Unirii and Cocor stores in Unirii Square

Unirii and Cocor stores in Unirii Square
Unirii and Cocor stores in Unirii Square

Union Square has always been a point of reference in the Capital. If at the beginning of the 2000s it was a transit corridor, with over 60,000 people transiting the market, after 2015 the new investments, but also new names such as H&M and Zara, have transformed kilometer zero into a destination. The pandemic, but also the lack of investments in the public area, have again affected the popularity of Unirii Square.

Cocor, Unirea, Bucharest or the former Junior stores, later transformed into a court, made the Uniria area the hot spot of retail in the 90s. Also then, the first companies represented the “bulk” of tenants in the apartments on Unirii Boulevard, so that in the last 10 years new office buildings appeared in the area, such as Unirii View, Day Tower, U Center and Timpuri Noi Square.

On the other hand, in recent years Piaţa Unirii has lost a number of key tenants, such as the Inditex group (Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius), Koton and Mega Image. Once an effervescent area, both after 2010 and at the beginning of 2020, the area lost its popularity, and the lack of investments in the area led to its degradation. On the other hand, in the last 2 years, modernization works started and were carried out, and there was even a “war” of palm trees between the mayor’s office of sector 3 and that of the Capital. During all this time, the big mall owners in the Capital continued their investments, starting from Bucharest Mall, which went through modernization phases, to AFI Cotroceni, which became an office and commercial hub.

“At the moment, the building of the Cocor shopping center cannot be converted into offices because it was not designed for this purpose. In the past there were proposals for it to be replaced by an office and hotel project, a 25-story building, but the idea was not accepted. We now have 9,900 square meters of rented space, we don’t have any large space available”, Aurel Beşliu, the vice-president of the board of directors of Cocor Bucharest, told ZF.

The Cocor store was reopened in 2010 following an extensive renovation process that cost 24.5 million euros, the renovation started in 2008 – that year Cocor wanted to become a luxury mall, but it was opened after the 2009 crisis, and the strategy for it was rethought, especially since there were problems with the payment of loans in the early 2010s.

“Considering the central position and the easy access to public transport, we believe that the two buildings could be transformed into offices”, said Alin Obretin, senior office consultant Agency Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.

“It is very important to mention, however, that the two projects require significant investments in order to be converted into offices, given that the current structure does not provide the necessary conditions for setting up offices. We are referring here to the height, the availability of natural light, the technical equipment: elevators, HVAC systems, etc.”

The conversion of buildings represents a “hot” topic in recent years, as some buildings can achieve higher performances if they come with a new proposal to the market. For example, in 2013 the former City Mall was converted by Ioannis Papalekas from a mall to an office building after the mall went bankrupt in 2010. Now, 11 years after the conversion, the former mall has an occupancy rate of over 90% of offices, this being in the vicinity of several tram lines and a metro station.

The article is in Romanian

Tags: Unirii Cocor stores Unirii Square


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