Thermal Hotel

Turkey, Tunceli, changed the face of Thermal Hotel opened in Pertek

virtually 85,000 people and the least developed areas of Turkey, a long-held reputation for for being one of the city with a population of Tunceli, eastern Anatolia, has been lately undergoing a major the conversion. $ 10,000,000 (€ 7,600,000) with the investment value – the region’s largest tourism resort development the back of this amendment.

Selahattin Serefoglu, an investor in the project, said, “Hopefully it will lead the way for further investments in the region,” in an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Previously deprived of large scale investments, Tunceli has been shrugging off its negative reputation as a long forgotten city.

Located in Tunceli’s Pertek district near Keban Dam Lake, the Pertek Thermal Hotel is the first large scale tourism facility to be developed in the region. The project aims to capitalize on the healthy thermal waters of the lake, which have been scientifically proven to promote healthy skin and aid in the treatment of other conditions such as osteolysis and prostate cancer.

“The drive behind such an investment was to contribute to regional development, as well as to show that Tunceli has enough potential to compete with the western cities in the tourism sector,” Serefoglu said.

With a construction business in Ankara, Serefoglu hopes that the Pertek Thermal Hotel will be a model for other investments in the region. He said the development will dramatically change the city and bring new employment opportunities.

The site of the hotel spans an area of 200,000 m² with a capacity to host up to 1000 quests, who have access to thermal pools, saunas, Jacuzzis, cold water pools and other luxuries. It will also offer longer term accommodation after the completion of an apartment facility toward the end of the year.

At the moment the facility employs 65 staff, and has been fully booked for the duration of Ramadan. “The majority of our guests come from nearby cities like Diyarbakir, Malatya, Elazig, as well as locals who come especially during the week,” said hotel general manager Yusuf Fehmi Kocak.

Serefoglu said that the state does not give extra incentives to tourism investments in the east, apart from some small tax and insurance advantages. However the state has allocated the site to the hotel for a duration of 49 years.

“Investments such as this thermal spring are very important for the district in terms of providing employment. These kinds of investments will also end the security problems in the region,” said Pertek Gov. Murat Cagri Erdinc, who thanked Serefoglu for constructing the spring in the district.

Erdinc claimed that the Pertek district in eastern Anatolia was similar to the Bodrum district of Mugla, a southwestern city, and offered the same recreational potential.…

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Magnesia Shopping Center

About creating REDEVCO Turkey will start. Magnesia Shopping Center 17,000 square meters in the first quarter of 2011.

Manisa is one of the most industrialized provinces in Turkey’s Aegean Region and has a total population of 1,330,000. The center will offer a 4,500-m² hypermarket, a 1,500-m² cinema complex, 1,500 m² of food court and more than 8,500 m² of retail area spread over 65 units. The shopping center will also provide more than 400 parking spaces. Magnesia Shopping Center is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2012.

Magnesia Shopping Center will offer a wide variety of well-known brands in Turkey from menswear and womenswear, sportswear and casual wear to kidswear, accessories and lingerie. Redevco Turkey has started the leasing process and has already signed a number of agreements. Redevco’s tenants in Gordion Shopping Center and Erzurum Shopping Center have shown a keen interest in Magnesia Shopping Center. One of the biggest international hypermarket operators has already committed itself to the project.

Magnesia Shopping Center, designed by RedevConcepts, is a three-level shopping center located on Manisa’s main road, by a green park area. The natural height difference of the site offers the opportunity to create two ground level entrances. One entrance is situated on the Mimar Sinan Boulevard, which is the main artery of Manisa, and will create an attractive square with cafés and restaurants looking onto the mountains. The other entrance is on Ali Riza Efendi Street, which connects directly to the neighborhood. The architecture of the center is based on local materials such as stucco, wood and rough natural stone blocks.

Redevco already opened two shopping centers in 2009: the approx. 50,000-m² Gordion Shopping Center in Ankara and the 32,000-m² Erzurum Shopping Center in Erzurum.

