the primary cause of the lack of bank financing to real estate is due to the foreign owned banks illiquidity, exacerbated by the increased capital adequacy requirements of Basle III. As in the early 1990’s recession, it is their natural tendency to withdraw funds from peripheral markets such as Hungary to protect the health and security of their home country core markets.
Clearly also, the large portfolios of repossessed properties which the local banks have accumulated has not only caused them to view real estate financing as high risk but has consumed the time and resources of all of their in house real estate personnel for the last three years.

These causes resulted in a total lack of bank financing for real estate from local banks in 2011, but there were some signs of a trickle of funds coming back into the market by the end of the year. Two international banks were able (after approvals processes of up to 12 months) to provide financing to two large pre-leased office development last year. Of course, the interest rate margin terms are two to three times higher and the ancillary costs of this new debt are at least double what they were five years ago, on top of a maximum of 70% leverage.

So does this trickle of new debt constitute the “green shoots” of a recovery in bank debt financing? Sadly not, in my opinion. The first problem is that very little of the banks repossessed properties have been released to the market at anywhere near realistic pricing levels. With sympathy for the banks reluctance to acknowledge and write down their losses, nevertheless the resulting lack of re-pricing of real estate assets in the market will stall any true recovery indefinitely. However, as the banks are no doubt discovering, the costs of holding these properties will, after two or three more years, exceed the potential loss write down they should ideally have faced between 2010 and 2012. It is only a matter of time therefore, before the banks will be forced to market repossessed stock and take the necessary write downs.

In the meantime, therefore, is the outlook for real estate financing in 2013 completely negative? It does not need to be! Traditionally in mature real estate markets, the lack of bank financing or the high cost of what little is available, creates opportunities for other sources. As mentioned above, the tendency of foreign owned banks to protect their home markets causes a strong argument for expansion of a more local banking market. This is an opportunity which has been identified by the likes of Granit Bank (although they are not yet providing real estate financing). We can also consider sources of private equity and mezzanine financing due to a reduction in the margin between their relative interest rates and costs compared to banks. However, their resources tend to be limited. Where to look then for large sources of alternative debt financing?

Not for nothing has the institutional investment market in the UK and Germany been dominated by insurance companies and pension funds for decades. Typically, such institutions have provided funding, either on a forward purchase basis for developments, or through their diverse fund businesses, to investors of built and let real estate, especially in the prime sector. Generally speaking, they have stepped into the market at exactly times like these, at the bottom of the value cycle, when the perceived and actual risks of value loss for their more conservative clients are limited.

In Hungary so far, this is a sector has largely failed to materialize. The reason is that it has been inhibited by past, well intentioned risk averse government regulation, which limited the extent of funds allowed to be allocated by insurance companies into real estate investments. In the continued absence of bank debt financing for real estate, therefore, it would be well worth the time of a government which wishes to revive this sector (with its large and direct impact on construction sector employment), to reconsider outdated statutory limitations on alternative sources of real estate financing. I would go further and say that positive encouragement through tax breaks and similar incentives, to investment in real estate by insurance companies and pension funds, would not only benefit the sector and the economy in general but also the long term investment returns of these institutions.

2013-01-15

The Christmas season is a time of trial and tribulation for those families who are struggling day by day to make their living. For most of these families, not only the Christmas presents are just a dream, but also their Christmas meals. They need help and support through the whole year, but especially in these days, when a small donation means enormous pleasure for them! For this good purpose, Europa Fund II, the owner of Eiffel Square Office Building, decided to spend the amount of this years’ Christmas gifts on supporting an indigent family. In the frame of the ‘Cheer Up!’ program of the ‘Foundation for Children’s Feeding’ the family was selected, who will be supported month by month, for over a year as a result of this decision. We are delighted that we could bring joy to the Christmas season and to the everyday lives of these families!

2012-12-20

The Hungarian Red Cross organized for the fourth time a voluntary blood donation in Eiffel Square office building on 19th December 2012.

The slogan of this event was “Give the chance of recovery for Christmas. Save the Life of 3 People by your blood donation.”

We could improve our good results providing 75 blood units.

Together with the Hungarian Red Cross, we would like to thank all those who voluntarily participated in this life-saving event for their kindness and generosity.

We would also like to thank our kind sponsors who supported this event; Telenor, Costa Café, Speciality Bocado, Tesco, ConvergenCE – tenants of Eiffel Square and Maids.

