Váci 1 buzzes with life again

Horizon Development’s re-conceptualized historic building makes a successful debut.

Downtown Budapest’s historic building of patina – Váci 1 – is filled with vitality again. The 13,750 sqm UNESCO World Heritage listed neo-classicist palace – constructed between 1911 and 1915 – is home to the newest, exclusively fitted out flagship store of H&M.

Rejuvenated by Spring 2016, Váci 1 is the newest jewel of Vörösmarty Square. The building long served as the historic headquarters of the first bank in Hungary, and it was also home to the Budapest Stock Exchange from 1990 until 2005. Its current tenants – besides the 7,200 sqm retail and office space of H&M – are Hard Rock Café Budapest, the traditional confectionary of famous Szamos chocolatier, and DVM group, the company offering the most comprehensive range of integrated building services in Hungary. The restored palace is currently 74% leased. Prime office space of 2,500 sqm on the upper levels is still available for lease, welcoming tenants who appreciate the premium CBD location and the air of prestige of the property for its added corporate value.

The authentically restored turn of the century interiors of the heritage protected building – that offers a unique shopping and working environment – are complemented by harmonious modern spaces re-conceptualized in their functionality by the developer. As a result of the development concept implemented in the brand new interior, the pure retail scheme designed by the previous developer was complemented with an office usage, calling into life the current mixed-use commercial property. The optimization of vertical and horizontal traffic within the building enabled high efficiency for both the office and retail functions. The sustainable solutions incorporated by Horizon Development contribute to the property’s optimal energy and water use and reduced environmental footprint, and entitle Váci 1 for its BREEAM In-Use certificate (expected in Q4 2016).

The planned Skybar on the 5th floor will offer the most spectacular views of Budapest: Vörösmarty Square, Fashion Street, the river Danube and the Buda Castle. The impressive rooftop of the future Skybar also served as an event venue last Wednesday, where the regional management team of H&M celebrated with the unique project’s design, development and construction teams and local celebrities before their 26 May grand opening. Last Thursday’s official opening was preceded by great anticipation. The initial customer feedback confirms the complete success of both the development concept and the store fit-out.

The Váci 1 project was introduced to the market at the 2016 MIPIM real estate fair organized in Cannes in March. Upon his return from the event, Attila Kovács MRICS (managing partner of Horizon Development) reported significant international investor interest in the property.