The A+ category office building is defined by the Colliers Sélect Program as being about central location, historical significance and the detail and finish of the building. Director of Office Leasing and Hotels, Hamish Williams says, “Sélect clients are very concerned about the image of their company reflected in the building they occupy. Even though money is a serious consideration, there is great value in occupying a piece of history.”
Colliers Sélect Program includes some notable heritage buildings, such as Paris Department Store (being renovated by ORCO), Palazzo Dorottya (renovated by RDM) and Sofia Palace, the former residence of the Bishop of Budapest and the location for the launch party on the 25th September.
“The Budapest market is changing and the most notable change is in the capacity of Budapest to achieve rents of over €20 per sqm. And while profit is of the utmost importance, for many developers these projects are a labour of love. They take great pride in the workmanship and the architecture, all you have to do is see the restoration of the Lotz Hall by ORCO to understand this,” says Williams.
At the launch party, Lorenzo Bonacci, of RDM, announced the pre-lease by UBS at Palazzo Dorottya, the first transaction completed at a Colliers Sélect Program building. Williams adds, “The needs for security, privacy, prestige and position are very important to a Colliers Sélect Program client and UBS is no exception.”
The Colliers Sélect Program will expand into the hotels market in 2009 as it completes the service offering for 5 Star Plus hotels. “Even though office occupants and hotel operators are quite different from each other, the message is the same. We intend to occupy a piece of history and we expect a top class business environment with modern conveniences. Just think of the requirements of the Four Seasons when it first looked at the Gresham Palace and Lanchid Palota, when the owners first decided on the budget for the renovation. Both expected high-class finish and provide high-class service to its clients. The Colliers Sélect Program is no different. Our aim is to deliver the A+ level of service and attention our clients require.”
The Colliers Sélect Program launch featured presentations from János Tiba (Tiba Architects) who has experience with heritage renovations such as Andrássy Palace, Deák Palace and the Paris Department Store, and from Jolán Rácz of KÖH, the Hungarian Cultural Heritage Office. Both stressed the importance of collaborating to achieve the best possible result. Hamish Williams closed the launch by stating, “Investors are there for the funds, architects offer the vision, developers provide the expertise, the Heritage Office gives the permission and the broker provides the return on the investment. These buildings require true collaboration from people who don’t always think the same. Personally, I can’t wait to see Klothild Palace, Exchange Palace and the Dreschler Palace (former Ballet Institute) in a few years. Returning to the Hungarian people, part of its cultural heritage, has immeasurable value.”