Rondo of applause

Eurobuild Awards
The glass tower in central Warsaw celebrated its 10th anniversary last year. Strong local competition has emerged over the last decade, but this has not prevented Rondo 1 from being chosen by tenants for the Eurobuild Award in the Office Building of the Year category

The Rondo 1 complex, which was built by Hochtief Development Poland in 2006, has a gross leasable area of 66,000 sqm and no problems regarding vacancy – almost ever since the beginning of its existence the building has been more than 90 pct leased and tenants regularly stay on in the glass tower on the ONZ roundabout. The ten-storey building that also forms part of the complex and includes a car park with 500 spaces, as well as some retail and service units, is also popular. Deutsche Asset Management, which since 2014 has been the owner of Rondo 1, is not satisfied with merely admiring the jewel in its crown. Last year the building underwent LEED re-certification: from the ‘Gold’ status it was awarded in 2011 it was upgraded to ‘Platinum’, the highest rating under the American green building certification scheme. According to Marek Jakubiak, the head of the CEE real estate at Deutsche Asset Management, the re-certification forms part of the company’s current sustainable development policy. “We cooperate with tenants on green measures and encourage environmentally-friendly activities. The interior design and redesign work in the common as well as the leasable areas is all performed in line with LEED guidelines, i.e. using appropriate materials and employing a strict waste utilisation policy,” says Marek Jakubiak. The re-certification was carried out by JLL, the manager of the property since February 2015. “The building’s energy efficiency has improved by over 6 pct compared to the previous certification. Rondo 1 is now one of the most efficient office facilities according to the Energy Star ranking – 100 pct of the electricity used in the building is certified as renewable, while 95 pct of the waste in Rondo 1 is reprocessed. Added to that, the office building uses a third less drinking water than standard buildings,” explains Regina Gul, the senior project manager at JLL responsible for the recertification process.

A fine building and human being

It is also should be mentioned that the manager of Rondo 1 was also among the winners at the Eurobuild Awards. The Office Manager of the Year award went to Magdalena Kuran-Piszczek, who is the head of the team that manages the building on behalf of JLL. “This is a clear signal that providing a high class service is still appreciated and that the age of this building is clearly of secondary importance,” comments Marek Jakubiak. What, according to him, are the characteristics of an ideal manager of a class ‘A+’ office building? “A good property manager is someone who properly represents the building and addresses all the tenants’ needs,” he says. “The manager’s proactiveness and highest standards are appreciated by our tenants because we try to help them in their ongoing activities. Property managers also continue to be extremely important when it comes to the relations between the tenant and the building owner because, in the majority of cases, they are the first people to react to the needs that arise. Deutsche Asset Management’s long-term goal is to have excellent relations with our tenants, which is why we pay such attention to having the best everyday contact with all our property managers, so that they understand our DNA,” adds the head of Deutsche Asset Management.

Unruffled by rivals

There is no denying that Rondo 1 is entering maturity and can certainly feel its younger competition breathing down its neck. However, as it can be seen from the Eurobuild Tenants’ Award, its occupants still like the office tower. “The location, the building’s quality and the services provided count significantly. I am convinced that the tenants of our building appreciate all these elements very much. Class ‘A+’ buildings, in fact, set new, top standards. And Rondo 1 is an example of the very top quality on the office market,” claims Marek Jakubiak. The tenants are of a similar view and continue to express positive opinions about the building. The anchor tenants, which include CBRE, also appreciate their premises. “In spite of its age, Rondo 1, due to its efficiency, tenant mix, location and the scope of services for tenants, has undoubtedly maintained its prestige at a premium level, so it is of no surprise that it continues to be commonly considered the best building in its class,” comments Łukasz Kałędkiewicz, the senior director of advisory and transaction services at CBRE. However, he cautions against any resting on laurels. “Retaining this status over the next few years could be a challenge for the owner, due to the skyscraper projects planned in similar locations and featuring the latest functional and technical systems,” states the director of CBRE.

Deutsche Asset Management’s plans for this year are clear – the continuation of its investment strategy and the further extension of its portfolio in Poland and the Czech Republic. “At the same time as we have been gradually implementing our plans, we have been maintaining a high level of leasing in our portfolio, providing a stable and attractive cash-flow to our funds,” insists Marek Jakubiak. “DAM strives to be the leader in terms of determining the top standards of services offered and the area leased. We are currently drawing up new principles aimed at further increasing the quality of the services offered,” he emphasises.

Rondo 1, Warsaw

Opening date: March 7th, 2006

Useable area: 66,000 sqm

Selected tenants:
Volkswagen Bank Polska, Open Finance, Squire Patton Boggs, CBRE, Credit Suisse Luxembourg, Ernst & Young, Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka, Baker & McKenzie, Dentons, Aareal Bank, Allen&Overy, Innova Capital

Owner: Deutsche Asset Management

Facility manager: JLL

Architect: Larry Oltmanns (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill)

Ecological certificate: LEED ‘Platinum’

Location: Rondo ONZ 1, Warsaw