Qualia not for Griffin

Investment & finance
POLAND PKO Bank Polski is now not going to sell its development subsidiary to a fund managed by Griffin Group. A year ago the bank and Griffin announced the signing of a letter of intent for the purchase of Qualia Development and two office buildings from the bank’s portfolio. This would have involved the acquisition of all the shares in Qualia by Griffin as well as office buildings at ul. Nowogrodzka 35/41 and ul. Sienkiewicza 12/14 in Warsaw, with the transaction to have been finalised at the end of Q1 or early Q2 2015.

No chemistry

However, the contract has remained unsigned and, as we have managed to establish, will now not be signed at all, after the two sides failed to agree on its final terms. “PKO Bank Polski and the investor have not established final, satisfactory terms for the transaction for the entire block of shares, including Qualia and other selected properties,” the press office of PKO Bank Polski has announced. Meanwhile, Griffin Group has only offered a terse “No comment”.

Rumours about a lack of chemistry between the parties to the failed transaction have been doing the rounds on the market for several months. However, the confirmation came only recently, when Qualia chose Colliers International to be the exclusive agent for the sale of its land bank.

Portfolio up for grabs

The developer has put up for sale parcels in Warsaw, Jurata, Jankowo Gdańskie and Zakopane. The estimated value of the land, where buildings with a combined area of app. 130,000 sqm could be built, amounts to PLN 150 mln.

One of the largest sites put on the market is 9.4 ha on ul. Żwirki in Wigóry in Warsaw, close to the Marina Mokotów estate. The parcel has a site development conditions decision allowing residential, office and hotel projects with a combined useable area of 70,000 sqm. In Jurata the developer hopes to sell two properties – one designated for residential use and another for a hotel. Both are located on ul. Mestwina and have building permits. The hotel plot has an area of 1.29 ha and could hold a 180-room hotel. On the other, 0.39 ha residential plot, a building with 29 apartments could be constructed. Another site put up for sale measures 11.5 ha and is located in Jankowo Gdańskie. The building permit obtained for the site allows 57 houses to be constructed on it (14 of which are already built) as well as app. 500 apartments with a combined area of 42,000 sqm. Qualia is also selling a parcel in Zakopane on ul. Piłsudskiego, near the junction with ul. Tetmajera, which has a combined area of almost 0.37 ha. This has a building permit for a hotel with 125 rooms with a combined useable area of 8,800 sqm. “This is a large portfolio of land that is already enjoying the interest of local investors and others,” claims Emil Domeracki of Colliers
International, who is in charge of the sale of the properties.

Warsaw office buildings separately

The portfolio does not include the office buildings at ul. Nowogrodzka 35/41 and ul. Sienkiewicza 12/14 in Warsaw owned by PKO BP. Qualia Development is planning to demolish the ul. Sienkiewicza building and develop an office complex 76m in height. A section of the building facing onto ul. Marszałkowska, app. 41m in height, is to integrate with the frontage of the Nowy Sezam office building planned by BBI Development, while an overhang above the pavement along ul. Marszałkowska has been designed to continue the line of Domy Towarowe Centrum. The main section of the building, located nearer pl. Emila Młynarskiego, in the second line of the development, would consist of two twin towers with heights of app. 76m. A new building, between ul. Sienkiewicza and ul. Moniuszki, would include a shopping and services arcade, extending Pasaż Wiecha up to the Świętokrzyska underground station.

A skyscraper is planned on ul. Nowogrodzka. The new office building would be constructed after the demolition of an existing building belonging to PKO BP. Its total area is to amount to 46,800 sqm, with offices accounting for 27,100 sqm of this and 1,400 sqm being shops and services. The design includes an eight-storey podium (offices and services), a 27-storey office tower and a five-storey underground car park. “The bank is maintaining its strategy of ending activities not related to basic banking operations and is continuing to sell selected real estate assets. A bundle sale is possible as well as separate sales of individual properties. The bank’s goal is to maximise the sales price and sell the properties to investors with suitable reputations and financial credibility,” declares the press office of PKO Bank Polski.