The do to end the decade

On December 3rd, once again it was time to get together, take a look back at the passing year and find out who would take away the coveted Eurobuild Awards this time round. But it was also the end of the decade, so the event was bigger and better than ever before

To say the 10th Eurobuild Awards Gala was well-attended would be a serious understatement. Almost 1,000 people gathered at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in Warsaw to take part in the celebrations. This time it was the largest Gala ever held, but luckily the venue is also the biggest conference centre in Warsaw. Even so, all of the tickets had been sold out well in advance and no more tables could be crammed in the main hall.

Upon entering the foyer, the guests were immediately handed a blue cocktail, courtesy of CFE, and soon everyone was renewing old business contacts and forming new ones as the room quickly started to fill up.

For those who had always fancied themselves on the cover of our magazine, APP Projekt kindly sponsored a photo booth where anyone and everyone could be a Eurobuild cover girl or boy. And judging by how many ended up posing in front of the camera, there are quite a few wannabe real estate superstars out there.

The air of anticipation was palpable, since not only were the usual Eurobuild Awards up for grabs, but the organisers had also decided to present awards for the entire decade. But before the formal part of the evening could begin it was time for a look back at the past ten years. The proceedings were kicked off with a presentation on the big screen that took an individual look at each year of the decade, which was accompanied by the Dziubek Band playing the most memorable hit song from that year.

After this blast from the past, the food was served as Eurobuild’s editor-in-chief Ewa Andrzejewska took to the stage together with popular TV presenter Piotr Kraśko (known for such television shows such as ‘Dzień Dobry TVN’) to get the presentation ceremony underway. First came the tenant awards. The winners of these had been decided based on the results of a survey of office, warehouse and shopping centre tenants held by market research firm Kantar in October.

And then it was time for the guests to have their say. Just as in previous years, each of the diners had been given a keypad to make their choices that looked somewhat like a Casio calculator. Interestingly enough, the first warm-up question the guests were asked to consider was “How many Eurobuild Awards ceremonies have there been?” For those of you who somehow still feel unsure about this, the correct answer is now ten. Once the warm-up was over it was back to the more serious business of the evening, choosing the actual winners. Magdalena Kowalewska, the country manager at Immofinanz, was voted the Personality of the year; the Newcomer of the Year was We Work and the Outstanding Non- Business Achievement of the Year went to JLL for its Charity Real Estate Beach Volleyball Tournament.

After the audience had had its say it was then time for the results of the jury awards. This year the Eurobuild jury comprised 252 recognised real esand they selected the winners of 15 awards for the Polish market and a further four for the CEE.

The Eurobuild Gala is not just about recognising the most important achievements in real estate but is also a charity event – and this time Eurobuild once again raising money for the Iskierka foundation, which is dedicated to caring for children who live with cancer and their families. This year an auction was held for a football shirt signed by all the members of the Polish national team. The winning bid of PLN 77,500 was made by Panattoni Europe. Wine merchant Robert Mielżyński also generously contributed three bottles of fine Collazzi wine to the auction. A six-litre bottle was bought by Axi Immo managing partner Renata Osiecka for PLN 10,100, while two other 12-litre bottles were sold for PLN 20,000 to Panattoni and CFE. Together with the proceeds from the sale of the lottery tickets, PLN 140,909 was raised on the night for the charity.

The awards presentation was not over yet, since five were still to be announced. To mark the end of the decade and the tenth year of the gala, it was only fitting to recognise those that have left the biggest mark over the past ten years. The final award was for the Outstanding Contribution to Real Estate and it came as no surprise when it was handed to Robert Dobrzycki, the CEO of Panattoni Europe, the company that also won (equally unsurprisingly) the Warehouse Developer of the decade. For those who wanted to know more, a short film was screened about the man and his work and even though the award was specifically for him, he then chose to take to the stage together with his team.

With the formalities now over, it was time to let our hair down. The first band to take to the stage was the Electric Girls, made up of a saxophonist, a DJ, a violinist and a singer, to get the guests dancing with some really thumping sounds. But the main act was former Eurovision contestant Cleo, who ratcheted the party atmosphere up several more notches. Afterwards she was even open to posing for photos with the guests and signing autographs, before the Electric Girls again took to the stage. But what birthday party would be complete without a cake? At midnight it was unveiled in the foyer to set the seal on the decade – and for the delectation of the guests, before they danced away the rest of a most memorable night. AH