2012-11-11

When vacancy rates for most real estate sectors remain stubbornly high and the prospects of oversupply continuing for years to come present a gloomy outlook for owners of all except the best property, what can be done?
Many building owners seem to hope for the best as far as keeping existing tenants is concerned and trust in the real estate brokers in the local market to bring them tenants when others leave. It seems that surprisingly few take proactive steps to avoid finding themselves in this situation, and fewer still understand the nature of the local broking market. Some do not consider retaining an asset manager, or those who have professional asset managers in-house, or as advisers, are most often based in London, Warsaw or Vienna. Others think that having good, efficient property and facility managers should be sufficient.
The first misconception building owners need to face is that Budapest is a brokers market and a broker makes money on turnover. No broker is therefore incentivized to help building owners keep tenants in a building, unless the fees the owner is prepared to pay are equal to, or greater than, the fees they would receive for taking the tenants elsewhere. One would think that this is obvious, but it is often a point which is not understood by owners coming from markets such as the UK and Ireland, where the brokers are normally part of a full service consultancy organization where a longer term outlook is taken, diverse services are packaged and provided by the same real estate consultancies and client loyalty puts a brake on the broker mentality.
Secondly, rents levels for all commercial sectors of real estate in Hungary have now reached such low levels, that simply offering a lower rent or other financial incentives hardly has the effect it would have done five years ago. The incentive rent level below competitors rent levels is now marginal. Indeed, reducing quoting rents and service charges has led some building owners into situations where they simply cannot provide any meaningful level of service to their tenants. Even inexperienced tenants sense this when searching for occupational property and I would maintain that the effect has almost become counter-productive for some buildings.
So what can be done? Every building owner needs to take a hard look at the placement of its building in the market, the benefits it offers to its tenants and its future competitiveness. This is a necessity, as the alternative of simply selling the asset (as was typically the case between 1989 and 2007) is no longer a possibility, unless the owner wishes to take a large loss. Very often, an objective view can only be provided by an external expert who understands the peculiarities of the local real estate market.
Location and quality are obvious enough, but what about an objective assessment of how competitive the building is in terms of its amenities, the true level of its property and facility management services and costs, its utility costs and how the building physically meets current and future demand trends? For example, the majority of recent new large office leases in Budapest have been to international service center tenants. Their requirement for large, efficient deep space capable of high occupational density, flexible technical solutions and low add on costs simply cannot be provided by many office buildings constructed in the 1990s.
Assuming you are fortunate enough to own a building which can still be fundamentally competitive in terms of location and physical structure (following internal reorganization and renovation if necessary), how can a local asset manager assist you further?
Quite apart from being able to act on behalf of the owner in managing the essential property and facility management services necessary in any building, to a competitive level (which requires knowledge of the respective levels provided by your competition) there are two key areas.
The first, a strategic overview applied to buildings and portfolios based on local knowledge and experience, we have already touched on. Translating this advice into action which protects your buildings and tenants is the next step. This is proactive asset management at the level of lease restructuring and renewals which we began back in 2007 on behalf of our clients. Yes, we had to accept concessions and some drops in income, but five years later, almost all of these tenants are still in occupation in our client’s buildings. This was a course of action which many building owners either did not contemplate, or if they did, it was a case of “too little, too late”.
What if the building was already substantially vacant, you may ask? Well, this presented a more challenging problem. If the building requires capital expenditure to become competitive, it is often not available, as neither owner (whose original 20% equity is often now worth nothing), nor debt providing bank are prepared to provide it. In the case of the banks, this is a critical error arising from the fact that financial analysts cannot justify additional capex, due to a lack of knowledge about the details of real estate and therefore the prospects of its return. Unlike paper financial instruments, real estate is not a homogenous product which can be easily priced. Many real estate assets have ended up in liquidation, forcing a write down of 50% or more of loan value, for want of a 10% (of value) capital injection as a result. For this reason, I would suggest that banks as “building owners” via debt can also benefit from specialist real estate asset management advice!
The second key area comes down to relationships and understanding the local business environment. Budapest can now been seen as a reasonably mature real estate market. It has experienced two boom and bust cycles since 1989 and 90% of the tenants in the market have been here for some time. How then to attract and keep these clients (and note that they are clients, not just rent payers as some buildings would treat them)?
I would say that it is essential for any building owner not only to know who they are (directly or through brokers), but to know their decisions makers personally and to understand what drives their businesses. For example, service centers are far more sensitive to availability of public transport and local amenities due to the competition with other service centers for their personnel, than they necessarily are to rent and service charge levels. Logistic companies are not only sensitive to location and amenities but also to on park services and lease length, which is driven by their clients, and so on. This is not a level of relationship and understanding typically provided by a broker, but rather by an organization which is driven by a much more long term view and non-conflicting client loyalty.
So, if you are a distressed building owner, you should ask yourself; „Do I have a local representative who I trust to pursue my best interests to a level which I myself would seek to attain if I had the necessary local experience, knowledge and contacts?” If the answer is „No”, then a reappraisal of your building or portfolio and your local advice is overdue!

