The breadth of global interest and firm underlying momentum of the CEE property markets were the key messages as nearly 600 business leaders from 38 countries packed the recently renovated Warsaw Royal Castle Kubicki Arcades on March 3, in Warsaw, Poland, for the 7th Annual CEEQA Awards gala dinner and awards ceremony.
Spirits were high following a tough 18 months for emerging Europe's economies. 13-year-old Polish star Klaudia Kulawik got proceedings underway with a moving rendition of List do Matki, before regional giant Globe Trade Center (GTC) took the evening's major prizes.
GTC's City Gate project in Bucharest was named 'Office Development of the Year' and also the overall 'Building of the Year in Central & Eastern Europe' in 2009 for perseverance in quality delivery under challenging market conditions, the company also won the 'Developer of the Year' award, while the undoubted highlight of the evening was the acceptance of the CEEQA Lifetime Achievement Award by the company's driving force and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Eli Alroy, to a standing ovation in the packed arcades.
President of the City of Warsaw Jaroslaw Kochaniak, previous Lifetime Achievement laureate David Mitzner of Apollo Rida, and Financial Times representative Sean Woods joined presenter Monika Richardson and CEEQA Director Richard Hallward on stage to lead the citations, as Alroy accepted the award to a standing ovation.
Industry legend 94-year-old Mitzner had already brought the audience to its feet once with a rousing laudation in which he named Alroy a hero and pioneer. The award, sponsored by the Financial Times, is given for significant and durable contribution to the sector, and is awarded annually to a major industry figure that is judged to have 'influenced the character and direction of the CEE property markets and beyond.'
The evening's other individual award went to Robert Dobrzycki, Regional Director of Panattoni Europe, in recognition of his work in driving the company's sustained growth performance throughout the downturn, while the American owned developer also took the 'Industrial & Logistics Development of the Year' for Panattoni Park Myslowice.
TriGranit's Bonarka City Center-Phase 1 in Krakow, Poland was named 'Retail Development of the Year' in one of the most demanding categories, while the runaway winner for the 'Hotel, Leisure and Residential Development of the Year' was Warimpex's highly praised Andel's Hotel Lodz, The Andel's hotel was also nominated for the 'Green Initiative Award', which was won by developer ECE Projektmanagement for its Europe-wide initiatives in 'greening retail'.
Following a deeply challenging year for the private capital markets, DEKA Immobilien was named 'CEEQA Investor of the Year 2009' and Colliers International picked up the award for 'Agent of the Year - Capital Markets' as well as for 'Industrial Agency', while perennial award collectors Jones Lang LaSalle took the other two agent awards for 'Office Agency' and 'Retail Agency'.
Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank (WestImmo) was named 'Banking & Financial Services Company of the Year' for balanced and sustained commitment to the market, Clifford Chance was named 'Legal & Consulting Firm of the Year' and EC Harris made a welcome return to the CEEQA honours list as 'Development Services Company of the Year', while Strabag was another runaway winner for the 'Construction Company of the Year' award. The CEE region's 'Architect of the Year' was APA Wojciechowski.
The CEE real Estate Quality Awards (CEEQA) is organized by CEE Insight Forum and Imagine Live Media in association with the Financial Times. The awards are judged by a jury panel of leading industry experts and operators active across 10 major national markets in the CEE region.
Main sponsors: Colliers International, Jones Lang LaSalle, GTC, Trinity Corporate Services; Sponsors & Partners: DTZ, Cushman & Wakefield, ECE Projektmanagement, Panattoni Europe, Westimmo, Helaba, Skanska, Bank Pekao SA, Le Meridien, Bristol Hotel, Warsaw Bus