First day of HOF Awards & Forum 2020 features flexible offices and Development Awards
The first day of the HOF Awards & Forum convened online on May 26, with a webinar that began with a discussion of the new role and importance of flexible office space solutions in the era of the coronavirus pandemic. The event took place online since it was the only practical way in today's environment to bring together forum speakers and award winners from locations as diverse as Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia. Just as companies around the globe have been figuring out how to make their businesses work by putting existing online technologies to the test, the day's discussions and presentations worked smoothly.
The speakers at the Office Panel discussion were Alexandra Tomášková, Executive Vice President Operations CZ & HU (Skanska Property), Michael Smithing, Chief Development Officer (New Work Offices), Mihai Paduroiu, CEO Office Division (One United Properties), and William Bucknell, Managing Director, (Flow East). Much is yet unknown about the region's economic prospects, of course, but what became clear during the discussion is that if the demand for flexible office space and leases was growing before the pandemic, the trend is sure to continue growing with greater intensity. This is quickly becoming an issue that developers will have to resolve as they plan their buildings, and their lease structures in order to be attractive to both tenants and investors.
Following the panel discussion, it was time to hand out the first 10 prizes for the HOF Awards 2020, with this group focused on Developments. As is the protocol for the HOF Awards, the nomination were taken from the winners of each category of each of the country awards, meaning that the Best Residential Development featured projects from Romania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary. It was from the last of these countries that the winning project BudaPart was nominated by its developer Property Market. In this year's second residential category, Best Luxury Residential Development, the prize was won by Foksal 13/15 by Ghelamco, a developer more often heralded for its achievements in Poland's office market.
The Best Warehouse Development for this year's awards from the CEE region was the highly impressive BTS Fulfillment Center for Amazon by Panattoni. There were two categories in the office section this year, including Best Office Development, which Penta Real Estate won with its Churchill / Deloitte project in Prague, followed by the Best Regional Office Development which was claimed by ISHO Offices Phase II and its sponsor Mulberry Development.
In the retail categories, Best Retail Mall Development was won by EPP and its Galeria Młociny, while the Best Retail Park Development prize was awarded to Hobby Park Prešov by the Slovak developer Atrios. The final of the completed development prizes went to CEETRUS, which won in the Best Hotel & Leisure Development for its Le Garage concept in Budapest. This left two more awards to hand out. The first was for the Best Buildup in Development for projects that are already underway in CEE. This was claimed by the Agora Budapest, the ambitious project by HB Reavis that's being watched closely around the entire region. Finally, the Best Overall Developer for the HOF Awards 2020 was CTP, who entrusted its Country Head in Romania Anna Dumitrache to give a brief acceptance speech.
The HOF Awards & Forum will continue each day for the rest of the week, beginning at 10:30 for a 60-minute discussion and followed by a 30-minute presentation of the next group of Awards. On May 27, the Retail panel will discuss how the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the growth of online retail and how this is likely to be reflected in the physical world of brick and mortar.