2011-07-29

It seems that there is no summer holiday season in Eiffel Square Office Building. Medicover Zrt decided to sign a long-term lease agreement, and thereby significantly expand its capacity to provide private healthcare services to its Budapest customers. The new Medicover clinic will open on January 1, 2012.
Eiffel Square, developed by Europa Capital and its exclusive local partner, ConvergenCE, was completed in the second half of 2010 and only a year later reaching 90% occupancy. The building won the CIJ’s Best Office Development Award in 2010 in Hungary and won best runner up in the Best Office Development category in the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards in 2011.
Through a long and exhaustive process Medicover chose Eiffel Square in July 2011 to relocate from West End Business Centre and not only to modernise but also to more than double the size and capacity of this clinic. In this modern, state of the art facility, Medicover also plans to offer new services.
Peter Grossmann, the Chief Executive Officer of Medicover Zrt commented: “After the establishment of our own insurance company, the continuous growth of our corporate and individual client base and the expansion of our network in the major cities of the countryside, the next logical step was to further expand our capacity in Budapest. Medicover in Budapest is now present at Infopark, at the Szepvolgyi Business Park and soon at Eiffel square as well. Besides increasing our capacity to provide private healthcare services in Budapest, we also plan to offer several new services in this clinic. With this expansion, on the one hand we follow the demand of our increasing customer base and on the other hand we set standards and thereby strengthen our market leader position.”
Csaba Zeley, the Asset Management Director of ConvergenCE added: „We are delighted to welcome the market leader Medicover and to increase Eiffel Square’s amenities with such a high quality private medical service. We are proud to announce that even during these challenging times we were able to hit the “magic” 90% occupancy rate within such a short time after completion.” “I can also confirm that we do not consider that market conditions are right for a sale of Eiffel Square. Instead we will shortly be re-financing the building.” – he added.
Medicover joins such well-known international companies in Eiffel Square as Cetelem Bank, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Givaudan, Grundfos, Mastercard Europe and ESAB.

2011-07-01

Eiffel Square, Budapest wins best runner up in the Best Office Development category in the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards
Eiffel Square, a 23,500 sq. metre office development in the Central Business District of Budapest developed by Europa Capital and its exclusive local partner, CovergenCE, is one of the outstanding office developments in Hungary and combines a first class building with immediate access to the city’s transport network within the establishment new of a peaceful and green city park.
Europa Capital and ConvergenCE are delighted with the news that their flagship development in Budapest was awarded the prize of runner up in the Best Office Development category worldwide, and the best office development in Europe, by the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards and presented in Cyprus on 19 May 2011 by the FIABCI Award Committee to the project manager, Attila Kovacs of DVM Design. This award follows on from that of the CIJ’s Best Office Development Award 2010 in Hungary.
Simon Hooper, Partner at Europa Capital, commented: “We are delighted with all the awards that this unique project has received in the past months, which reward the exceptional efforts of the development team.”
Alan A. Vincent of ConvergenCE added: ” The FIABCI award proves that we have achieved our initial aim with Eiffel Square, which was to develop to an extraordinary landmark project in downtown Budapest.”

The centrally located development next to the famous West Railway Station designed by Gustave Eiffel was finished in Q2 of 2010. The office project is one of the most successful developments in recent years, having reached almost 90% letting status within less than one year of completion. Both the public square and the office development are highly appreciated by the inhabitants of the capital city of Budapest. Internationally well-known tenants, such as Sony AXN, Grundfos, Master Card, Cetelem of BNP Paribas and Givaudan have appreciated the location and the quality of the Eiffel Square Office Building Development.
“FIABCI” is the French acronym for “Confédération Internationale des Administrateurs de Biens Immobilier” or the International Real Estate Federation. It was founded in Paris, France in 1948. Currently operated in 60 countries, comprising 3,500 individual members, 20 academic members and 120 professional organizations. FIABCI is represented in the international bodies of the United Nations and the European Union. The FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards recognizes the project that embodies excellence in all real estate disciplines involved in its creation. It is judged in two tiers, first by judges and then by an Oversight Panel that comprising of experienced real estate professionals and experts from all over the world.
Further information is available under www.fiabciprix.com

