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Bucharest – skyline transformation 2025: Anchor Grup, a developer of communities

„I would say we are ready and steady for the new business decade. Our experienced and dedicated team has had the biggest role in this period, but also the value of international experience of our holding has been critical. Yes, we are going through times full of uncertainty, but that won’t stop us from doing what we have been doing so far – innovating and changing the urban landscape of the capital for the better” – Affan Yıldırım, General Manager and Board Member at Anchor Grup SA.

Published in an exclusive, investment destination – oriented, market tour: “Bucharest – the skyline transformation by 2025” – Read: here

After the recent evolutions, what strategic strengths define the market status of Anchor Grup Romania, how will the current developments position the company for the new business decade?

Given the long history of the company – over two decades on the market, we have faced several challenges, from the transition period to the 2009 financial one, and we have accumulated the know-how necessary to ensure Anchor Grup’s stability in difficult times. That is not to say we have not been affected by the imposed limitations on the shopping malls’ activity (which affected, in turn, our tenants and we made provisions for them to cope with this period as well as possible) or by the new work from home pattern, which, in turn, affected the activity in office buildings,  generally.

However, the fact that we managed to attract new retailers and renew important lease agreements with the existing partners in our shopping centers and office buildings, and also to register a high volume of residential sales within this period, given the increased appetite of potential customers, but also as a result of the good reputation we have built on the market, I would say we managed to mitigate the challenges of these difficult times. Our not-so-secret recipe has been sustainable growth and that is the strong rock we have built our company upon and we are counting on this strength during this unprecedented situation. So, yes, I would say we are ready and steady for the new business decade.

I have to mention that our experienced and dedicated team has had the biggest role in this period, but also the value of international experience of our holding has been critical. Relying on the data and experience shared with us by our colleagues from the mall management team in China (our holding owns and manages a modern shopping mall in Shenyang/China), we have had an advance of 3-4 months for analyzing and preparing ourselves to manage the impact of the pandemic, before COVID-19 crisis hit Romania, such offering us a big advantage.

How would you characterize the impact and transformations determined in the capital and its submarkets by the projects of Anchor Grup Romania? What is next, what should we expect from Anchor in Romania?

The recorded achievements of Anchor Grup contain many premieres when it comes to the local market. We developed Bucureşti Mall-Vitan, the first modern shopping center in Romania, which has become an urban landmark. Romanians watched the first 3D movie in Movieplex Cinema, our cinema from Plaza România.

Another huge project was the refurbishment of both malls while keeping them functional. So, I would characterize Anchor Grup’s impact as important. Nowadays, our priority continues to be the health of our employees, tenants and customers and using our global experience, we will keep working to improve the safety and health measures in the following period. We are seeing it as our first obligation in the market. Beside this, as we all know, the diversity of customers’ needs, and preferences is permanently evolving. In our shopping malls, office buildings and new residential projects, we will adapt to these shifting trends. Yes, we are going through times full of uncertainty, but that won’t stop us from doing what we have been doing so far – innovating and changing the urban landscape of the capital for the better.

Which are the most important technical specifications / features, innovations, facilities and technologies introduced for future proofed buildings?

To simplify this complex question, since future-proofing is a broad term that can refer not only to buildings and infrastructure but also to communities, cities and countries. I think people will expect more and more from buildings, in general, (starting with the residential developments and continuing with retail and office projects) and from their vicinity, in particular.

This pandemic has drastically limited our range of movement, so I think the “winners” of these difficult times are mixed-use projects, that combine residential, retail and office or different projects which are complementary to each other due to proximity.  As for features and innovations, reducing future energy consumption, or finding alternative sources of energy, employing AI in the management of buildings, increasing their sustainable-augmenting elements might be something developers can look for. We should not forget that aspects like privacy, noise pollution, light pollution, air quality, are now considered acceptable, might- in the future- be perceived as problematic.

Facing the challenges raised by new regulations, technologies, patterns of work, economic models, which elements define in your opinion future business & lifestyle districts? How is the ideal city envisioned by Anchor? How do you assess the role of Bucharest in the region?

I will answer your second question with a very well-known quote among architects’: “A building lived in, is a building loved, is a building lasting“. One of the lessons taught during this period is that is not optional, but mandatory to love the buildings in which we live (foremost) and work. On one hand, you have customers that have become more and more sophisticated and who are now looking to buy flats and houses with bigger surfaces than before. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of developers to revitalize and make sure that buyers have access to the flats they target, including sustainability projects, AI solutions, etc.

Home has become the center of our life in 2020 and professionals in the real estate field cannot ignore this significant change; they definitely have to keep up with it.  I don’t believe ideal cities exist – they are moving organisms, constantly changing and adapting. However, given that speed, a clear line between business and lifestyle districts is hard to draw, as they are constantly mixing. I am a fan of that tendency and I think that a hub like Bucharest is the perfect advertisement for it.


Which are the objectives of the management team, and the planned programs for the business environment and the community in 2021-2022?

In 2020, we focused on business continuity, which quickly became the most obvious objective for an overwhelming number of companies in Romania. Starting with 2021, we will prioritize a steady return to the sustainable growth of all of Anchor Grup’s business lines – retail, office, residential – one that has been our trademark in the last two decades and that prepared us to face these times full of uncertainty at our highest capacity. We are preparing for new real estate projects.

Our social commitment is an important value for our company and our ongoing projects such as promoting and supporting Romanian designers and artists, organizing cultural events and educational workshops on ecological, health and safety themes, etc. speak for themselves. We plan to take these initiatives even further, as Anchor Grup is a developer of communities.

Published in an exclusive, investment destination – oriented, market tour: “Bucharest – the skyline transformation by 2025” – Read: here

Content partners:

Concept Structure | KONE | Rustler | Atenor

With the support of:

SkyTower |  Immofinanz | Speedwell | Brisk

EMS Floor | RC Europe | NIRO Group | Liziera de lac

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