Bucharest Journal: New mixed-use development in Romania will offer tropical “lagoon” environment

View of Central District Lagoon City (all renderings courtesy Forty Management)

Ron Bernthal

The Romanian-based real estate developer Forty Management has proposed an urban regeneration project that will be developed on ten acres of land in the Străulești area of ​​Bucharest. The developer plans to deliver the Central District Lagoon City mixed-use project with 570 apartments, hotel, offices and commercial space, following an investment of over $118 million.

“Central District Lagoon City will be the first 100% green project in Central and Eastern Europe, self-sustaining through independent renewable sources,” said Lucian Azoitei, CEO of Forty Management. “The project will, as its center, include the turquoise waters and white sands of a tropical lagoon.” The first such man-made urban environment in Central and Eastern Europe, the project’s lagoon will be developed under a licence acquired from the U.S. company Crystal Lagoons, and will have a zero-energy environmental impact. Crystal Lagoons’ technology, patented in 190 countries, allows the development of a large surface to be covered with crystal clear water and white sand beaches, with low maintenance costs.

More than 600 of these artificial watery “lagoons” have been developed worldwide using this technology, and the Central District Lagoon City project will allow residents to go swimming and participate in water sports, such as sailing and kayaking, among others, or simply relax on a beach without having to travel further than their own backyards. Of course, Romania is not a tropical country, but Forty Management has planned for Bucharest’s cold winters. “Part of the lagoon will be converted into an ice skating area, and another part will be separated into a winter swimming area with the water maintained at a temperature of 82 degrees fahrenheit,” said Forty Management’s CEO Lucian Azoitel.

This large, mixed-use development will include a residential component with 570 apartments, an 86,000 square-foot office building, 61,000 square-feet of commercial space, as well as a 250-room hotel, all built around the lagoon.

Forty Management has hired EST Hospitality Consulting to manage the international affiliation process with the hotel component of the Central District Lagoon City project.

“We invited all large hotel groups that can add value to this innovative project to participate in the selection process,” said Mircea Drăghici, CEO of EST Hospitality Consulting. “We are delighted by the immediate replies and the positive feedback shown by the nine international brands that submitted offers, some for the first time for Romania.”

According to STR Global studies, hotels with access to a beach generate a 151% increase in revenue compared to hotels in a city without water access. The existence of this project’s mix of a city hotel with access to a beach is unique, and thus the interest from many international hotel brands.

Forty Management has already developed several mixed-use projects under the “Central District” brand, including completed residential developments in several Bucharest locations, totalling 293 apartments, another 42 apartments currently under construction and the proposed 570 residential apartments in the development plan for Central District Lagoon City and the approximately 80 apartments at District Royal Suites. The Central District Lagoon City project is expected to be completed in 2023.

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