A spate of eco-friendly developments have been scheduled for construction as the international second homes industry reacts to changing buying patterns across the world.
The latest company to do so is developer Willbrook Management International which has announced its intentions to develop Diamond Residences, a 144-apartment eco-resort in Varna, Bulgaria, featuring a spa, health club, restaurants and energy saving air and lighting services at a cost of €40million.
Daiana Voicu, Willbrook’s executive director, said that the company has several other green projects scheduled and plans to build a further 3,000,000 sqm of residential development at a cost of €6billion over the next few years.
The construction of a new eco-friendly residential holiday resort located in the mountain village of Ribaritsa, Bulgaria has also been announced with work on the project to start at the end of this year.
Construction firm Tenbul Ltd, the Bulgarian arm of Tenerife firm Interbul, will develop the Kostina Village, which, according to the Stroitelstvo gradut weekly, will be situated on a 5,000 sqm plot featuring 13 residential units at a total cost of €1.5million. Delivery of the project, located in the health spa tourism region, is scheduled for 2010.
Meanwhile, Israeli investors Tidhar Group and Asim Real Estate in partnership with Bulgarian Investment Group, are collaborating on an eco-project called Razlog Village All Seasons Nature Resort.
Construction is set to begin on the €250million, 150,000 sqm development in 2009, with the project functioning by 2012.
The directors of the project said that recycled water will be used across the 1,500 apart-hotels and villas with just 20% of the project’s total area given over to roads and concrete. It will comprise of a luxury hotel with a casino, spa hotel and a resort hotel within a gated complex.
In neighbouring Romania, Carpatia Resorts, a US-based international developer, has completed its land acquisition for the Carpatia Resorts and Conference Centre, a luxury eco-resort in the Cuicas Mountains area of Romania’s Transylvania region.
Described as the “largest scale mountain resort possible in Europe”, by Robert Dasy of international eco-design firm WATG, the project’s key attractions will include 5-star hotels, a grand casino, Romania’s largest conference centre, a medical health centre, a modern spa and treatment centre, an extensive and varied dining and shopping district, a state-of-the-art ski lodge, a high-tech arcade and fun centre, an indoor water park, a sports entertainment complex, and a concert hall with supporting offices.
Mediterranean developer Greek Dreams is currently developing two eco-friendly projects in West Crete and South Evia. The €18.5million developments feature 14 five-bedroom properties complete with an ‘eco-pool’.
“The ‘greening’ of the world’s economy is underway and the real estate industry is taking note,” said Panos Skliamis, the firm’s investor relations manager. Stathis Kanterakis, CEO of Greek Dreams, added: “Green buildings are part of the modern future, they are physically and economically possible, so we have no excuse for not doing it.
Industry reacts to change in construction
As developers continue to build more and more eco-friendly properties, the industry is working to provide experienced agents to sell this type of property.
Eco-broker, the world’s largest environmental training organisation for international estate agents, signed its 4,000th member last month, coinciding with its fifth anniversary in service.
Officially founded in 2002, EcoBroker has become the world’s biggest body on agent eco-issues and training and now has over 4,000 members across the five Canadian provinces, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and New Zealand.
“EcoBroker is truly the pioneer in the green training space and has paved the way for the industry over now more than half a decade, bringing the need for green real estate education to the forefront of the real estate market,” said EcoBroker’s CEO, Dr John Beldock. “Our membership growth and recent competition are testaments to the quality of our curriculum and the exceptional customer service we provide to the benefit of real estate professionals, consumers, and the environment.”
Overseas property consultancy Colliers International said in a recent report that it believes more and more developers will build eco-friendly projects as this type of construction was slightly more expensive than traditional building methods, but would be easier to sell and command higher prices from buyers.
In response, it has launched the Regional Initiative for Sustainability and the Environment (RISE), which will train all of its agents in south east Europe on how to sell green property and what the benefits are for this construction class. Source: OPP