GF gets into real estate

A new -350-million property investment fund is being planned by private equity and venture capital firm Global Finance, following the success of its first related venture. The Global Emerging Property Fund II (GEPF II) will focus on investments in residential complexes in new markets, including in Ukraine and states in the Western Balkans. The firm already operates in Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria. Global Finance (GF) has also announced that it would consider the construction of building complexes for mixed uses, i.e. offices and stores. Last week in Bucharest, the company inaugurated Global City, a business complex now being supplemented by a residential extension. It measures a total of 140,000 sq.m., of which 46,000 sq.m. would meet housing needs by offering some 380 apartments. Global City’s business leg would offer office space (56,000 sq.m.) and is envisaged to be ready for use in the first quarter of 2009. It will include a shopping mall, a training center and a large green park. The complex is located at a distance of 6 km from the central square of Bucharest and just 1 km from a proposed highway to Brasov. In addition to the many accesses, the positive design elements of Global City include the separation of the business from the residential sectors by a mall and lines of trees. The project is among the investments made by GF’s first fund, GEPF I, whose funds amount to -150 million and is focused on Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. Global Gardens, in Romania, is another residential complex of a total floor space of 90,000 sq.m. GF has also invested in Global Plaza Floreasca. The GEPF II is envisaged to facilitate GF’s expansion into western Balkan real estate, such as the emerging markets of Croatia, Montenegro and Albania, as well as Ukraine. The venture capital managed by Global Finance currently stands at over $1.2 billion.