Enriched by new office buildings, Cracow urban space may soon gain a new dimension thanks to the idea of having a business district, Capital High. At last year's investment fairs in Cannes, a mock-up of two towers was presented, 311 m high - at that time the highest in Europe. This time the plans are a little more modest and initially involve putting up 55-meter office buildings, including hotels and housing development. However, as the initiating Capital High company claims, it is still worth considering the possibility of putting up high-rise buildings in the only one area in this big city which remains harmonious. A project customized for Poland and customized for Cracow is in a way an attempt to refer to renowned capitals of European business.
Europe's largest business district is La Défense in Paris. On 160 ha there are 3,000,000 square meters office space. Thanks to the project in a commercial, residential and office district, Cracow has a chance to join the renowned from all over the world: Donau City of Vienna, the City of London and Canary Wharf, Niederrad in Frankfurt and Moscow-City.
Flawless Capital High?
Capital High is going to use the potential of Cracow, and in particular its south-western.
- Cracow attracts companies both thanks to conditions for conducting business as well as the richness of culture and openness to the world. There are many higher education facilities in the city, which provide the companies with a large number of well-educated candidates. The area located at Skotnicka street has all advantages necessary to develop a residential and business district - says Arkadiusz Nagięć, the president of Capital High. - We want to attract tentants and businesses that are on the Polish market and plan to stay here, including those which have their headquarters in Warsaw. Capital High offers a unique opportunity to create a new district from scratch, a district of the 21st century.
Also the location is a great advantage of this project - the close vicinity of the A4 motorway junction and the airport, as well as developing logistic and industrial facilities in The Economic Activiet Zone in Skawina.
The city of Cracow, which is the engine of the economy of the whole region, makes it necessary for the initiators to adapt Capital High to the planned transport solutions, including a fast tram in Ruczaj district and an extension of this line up to the area between Sidzina and Zakopane transport node, and later maybe to the Balice airport.
- Capital High is first and foremost an idea, so it is now a stage before the direct implmentation of the project. Still, acting in accordance with the concept of sustainable development is crucial for us. This is why we use renable energy in our new buildings, as well as intellegient design which allows to reduce the use of materials and energy needed to erect the buildings and at the same time to maximazie the re-use of construction materials. We will promote solutions where energy-saving systems and renewable energy sources are used. It is a sign of our times and the right idea, we support it - emphasizes Arkadiusz Nakięć.
Tenants are already asking
Capital High initiators acknowledge that, although the business district of Cracow is no further than the planning stage, potential tenants have already expressed interest.
- All the time I am getting information that our idea is right. There are companies expressing initial interest in leasing the space. We are talking to the city authorities. Our goal is to establish a development plan for the area between the nodes Zakopane and Sidzina ny the A4 motorway, which will enable us to put the idea into effect. Due to the scope of the project and due to its importance, it is not possible to act in a hurry. We hope that next year the plans will be adopted and the city will be ready to accept investors - explains the President of Capital High.
The problem with the view and .. the city
The investment, however, can interfere with the view from the historic specialist hospital complex in Kobierzyn and thus affect the panorama of the city. The initators, however, reassure us.
- There are no definite design solutions for Capital High yet, so we believe that at this stage it is difficult to talk about any potential disruption of the view from the historic hospital complex in Kobierzyn. Alos the hospital area is going to be renovated, it has been passed to Małopolska Industrial Parks. I hope that the dialogue with the Province Monuments Conservator will bring satisfactory solutions. According to our concept, in the immediate vicinity as well as in the area around, there will only be low residential buildings and large public green spaces, which will perfectly fit the historic areas. Higher buildings will be located in the vicinity of the nodes and along the A4. We take into account such area development solutions which will not be conflicting - explains Arkadiusz Nakięć.
But when asked about Capital High, the Malopolska Province Monuments Conservator throws up his hands and admits that it is difficult to decide about anything at this stage.
- Unfortunately, I cannot take a position on the matter without a professionally made observation study. In addition to the relationship with the city center, we will need to check the influence on the nearby historic buildings complex of the hospital in Kobierzyn. It is a monument of high quality, after renovation it has a chance to become one of the most interesting tourist attractions of Cracow. Therefore, issues of landscape in both active and passive display are vitally important - says Jan Janczykowski, Malopolska Provincie Monuments Conservator.
In turn, the municipality of Cracow supports creation of the centre but the buildings must not exceed 25 feet in height.
- The Sidzina node region, by Skotnicka street is included in the applicable area development plan "Skotnicka-Działowskiego". According to the plan, this area will be used as for services and residential buildings. This are no high-rise buildings. Due to the existing land development (single-family residential neighborhood to the north of Skotnicka street) and the principles of land management, the changes which will be made should not include putting up high-rise buildings in this location. It is possible to create the "business centre" with proposed buildings which will mainly be used for services in this location but only if the parameters do not exceed 25 m in height. Such a proposal is a result of analysis of height of most buildings in the area, continuation of spatial changes by introducing harmony and transforming the city structure in a sustainable way, not by introducing dissonance - emphasizes Elżbieta Koterba - the Mayor Deputy for the Development of Cracow..