To improve energy efficiency and to promote green design, the Magnesia Shopping Center, designed by RedevConcepts, is being developed according to BREEAM standards. BREEAM is the world’s longest established and most widely used green building standard. Gordion Shopping Center and Erzurum Shopping Center were both awarded BREEAM ‘Very Good’ certificates in 2009.…

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REDEVCO Center

Interviewed Patrick van Dooyeweert, General Director REDEVCO center

REDEVCO administer and is currently valued at € 7300000000 Europe’s largest retail portfolios, the development of an independent international real estate company. The top places in the entire portfolio of 750 features includes 18 countries. Enterprise is also with a focus on China, major metropolitan areas in Asia structure a retail portfolio, has been operating. His second home market in Asia is the desire to improve the REDEVCO. REDEVCO Cofra Holding AG, a Swiss-based holding company owned. Patrick van Dooyeweert salvage towards Turkey and the Real Estate Publishers, General Manager, REDEVCO Turkey asked ideas on the Turkish real estate market.

 

Turkey witnessed an unexpectedly strong GDP growth surge in the first half of 2010. Has this had any affect on your investment plans?

It’s had a very positive affect on our investment plans. The positive GDP growth in Turkey is only strengthening our idea that Turkey is one of the places where we, as a company, should invest our money. The typical Turkish cycle takes 4-5 years, and it’s important to have a long term perspective, and we have that, knowing that after every cycle there’s a downturn and after every downturn there’s a cycle again. As far as I can tell the current trend in Turkey is positive.

 

Q: Is Turkey’s rising inflation rate a concern?

That’s rather complicated; sometimes you hear economists say that inflation is a major driver for real estate investment, which is true. But the question is what’s the inflation doing with the rest of the economy? Especially in Turkey, where we don’t have a real institutional real estate investment market, inflation – together with exchange rate volatility – has always been a reason to invest in real estate. It didn’t make sense to bring it to the bank, and real estate tends not to be highly affected by inflation. However, in the current market in Turkey, most retail lease contracts are made in dollars or euros, which in a lira economy gives you very different dynamics. I can’t say inflation is good for the real estate market but it’s also not too negative for us. Deflation would be worse.

 

Q: How do you view the lending situation in regards to Turkish real estate will progress in the coming year?

REDEVCO does everything with our equity, so the lending situation doesn’t have a direct affect on us. Most Turkish banks are sound and are still giving loans as far as I know. But the big foreign banks are not so active, so loans of €300 million for just one project, that time seems to be history for now.

 

Q: Which major issues affect your long term investment strategy in Turkey?

The soundness of the system is crucial. Recent tax reforms have been good. The legal system in Turkey is being adjusted to international standards, and as it becomes more transparent that’s obviously positive. Jones Lang LaSalle’s recent transparency report showed that Turkey shifted upwards in the global ranking of transparent real estate markets. Those are some of the major factors for our long term investment strategy, and they appear to be good.

 

Q: What makes Turkey an appealing place for you (or other) foreign investors?

The basics of the country are good, which includes some of the standards like a young population, a growing GDP, etc. Turkey is becoming more of a pivotal player in the regional market, opening to the East and still opening to the West as well, which offers strategic benefits. And in Turkey you can still do business at a reasonable price with reasonable yields and returns; you can buy developments and even existing assets. It is a strong market. However the post crisis market is no longer really an international market. I haven’t seen any new international investors entering this market recently. But they will come back.

 

Q: What factors can make Turkey difficult for you (or other) foreign investors?

If there is no exit – and we’re not planning an exit – but if there is no real exit then the value of your portfolio is partly determined by the liquidity, by the exit options. And if there are no big institutional or international players or solid enough buyers who could buy one of your assets, then you don’t really have a market. But I’m convinced international investment activity will return in Turkey.

 

Q: How has market transparency changed since you first entered Turkey? Does more need to be done?

Of course more has to be done, but the same goes for the Netherlands and Germany and any market. You can always be more transparent, more professional. But looking back to 2004, over the last six years Turkey has taken major steps in becoming more transparent. Legislation has improved, but one of the major remaining legal issues is the litigation issue. The legal system does work, but not that fast or transparently. Especially the legislation on rental agreements, between landlord and tenant, are not yet adjusted to the professional market.

