Although active since 1991, IULIUS has been present on the real estate market under this name as of the year 2000, when it launched the first shopping centre outside of the Capital. Ever since, the company executed the most ambitious urban regeneration projects, which have become anchors for their communities and development resources for cities like Iași, Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca, and Suceava.
How can the impact of IULIUS projects on the community be transposed into numbers? We are talking about investments upwards of one billion Euros in Romania, of which approximately 750 million represent the two extensive mixed-use urban revitalisation projects – Palas Iași and Iulius Town Timișoara.
On the retail segment, where it initially operated, IULIUS has developed more than 300,000 sqm of shopping spaces in the last 20 years, drawing in more than 1,000 international brands, national manufacturers, and entertainment concepts.
Designed following mixed-use concepts, the IULIUS projects are already landmarks in the office space segment as well via the United Business Center brand. With a portfolio including 13 green buildings and more than 152,000 sqm, it helped attract prestigious companies in three major Romanian cities – Iași, Timișoara, and Cluj-Napoca. Beyond the premium office spaces, United Business Center has come to represent a powerful community with over 80 head-offices and more than 15,000 employees. Moreover, the IULIUS projects are the equivalent of more than 20.000 jobs, including the other uses as well. “Projects that provide new development perspectives and which convert underdeveloped areas of a city into attraction poles – this is what the IULIUS portfolio offers as early as 2012, when the first Romanian mixed-use complex was opened in Iași. With an investment upwards of 310 million Euros, Palas Iași has offered a revitalisation model combining retail, office, and entertainment uses centred around a public garden, thus providing a destination for the community at large. Nowadays, the project is synonymous with the regional business centre, the main shopping and leisure destination, but also the location of choice for socialising and cultural events. Palas is now the financial and social heart of the city and of the entire region”, remarked Raluca Munteanu, Business Development Manager at IULIUS.
The mixed-use urban regeneration model was replicated in Timișoara, where Iulius Town was launched last summer, marking the biggest real estate investment upwards of 442 million Euros committed by IULIUS in partnership with Atterbury Europe. The shopping centre operating in the west of Romania since 2005 was supplemented with office facilities, new retail and entertainment concepts, but also with investments in connectivity and modernizing the infrastructure, which included creating a traffic underpass. “Developed in an area with a rich industrial heritage, Iulius Town now represents the business district of the region, but also a vibrant social space. It is a landmark in terms of how projects of such magnitude fit in harmoniously with the town and can work together for the benefit of the community”, added Raluca Munteanu.
The IULIUS Gardens, a natural beauty
The IULIUS projects stand out not only by integrating multiple functions, thus generating value by combining premium office spaces with retail and leisure areas, but also by paying special attention to the green spaces. The gardens represent the focal point of mixed-use development concepts, the spectacular and colourful feature that attracts clients and builds their loyalty.
The group has invested large sums of money – more than 15 million Euros – in the Palas Iași, Iulius Town Timișoara, and Iulius Mall Cluj parks, which were designed by famous landscaping architects from Italy, Germany, and Romania. „The IULIUS Projects are sustainable concepts that transcend their functional role and fit in with the identity of the communities they are a part of. These are the only projects that integrate large scale parks, bringing nature into the heart of the cities and amongst people. Aside from the green feature inserted in the centre of the projects and their beauty, these are perfect spaces designed for social interaction, but also provide the stage for the most important artistic events. They provide one more reason for spending time out in the open, combining the pleasure of going shopping, working at the office or completing daily tasks with the opportunity of relaxing on the grass amongst the trees. These green spaces have a functional role as well, namely that of providing a nature-based connection to the city and dispelling the feeling of stepping into an enclosed space”, added the IULIUS Business Development Manager.
Projects Open to the Public and the City
Another element that sets the IULIUS projects apart refers to the integrated sustainable concepts, which include investments in connectivity and modernization solutions for the road and pedestrian infrastructure. The purpose is to bring the project closer to the city and its people. For example, the development of the Palas project also added another street on the city map, one that crosses the complex, but also the biggest underground parking facility in the country, comprising 2,700 parking spaces. It is a 73 million Euros investment which not only serves the project in the city centre, but also the public at large.
Recently, concurrent with the development of Iulius Town Timișoara, a traffic underpass was built; the new feature cuts across the complex and makes traffic a lot easier in the area. For its execution and for the widening and upgrade of nearby streets, but also for a public utility building spanning on 1,100 sqm, all donated to the City, IULIUS invested 13 million Euros. Iulius Town also comprises approximately 4,000 underground and multilevel parking facilities, for which 40 million Euros were allotted. „The projects are designed to also be in line with the principles of ‘walkable cities’ and to cater to a durable and sustainable development. That is why we provide large spaces for pedestrians, along with connections to the city via alleys and green spaces. Moreover, certain facilities are designed for the purpose of encouraging the use of alternative transportation, such as the showers and locker rooms set up in the office buildings and parking spaces specially designed for cyclists”, say the IULIUS representatives.
Palas Campus – the Biggest Investment in an Ongoing Urban Regeneration Project
IULIUS continues to develop mixed-use projects despite the current economic and social context. The works for the Palas Campus in Iași are well underway. We are talking about an investment that surpasses 120 million Euros, which will deliver 60,000 sqm of office spaces on the market. Although this all refers to one building, the largest in terms of total area on the office segment in the country, this is an integrated mixed-use urban regeneration project, now the specialty of IULIUS company. The investment will be completed in 2022, generating 1,700-plus jobs during the construction period and more than 5,000 after its completion.
This project is also loyal to the principle of urban mobility, as it entails the setting up of a new roadway and the widening of another five adjacent streets, as well as generous parking spaces, a public transit station, and bicycle lanes. In total, these add up to an investment of 35 million Euros. More importantly, Palas Campus will give back to the community and the city an area that is insufficiently capitalized despite its central location.