The positive economic and social impact of Gabriel Popoviciu’s urban development initiative in Northern Bucharest has been confirmed by a recent assessment spanning the 2005-2022 period.
The Băneasa project is one of largest urban development projects in Europe of its time. Northern Bucharest was the natural location choice, due to it already being a fast developing area. The setting close to lakes and forests, yet within easy reach of central Bucharest, added to its appeal as a place to live, work and shop.
It was a large scale project, with over 1 million m2 of construction area spanning 221 hectares of land and containing a residential area, a business park, and one of the largest and most well-known shopping areas in South-East Europe.
The leaders behind the project were Gabriel Popoviciu and his business partner Radu Dimofte. Together they attracted an initial investment of 165 million Euros in the commercial area, 46 million Euros in the residential area and 45 million Euros in the office area.
For some, the project was ahead of its time, with its emphasis on integration, quality, diversity, and a respect for the natural environment. Băneasa is an integrated part of the capital city, seen as an inclusive area open to all, with accessible workplaces, living, and commercial spaces. It was developed to be a resource and destination for all the region’s residents. From the beginning, there was an emphasis on quality, not only in terms of construction and materials used, but also in the wider quality of life it aimed to offer. The environmental care taken has also been exemplary, with 50 hectares of vegetation.
The recent study shows Băneasa’s significant benefit to the metropolitan area. It is a major employer, both directly and also in terms of those employed by the development’s tenants. In addition to the over 2600 direct salaries paid by the Băneasa entities during 2005-2022, Băneasa Developments’ tenants paid over 59,000. It does not stop there, as over 160,000 salaries were sustained during 2005-2022 as a result of the induced effect of the commercial activity of the Băneasa entities and Băneasa tenants. The 2005-2022 net salaries and the related taxes and contributions sustained as a result of the induced effect of the development of Băneasa commercial, office and residential areas account for $1,947m.
Băneasa Rezidential known for its spacious apartments. It is the residential area with the largest allocated surface per apartment in Northern Bucharest. The commercial life of the development is also flourishing, with Băneasa Developments operating the largest shopping centre in Bucharest, with $54m turnover in 2022. Băneasa Business and Technology Park accounts for three percent of the total stock of office leasable area in the North of Bucharest. The 2005-2022 indirect impact, generated through the commercial activities of Băneasa Developments tenants totals $1,157m.
The 2005-2022 study highlights the fact that in terms of the economic impact of the development, the majority was generated after the economic crisis. Out of the $555m of 2005-2022 total direct impact, over 95 percent was generated after the economic crisis.
From the job creation, tax contributions, provision of good housing, commercial dynamism and respect for the environment, Băneasa is one of the success stories of South East Europe, and has made an undeniable contribution to improved quality of life in the Bucharest region.