Edirne is one of two major REDEVCO projects currently in the pre-letting and design phase.

 

Q: What is in the pipeline for your future investments in Turkey and why?

We’re currently preparing the developments which we had in the pipeline in Manisa and Edirne, two provincial cities in Turkey, one on the Aegean coast and the other on the Greek border. We’re in the pre-letting and design phase on those projects and expect to start the actual construction of those projects at the end of this year. We’re keeping busy.

 

Q: There has been much talk of the importance of high quality in top locations in the past two years; is this something you have adhered to in your Turkish investments? And now that Turkey appears on the fast track to recovery, is this still an all important characteristic?

It’s always an important characteristic. We are in a recovery phase in Turkey …

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Inflation

How to beat the rise in inflation

If you have to deposit lump sums, and if you are a basic rate taxpayer, there is only one account beats the combined effects of inflation in the CPI is a link: Coventry building society, plus tax for a five year fixed 4.75%. However, given the interest rates, you may want to hold off this time locking the money to start rising as soon as possible.

 

Where can I get a decent rate on my savings?

If you have a lump sum to deposit and you are a basic rate taxpayer, there is just one account which beats the combined effects of CPI inflation plus tax: a bond from the Coventry building society fixed at 4.75% for five years. However, you may want to hold off locking in your money for that length of time, given that interest rates could start rising soon.

If you are still building up a lump sum, consider a regular saver’s account. HSBC’s version pays 10% with a maximum deposit of £250 a month, though you have to be an HSBC Premier, HSBC Advance, HSBC Graduate (Advance) or HSBC Passport customer. Current account holders with the bank can get a rate of 5%.

 

Will my mortgage be affected?

Ultimately, yes. The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee will be forced, probably sooner rather than later, to raise the base rate to combat rising inflation. The knock-on effect will be higher mortgage rates: tracker and standard variable rate loans will rise in line with the base rate, and the cost of fixed-rate mortgages (determined by the rate at which banks lend to each other) has already started rising in anticipation.

Moneysupermarket.com has calculated that someone with a 25-year £150,000 repayment tracker mortgage at 2.17% will currently pay £648 a month. A 0.25% increase in the base rate would see their repayments rise by £19 a month. However, if the base rate climbs by one percentage point they would be paying £725 a month – an increase of £77.

 

Will it affect petrol prices?

The cost of buying fuel for your car has increased by about £300 over the last year – £100 extra in tax rises and £200 for the inflated price of petrol and diesel, according to the RAC.

Minimise the amount you use by keeping your tyres inflated to the correct pressure, ditching unnecessary and heavy items from the boot and driving smoothly at about 50mph where speed limits allow, even on motorways.

 

How can I lower my food bills?

The cost of a basket of 20 staple items rose by just 1% last year, according to mysupermarket.co.uk, but this figure hides huge variations. While coffee dropped by 10%, tea increased by 22%. Basmati rice and potatoes fell by 10% and 5% respectively, while salad tomatoes went up by 15%, oranges by 20% and grapes by 40%.

Cut the cost of your shopping basket by checking prices at the different stores before you go at mysupermarket.co.uk. Keep an eye on Aldi and Lidl – they don’t have websites but often undercut the other supermarkets.

 

Where are the best high-street deals?

Use discount vouchers. In the last year a host of voucher specialists have sprung up offering money off goods and services in stores and restaurants. Providers such as Vouchercloud, MyVouchercodes.co.uk, Vouchercodes.co.uk, and the Guardian’s own Voucher codes site offer discounts including 25% off your food bill at high-street chain restaurants such as Strada, free trials at gyms such as Fitness First, and 50% off bestselling books at Waterstones.

 

Are there any other online deals available to beat inflation?

Use crowdsourcing websites to get good deals on goods and services. When registering (usually for free), you input your local area and every day you are sent an email with potential local and national money-saving deals. If enough people sign up for the offer, the deal becomes available.

Typical deals from Groupon, Living Social and Chiconomise include discounted hairstyling, spa visits and teeth-whitening, while Incahoot.com offers deals on utilities, broadband, landlines and mobiles.…

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