The future of the office has become an open question around after the coronavirus lockdown forced millions around the world to work from home.
A Romanian investor recently went on record saying he believed offices still have a future despite a mass shift of workers to remote working in recent months. pandemic.
But Liviu Tudor, 59, one of the biggest players on the Romanian office real estate market, also has a plan B.
He wants to turn one of his office buildings into residential spaces in response to the health crisis which has seen many thousands of employees work from home.
Tudor told Ziarul Financiar that his decision was prompted by high uncertainty on the local office market as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,
He told the publication that he had a new concept which he called “co-living.”
His Novo Park office building in north Bucharest will be transformed into ‘”a mixed-use project which will be „the future of work and living“, he said.
Tudor was worth between 300 and 310 million euros in 2015 and was listed as one of the top 300 wealthiest Romanians.
He is also chairman of Genesis Development, a real estate investment and development company
He said the pandemic had raised the question whether employees, who work on their laptops and have internet at home, need to work from the same office.
“Despite the optimism of some real estate brokers, the big question of the moment is whether employees who don’t work in production or retail needs to work together and use thousands of square meters of office as was the case until now?” he said.
However, Tudor also appeared to hedge his bets and was quoted as saying on Twitter on August 20: “Offices will not disappear. Being in an office is something more than working. It is about bonding, it is about communities, and building a team, because a team is about creating energy.”
The idea of transforming office space into apartments has been broached before, but never put into practice.
“Novo Park will be transformed into a mix-use project which will be part of the «the future of work and living»” philosophy, he said.
Tudor, owns the West Gate office in west Bucharest and Novo Park Bucharest
He established the Romanian Association of Building Owners of which he is chairman and he is vice-chairman of the Managing Committee of the European Property Federation.