Recognizing the importance of Central Europe’s investment and development markets EuropaProperty was proud to host the 10th annual EuropaProperty CEE Investment & Manufacturing Awards ONLINE. The live event was simultaneously broadcast using the latest digital technology via the Zoom and YouTube platforms. Guaranteeing that the show must go on, and the top-performing companies from the region could still be recognised for their phenomenal achievements in commercial real estate.

Welcome to the brave new world of ONLINE events.

“We at EuropaProperty have become pioneers as well as digital innovators in the field of online events. Like many of our partners, clients and friends we have had to adapt our business model quickly to help in these challenging times. So, I’m very pleased that we have now established ourselves as the number one digital awards event organisers, and have delivered the region’s very first CEE Investment and Manufacturing Awards Gala ONLINE,” commented event organiser and publisher of EuropaProperty, Craig Smith.

Before this current crisis investment into CEE was registering substantial increases, and expectations were that investment volumes would reach and exceed previous record volumes, with all of CEE expected to perform strongly. However, while the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the real economy has been dramatic, market experts are cautiously optimistic that transaction activity can resume.

In terms of asset classes, industrial, warehouse and logistics have been the clear winners this year. The market is also witnessing a diversification of portfolios as investment companies look to secure their funds into sectors more insulated from the crisis. Across all asset classes, a flight to core and quality can be seen with value-add investments being the first to show repricing and discounts.

The 2020 winners reflected these trends. With business strong, this year has seen record investment into the warehouse sector. This was highlighted by the evening’s biggest winners Panattoni Europe. The industrial developer walked away with awards in the development and investment categories. Highlighting the company’s continued top performance in all aspects of industrial and logistics development.

WING was also a clear investment winner on the night and was recognised by the jury for its growing presence and multi-platform strategy in the region. The company was awarded Office Investor as well as picking up Professional of the Year for their CEO Noah M. Steinberg. The company was also recognised for its take-over of Echo Investment, with a controlling share, in the M&A Deal of the Year category.

Highlighting what shrewd regional business that takeover was, Echo Investment in-turn walked away with the Residential and Office Developer awards, and the Refurbished Project of the Year for their highly popular, mixed-use development in the centre of Warsaw, the Warsaw Brewery.

Big investment winners included Savills Investment Management, which won in the Investment Deal €20-€50 category, acquiring a warehouse from Panattoni, and also walked away with the Investment Asset Management Firm and Warehouse Investor of the Year awards. Griffin Real Estate was awarded for its multi-disciplinary investment platform and walked away with the Opportunistic Investor of the Year award. Globalworth won in the Core Investor category and M7 Real Estate was awarded as Value-add Investor.

In the Investment Deal €50-€100 million category GLL Real Estate won for their recent deal in Poland acquiring a last-mile logistics portfolio. In the Investment Deal €100 million-plus category Panattoni was awarded for selling five of its logistics parks to an Asian investor.

Another project winner highlighting the new development trends on the market was White Star Real Estate’s hugely popular and spectacular mixed-use project Elektrownia Powiśle, which won the Retail Project of the Year award.

The city of Lodz walked away with the coveted City of the Year award. The city was recognised as one of Poland’s best performing secondary cities. The city was also recognised for its ambitious face-changing developments. In this way, the developer Master Management Group won the Regional Office Project of the Year for the newly opened Hi Piotrkowska project in the heart of the city.

Regional, multi-disciplined developer, S+B Gruppe One won the Future Project of the Year award for the soon to be opened Widok Tower in the centre of Warsaw. Regional industrial developer Panattoni Europe was awarded Warehouse Developer.

Other developers recognised on the night included Echo Investment, which won the Residential and Office Developer of the Year awards. Ghelamco Poland won Office Project of the Year for The Warsaw Hub and Residential Project of the Year for Foksal 13/15. Panattoni Europe won the Warehouse Project of the Year for Panattoni Amazon Łódź.

Many industry leaders and associated companies from the real estate industry were awarded on the night. Once again Dentons walked away with the Law Firm of the Year award. pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank won Bank of the Year. Adecco Group received the Professional Service Provider award. Arcadis were the winners of the Project Management award, and New Work Offices walked away with the Serviced Offices Provider award.

JLL once again continued to take a firm hold of the agency side of the business and collected the Corporate Agency of the Year award. TPA once again dominated the Financial & Tax Adviser category. Kajima won Construction Firm of the Year. BNP Paribas’ Malgorzata Sęk beat the competition to win the Property Manager of the Year, and General Property was awarded Facility Management Firm of the Year.

In the Manufacturing Awards, Raben Logistics won the Logistics Services Award. Manufacturer of the Year went to Polaris. Krzysztof Skowroński from NORMA Group walked away with the Plant Manager of the Year and Rockwell Automation won in the Robotics Automation category. In the M&A Awards, Drooms won the M&A Professional Service Provider. Liberty GTS was awarded Insurance Firm and PwC won in the M&A Advisory category.

EuropaProperty’s esteemed panel of highly-respected business leaders from around region judged the nominations for the awards categories on their merit and positive impact on the market. World-renowned audit firm EY monitored the scoring and voting process.

The awards were preceded by two-days of online discussion panels covering investment and finance, the warehouse, logistics and e-commerce sectors as well as the manufacturing sector. Panellists agreed that this is not a financial crisis but a health one and therefore it is having a different impact on the real estate investment and development industry. With some sectors having a rougher time than others. In the manufacturing sector supply chains are of increased importance with companies looking to near-shore their production closer to consumption areas. Also, the rise of automation and robotics is increasing and is bringing new challenges and opportunities to the industry in the region.

The coronavirus pandemic is putting all businesses through unprecedented challenges. It has had a severe impact on our lives, our business and society at large. Today we are faced with the enormous challenge to recover from the impact of the pandemic. So now more than ever the importance of promoting and supporting the region as an attractive and safe investment destination is paramount. In this way, the CEE Investment and Manufacturing Awards recognised and appreciated those who have remained faithful to their core values in the face of the crisis and unfavourable market situation.