A new subway line in Bucharest linking the west and centre of the city from 2019 is due to boost the property market in the Romanian capital.
New office and residential developments are expected in western Bucharest as the imminent subway extension alleviates traffic in the area, which has the highest population density in the city.
A representative from property specialists JLL Romania said: ‘The area that will most benefit from the extension of the M5 subway line is the land parcel between the Razoare intersection and Calea 13 Septembrie, between Panduri, Progresului and Sebastian roads. Some 15 hectares of land are available for development in this area.
‘A number of investors have already shown their interest in this section of Bucharest, considering that up to now the appetite has been muted due to the lack of subway lines, with the areas being central.’
Construction works on the new line started in 2011 and were due to be completed in 2014, however deadlines were constantly extended. Officials at Metrorex, the operator of the Bucharest subway, have now confirmed that the new line should become operational in the first quarter of 2019.
Andreea Paun, managing partner of Griffes, the real estate consultancy, said: ‘I think that Drumul Taberei will be rejuvenated, both in terms of perception and traffic, following the opening of the subway line. Any modern real estate development brings something new to the city, and the connectivity with the cultural and historic centre will have a strong urbanizing impact.’
The total cost of the line stands at more than EUR 600 million, with construction being handled by an association comprising Italy’s Astaldi and Spain’s FCC Construction alongside Romanian firms Delta ACM and AB Construct.
The project is being financed by EU funds and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) said in early February it had opened an investigation to check the development of the line.
Meanwhile, the potential of northern Bucharest should not be ignored by overseas property investors.
A separate subway line is due to be built in order to link the capital’s main train station with the Henri Coanda international airport as part of a EUR 1.4 billion investment that will run well into the next decade.
It seems that when it comes to infrastructure investment it is all happening in Bucharest. Overseas property investors looking for the next opportunity should take note.