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Mia Zečević, CEO, Novaston

New Areas Of Activity Bring Growth

Novaston is an independent real estate, asset and property management platform that today deals with both the maintenance of properties and marketing. As of this year, its focus has shifted to the business and logistics sector, both in Serbia and around the region

The office space market is stabilising, while growth is being recorded in rentals of flexible office space at multiple locations that employees can utilise as needed, reveals Novaston CEO Mia Zečević.

Has your prowess for adaptation proven to be the key to the company’s success?

The Novaston platform is evolving, and our teams of experts, who have both domestic and international experience, apply modern technologies and solutions while taking an individual approach to each client. We are currently very active on the project to develop the future premises of the Schneider Electric Development Center in Novi Sad, while our own Novaston Asset Management is the exclusive leasing agent for the attractive “Revolution” business premises, covering an area of approximately 10,000m2 and being constructed by Granit Invest in the Vračar neighbourhood.

Novaston logo

We’ve also directed special attention towards a large project in Croatia – 255 villas in Istria, where we’ve been engaged in the setting up of the entire system – asset, property and facility management and organisation, including marketing. At the same time, we remain among the leaders of the retail parks sector through our cooperation with companies IMMOFINANZ, NEPI Rockcastle, GTC, Ikea etc. It is precisely these open-air shopping centres that have best adapted to the “new normal”, thanks to it being easier for them to implement health measures.

Interestingly, retail parks have an average share of 5% on Europe’s retail market, mostly in the north and west of the continent. When it comes to our country and region, this market has not been oversaturated and the importance of retail parks is set to increase. Similarly, due to the natural connectivity between all sectors of the real estate industry, increasing consideration is being given to combined solutions of retail parks that have rentable business premises or residential units above them.

We remain among the leaders of the retail parks sector, through our cooperation with companies IMMOFINANZ, NEPI Rockcastle, GTC, Ikea etc

Despite the protracted crisis and pandemic, the real estate market has proven itself to be very resilient. Is there room for further expansion?

During the first half of 2020, a certain standstill was reached in the renting of business premises. It was also then that a slowdown was recorded in the dynamics of construction, i.e., the completion of projects, and a problem also arose in the final approval of financing for projects in the final pre-construction preparatory phase. Until the outbreak of the pandemic, this sector was developing very dynamically in Serbia, with a vacancy rate below the level of 5% and leasing prices at a record level.

When it comes to logistics, both in our country and around the region, an insufficient number of industrial and warehouse premises are available in the most desirable locations. A combination of high demand and supply chain problems, coupled with rising costs of construction materials and energy, is leading to the constant growth of rental prices for logistics space.

Is the pandemic causing investors to turn to facilities that are “safe for work”?

After the initial redirecting of employees to work from home, this year’s trend is one of returning to offices and a “combined model”. It turns out that employees want to spend at least two days a week in the office, in order to strengthen their company culture, cooperation and networking. Changes are inevitable and the future concept of offices will take into consideration the effectiveness, technical standards and accessibility of the location, but also the obligation to offer additional advantages, like sophisticated digital solutions for contactless communication, and satisfy environmental standards.

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