APP and its appsSmall talk
It’s been an interesting year. What have been the most important moments for APP-Projekt?
Jacek Korwin-Małaszyński, member of the board, APP Projekt: It was an important time in terms of our growth, rather than just in terms of our projects. In 2022, our company implemented the first stage of our own innovative app for comprehensive construction investment management. Our ambition was to create a place to exchange information, where we could in one place bring together documents, take decisions and monitor the entire processes in real time, making all of this available to everyone involved in a given project – including the contractors, designers, investors and inspectors. Our Fault Management module already operates on two platforms: on computer web browsers and as an iOS or Android tablet app. Right now we are developing additional modules.
Which of APP’s current projects has been the most demanding?
We are involved in dozens of different projects – production and warehousing real estate, offices and retail, and also on apartment projects. Each of these is unique in its own way and also a challenge for us, since they require different competencies and also need to meet specific legal and technical requirements. One example is the modernisation of Betonhaus and the Hugger Brewery in Poznań, where the restoration work is of huge importance to the investor due to the historic character of the buildings. Another project, which is particularly interesting from the architectural point of view, is the latest stage of the Fuzja mixed-use development in Łódź, for which we are providing project management and project supervision services and acting as the construction manager. This requires us to take a broader perspective and point of view due to its many usages. The Saxdor Boatyard project in Ełk is also a challenge, as we are responsible for the project management and investor supervision for the yacht boatyard, while there is also the Capchem project in Śrem, where an electrolyte factory for lithium ion batteries is being built – we are the project manager and responsible for the cost control, while also providing investor supervision.
It seems that the last two years have been quite good for APP-Projekt…
Even though the last year was not the best for the real estate sector due to the rising project development costs of as well as the occasional lack of access to some materials and the reduced demand caused by the suspension of lending, it was full of important moments for us. We completed many projects throughout Poland and also took on another project in France. We are working on the Chateau La Curnière in Provence, which involves the construction of rental apartments. In 2022 we began several new projects and continued working with some of the biggest developers, including Echo Investment, Hillwood, Panattoni, Okam Capital, Skanska, Ronson Development and Rednet Investment.
What should we expect in 2023? What will be happening on the real estate market?
There is a significant risk that construction costs will continue to rise due to the price of raw materials and construction materials, and this could result in investors suspending some projects or delaying them. For consumers, if the predictions of some analysts turn out to be right, this could mean the prices of new homes could be pushed up slightly, especially in Poland’s largest cities. This could, just like the prospect of further interest rate rises, result in reduced demand for apartments and local services. The difficulties in applying for mortgages and the high inflation rates are not going to help either. When it comes to market trends, we expect modernisation projects and the conversion of old buildings into apartments, including office blocks and shopping malls, to become more common due to the limited availability of land in city centre locations. I’m putting my money on the secondary market enjoying a lot more interest, as it is already growing today and great opportunities exist for the PRS market. Many of the forecasts, when the war in Ukraine is factored in, provide few reasons for optimism, but just like many other companies in this sector we are trying to stay optimistic and to wait for the geopolitical situation to stabilise as well as for energy and material prices to stop rising.
Man cannot live on work alone… are you going to find time for a rest during the winter break?
The beginning of the year always means a lot of work for the sector, a great deal of planning and signing new contracts, but most of us find some time to take a break. Personally, I am going skiing with my family and I can’t imagine a winter without doing this.
Interviewer: Anna Korólczyk-Lewandowska