WRF sums up year 2001

During the 4th Qtr of 2001, 53,400 sqm of office space was leased (28,300 sqm in the city centre and 25,100 sqm in non-central locations), according to The Warsaw Research Forum. Take up in 2001 was 181,000 sqm (city centre - 80,900 sqm, non-central 100,100 sqm).
From October to December 2001 there were no new completions in the city centre whereas in non-central locations 96,100 sqm of new office space was delivered. Over the whole year 216,000 sqm of new office space came onto the market (43,500 sqm in the city centre and 172,900 sqm non-central).
The vacancy rate for the 4th Qtr was 14.7% in the city centre and 17.1% non-central, giving an average of 15.9% for the city. Compared to 2000, the year 2001 in Warsaw saw:
- Take-up drop 20%
- New supply down 41%
- 80% less completions
- An increase of 15.9% in Warsaw office stock
- A year-on-year increase of non-central supply of 27.8% compared to 5.9% in the city centre
- A slight fall in overall vacancy from 16.8% to 15.9%
- A fall of city centre vacancy from 19.6% to 14.7% and an increase in non-central vacancy from 13.4% - 17.1%
The WRF is made up of international property consultancies CB Richard Ellis, Cushman & Wakefield H&B, DTZ Zadelhoff Tie Leung and Jones Lang LaSalle.

IBC tops out

The first building of developer Golub-Europe LLC's USD 85 million International Business Center complex on Polna street in Warsaw has topped out. The building, due for completion in December this year, will contain 16,000 sqm of office space (of which PricewaterhouseCoopers will lease 8,000 sqm) and 1,500 sqm of retail space. Construction of the second building will start next year. Hochtief Polska is the general contractor through its subsidiary Budokor. The design is by Denton Corker Marshall and the project engineering firm is Epstein.

Von der Heyden Group to develop business centre in Szczecin

The Von der Heyden Group is to construct a EUR 50-55 million, 50,000-sqm 2-phase business centre, with a residential element, on Plac Solidarnosci in Szczecin's city centre. A letter of intent was signed between the company and the city authorities on 25th April. A joint venture company called 'Szczecinskie Centrum Finansowe', in which the city will receive a 'non-dilutable' shareholding, will be set up in order to carry out the project. Work is expected to start in 2004 and be completed in 2005. Early estimations are that the centre will contain between 25-30,000 sqm of net usable area, of which 15-18,000 sqm is estimated to be office space (again over 2 phases), 6-8,000 the approximate residential space and 4-6,000 sqm the retail space.

Speaking to Eurobuild, Sven von der Heyden said he was investing in Szczecin due to its potential, pointing out that Berlin is only 110 kms away. ,We want," he said, ,to be the first and set examples. At the moment the market is rather slow, but people said that about Poznan 4 years ago". The market in Szczecin, he added, wouldn't truly develop earlier than 2005/2006 after Poland's accession to the EU, but said that he felt the city authorities have a pro-active stance when it comes to international congresses and conventions. Von der Heyden said it was far too early to talk about possible tenants, although he said that his company had received initial interest from a financial institution as well as a local government body. It was also premature to talk about price per sqm as no comparable building has been built yet, but he said that the rent level wouldn't be much lower than Poznan in the long run.

Concerning companies which will be involved in the project, Von der Heyden said that the development itself would be done by the company's in-house team, but that Probuild from Poznan would be considered as project manager and the design would most likely be done by local architects in cooperation with their Warsaw designers. Last but not least, he added, ,if Knight Frank is able to convince me about their capability in Szczecin we will also consider their involvement."

Reforming Reform

EC Harris, the property and development advisors, have been appointed as Property and Facilities Managers for the Reform Plaza in a bid to help turn around the image and financial fortunes of the Turkish-owned Reform Company. Although the building is centrally located by Plac Zawiszy on Al. Jerozolimskie, it is slightly less than 40% occupied more than two years after it was opened and has been dogged by a reputation for poor specifications. EC Harris already have a team of 5 staff based in the building and according to Peter Maitland, the company's head of facilities management in Poland, there will be a particular emphasis on tenant liaison and information to occupiers. An initial meeting with tenants has already taken place.

Tishman and PKP sign deal

Tishman Speyer Properties and Polish Railways (PKP) have come to an agreement concerning ownership rights to PKP land in central Krakow on which the US-based investor has plans to build its 'Nowe Miasto' project. The deal finishes a dispute which started in December last year. According to the agreement TSP will buy 11.7 hectares of PKP land around the main railway station in Krakow, as well securing leasing rights to the area under the platforms and a car park located above them. Both sides say that details of the agreement will stay secret. To receive a building permit TSP now has to make arrangements with PKS (the National Bus Service) and Polish Post, whose buildings are located on the future project site. According to a TSP spokesman an agreement between the parties is expected in a couple of months. The agreement paves the way for a possible purchase of the site by German retail and leisure centre owner/operator ECE Projektmanagement, although neither side would comment on the persistent rumours.

Centrum Jasna awaiting building permit

Development company Centrum Jasna is preparing to start an office project of the same name. Centrum Jasna will be located in the centre of Warsaw on the corner of Jasna and Swietokrzyska streets, a couple of minutes walk from the north-east corner of Plac Defilad. The building permit is expected soon, the developer says. If this goes according to plan construction is expected to start during the summer and take 18 months.
A budget of USD 18 million has been given for the 7,000 sqm building, 6,000 sqm of which will be net office space and 1,000 sqm net retail space.

Prime rents stable across region

Prime office rents in Budapest, Prague and Warsaw were stable in 2001, ending several years of falling rents, according to a new report by Jones Lang LaSalle. In Moscow, however, prime rents grew by more than 4%.
Take-up across the 4 markets was 13% of the end-of-year stock, lower than in 2000 but above the Western Europe average of 5%. Completions across the region were some 25% down in 2001 compared to 2000.
Completions in 2002 are expected to be higher than in 2001 but will remain lower than the levels seen between 1998 and 2000. Vacancy rates show a downward trend, especially in Moscow.

Katowice's UNI Centrum to open in summer

The multiplex and retail section of developer 'Business Centre 2000's 66,400 sqm mixed-use 'UNI Centrum' project in Katowice will open on 1st July this year. The hotel and office part will open two months later on 1st September.
Cinema Kinoplex will operate the 8,500 sqm, 9-screen multiplex, Holiday Inn will operate the 8,700 sqm hotel, and the office and retail sections will consist of 16,800 sqm and 4,100 sqm respectively.
Mostostal Zabrze, which owns Business Centre 200, is the general contractor. The architect was Architekten Reichel + Stauth. Exclusive agents Colliers International recently facilitated a 908-sqm lease with fitness-club chain 'Gymnasion'.