2010-12-08

Landmark Success – 7,000 sq m office space leased in November at Eiffel Square which was voted the “Best Office Development of 2010″ at the CiJ Awards last week.
Only eight months after opening its doors to the first tenants, ConvergenCE managed to lease more than 70% of Eiffel Square Office Building in the heart of Budapest next to the Nyugati Railway Station.
Four major leases were concluded in November 2010, which all are significantly larger than the current average transactions on the Budapest office market. Magyar Cetelem Bank signed for more than 3,500 square meters, while Agoda International, Asia’s leading and fastest growing online hotel reservation service leases 1,200 square meters. M&C Energy Group, a UK based energy management company signed a lease agreement for more than 1,000 square meters of office space. Grundfos Financial Shared Services not just signed, but already moved into their brand new, 1,500 square meter headquarters.
The street level retail units, such as Costa Coffee, Tesco Express, Pharmacy, BioBolt, Drycleaners 5áSec and the two in-house restaurants, Mix and U26 were all considered as true in house convenience amenities by these new tenants when making their decision to choose Eiffel Square.
Commenting on the current state of exceptional progress of the scheme, Alan A. Vincent, Managing Director of developer ConvergenCE stated: “Eiffel Square has become recognised as the premier new office development downtown. I believe that Eiffel Square is a perfect example that excellent location and high quality product can be successful even in the current market.”
Eiffel Square can still accommodate tenants from 300 m² to 3,000 m².
The majority investor in the development is Europa Fund II. The developers are ConvergenCE and DVM Group and the architect is Antal Fekete of Finta Studio.

2010-10-06

Budapest, 16 September 2010
Her Excellency Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, US Ambassador to Hungary today officially opened the Eiffel Square Park & Restaurants complex located at one of Budapest’s most important transport nodes, adjacent to the Nyugati (West) railway terminus.
The “Eiffel Square Office Centre”, which has being constructed in a joint development by ConvergenCE and the DVM Group, is complete and letting up well.
With today’s opening of the MIX Restaurant, Bar and Nightclub, the restaurants are complete, together with the U26 restaurant. The Park has been open during the summer and has already become the favourite public space of many local residents providing an oasis of calm with its landscaped gardens and water features, in the middle of the downtown. It hosted a large downtown venue for the World Cup with a huge LCD screen in the park. The developers who remain responsible or the management and maintenance of the park plan to install a skating rink in the winter in order to provide a year round recreation venue.
The majority investor in the Eiffel Square development, which has a total value of EUR 40 million, is the Europa Fund II real estate fund.
Alan Vincent, CEO of ConvergenCE said: “Our objective was to turn a derelict piece of railway land into a new amenity for both the office building and the City. We are pleased and proud to have reached our objective.”
“We are also proud to have contributed to a huge improvement in the immediate environment of the Nyugati Railway station. The perspective of this beautiful monument building from the new Eiffel Square is one which resident of Budapest were not in the past able to appreciate.” said Attila Kovács, CEO of the DVM Group.
The existing railway terminus building was designed by the Gustave Eiffel architect studio in the romantic style and built between 1874 and 1877.
The Eiffel Square office building has become recognised as the premier new office development in the downtown of Budapest. Since opening in March it has already leased up to over 50% occupancy with tenants including: Sony Pictures / AXN, Hays Recruitment, Tesco, Costa Coffee, Grundfos, Iberdrola, Bi-Med, DJuice and AES Tiszai Erőmű.

2010-07-06

Eiffel Square Office Building and Park in the heart of Budapest next to the West Railway Station, has opened its doors with six prestigious new office tenants. HAYS Recruitment will start their operations in August. SONY AXN, ESAB, AES Hungary, Eiffel Medical Centre and DJuice new headquarters are already in operation.
At street level, the long awaited Costa Coffee flagship is setting a new standard with its plush first floor lounge and WiFi service. Tesco Express, the BioBolt health goods store, the newly opened Eiffel Pharma pharmacy and the carwash provides the occupants and visitors of Eiffel Square with true in house convenience store amenities. In addition, the DJuice U26 and “Mix” restaurant, cocktail bar and event centre on the Square will shortly be fully operational. The developers, ConvergenCE / DVM Group expect to round off the convenience for office occupiers of Eiffel Square with a laundry and other services.
Commenting on the current state of progress of the scheme, Alan A. Vincent, Managing Director of developer ConvergenCE stated: “Eiffel Square is the next step up in terms of city centre offices in Budapest. Tenants are recognising not only its excellent location and quality but also its unique micro environment of the tranquil Park and the convenience of having restaurants and all the daily necessities for office workers in-house. The project is now 50% leased and strong interest is being shown for the remaining office space in the building.”
Eiffel Square can still accommodate tenants from 300 m² to 14,000 m². While not making a big deal about its green credentials, Eiffel Square is aiming for a LEED certification and benefits from bike storage, washrooms and a number of “green” initiatives including extensive green roofing. Internally, the design aims to provide a clean contemporary image with the use of the high quality recycled materials in reception areas, lift lobbies and office spaces.

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