Since 1991, Cracow is divided to 18 separate districts. Geographically speaking, the biggest one is Nowa Huta, but taking demography into account the leading part of the city is Prądnik Biały. The other districts are: Stare Miasto, Grzegórzki, Prądnik Czerwony, Krowodrza, Bronowice, Zwierzyniec, Dębniki, Łagiewniki, Borek Fałęcki, Swoszowice, Podgórze Duchackie, Bieżanów-Prokocim, Podgórze, Czyżyny, Mistrzejowice, Bieńczyce and Wzgórza Krzesławickie. In 2012, property developers focused their activity on six of them, namely Grzegórzki, Prądnik Czerwony, Krowodrza, Dębniki, Podgórze and Czyżyny.
Grzegórzki and Stare Miasto
In terms of office buildings, Grzegórzki district is known for the tallest building in Cracow – Błękitka. There are also other office space investments located in this sector as, for example, Lubicz Office Center.
In 2012 a new construction has begun. It will eventually support the local market with additional 1900 msq of office space. This unusual project is being brought into life on the borders of Stare Miasto and Grzegórzki districts by Balmoral Properties. The property developer is renovating a historical building called Browar Lubicz, creating modern apartments, service points and offices. According to the plan, Goetze Palace will be renovated and transformed into an office building. The construction has begun in November 2012 and is due to be finished in the last quarter of 2013. Building is planned to have 1900 msq of office space, 137 apartments and 4600 msq of commercial space. The renovation of the building, dating back to 1840, is conducted by MOFO Architekci.
Nearby, in Stare Miasto district, another construction may soon begin. The Architecture Department for the City of Cracow has decided that the grounds at Pawia St, belonging to ECE, can be used for construction purposes. Therefore, a construction of 24 meter high office building may soon commence. Currently, in cooperation with Architecture Department, the property developer is preparing legal grounds to meet the construction conditions.
The northern regions of the city are of huge importance to property developers. Office Park Roundabout is one of the locations present in this part of Cracow. Moreover, construction of other investments is currently ongoing. The district has good communication with the city center, A4 highway and Balice airport. In 2012, construction of two other major projects has begun. Together, they will provide the city with additional 42 000 msq of space. In 2012 on Pilotów 10 St, UBM, known in Cracow for many hotel and housing investments such as Park Inn and Villa Galicja, has begun the construction of Alma Tower office building. Half of its space will be taken by Alma Market SA and their affiliated companies. In total, the building will give the Cracow’s office space market additional 10 000 msq of office space. This structure is the first office building investment of UBM in the province’s capitol. The company acknowledges the potential of both the city of Cracow and its district – Prądnik Czerwony. UBM has already finished one of its housing investments, namely Villa Galicja. Alma Tower will be in accordance with current environmental friendly trends in office buildings sector, as the project is said to be given the LEED certificate. The construction should be finished by May 2014.
Another project currently under construction is Quattro Business Park and it belongs to very active local company Buma Group. Two out of four buildings of the complex have already been finished in 2010 and 2011 and the construction of the third building, which will apply for BREEAM certificate, has begun in 2012. Office building D will be the biggest in the entire complex, as it will have 12 800 out of 48 800 msq of project’s total space. The building, which is currently under construction, will give the local market a total of 12 200 msq. Not too far away is Rondo Business Park, which is and office building owned by Buma Group.
Between Lublańska and Bora Komorowskiego streets another office building, with 15 000 msq of space, is planned to be built. The owner of the ground has already prepared legally in terms of construction conditions, received the permission for construction and currently is looking for strategic investors. Such actions are understandable as the company lacks experience in office building properties’ market. The property developer emphasizes the attractive location of the investment as well as the potential of the Cracow’s market.
Krowodrza is primarily associated with AGH dormitories, however in 2012 office building Fronton has been put into operation and the construction of Buromax’s office building is still ongoing.
In the previous year, Construction and Goods Circulation Company Fronton has finished its first office sector investment. At Kamienna 21 St, in close proximity to Galeria Krakowska shopping center, Fronton Office Building has been built. It has provided the Cracow’s market with additional 5720 msq and has already gained first leaseholders, such as ground and tower radio – television infrastructure operator EmiTel.
In October 2013 in Cracow, a new office building at Radzikowskiego 3 St will be put into operation. Biuromax is a three–storey high office building, offering over 3000 msq of office space. Characteristic of this location is its interesting elevation constructed in accordance with euronit system. Additionally, the property developer Biuromax, offers the possibility of office space arrangement and renting of furniture to their customers.
In terms of office space sector, the Dębniki district is one of the fastest growing parts of Cracow. In 2012 as much as 10 000 msq of office space was put into operation and in the following years another big investment by Skanska is due to be completed.
Already mentioned Buma Group is active also in the area of Dębniki district. In July 2012 it has put into operation third building of a three part Green Office complex. The building has 10 000 msq of space which is now fully rented by companies, such as: USB Service Center Poland (which is the main leaseholder), Motorola Solutions Systems Poland Sp. z o.o., CC Poland, CRIF Sp. z o.o. and KRAK PRESS. Other buildings of the complex provide respectively 3300 and 8000 msq of space. The entire complex is located at Czerwone Maki 84 St and was designed by UCEES.
Another construction has begun at the crossing of Kapelanka and Kobierzyńska St. Skanska has started their first office building construction in Cracow, namely Kapelanka 42. The property developer points out that, even though the building is still under construction, it is already considered to be a very interesting property for potential leaseholders. In his opinion, it’s caused by both a huge potential of Cracow’s office market and growing interest in environmental friendly locations. The complex will consist of two buildings, which together will create 30 000 msq of space and 12 250 msq will be created in the first stage of the construction. The entire investment, which should be finished by June 2014, will apply for LEED certificate.
Capital High is the company which spotted the attractiveness of the neighborhood of Skotnicka St. The property developer, interested in the conditions of conducting business in Cracow and a significant amount of local higher education institutions, has presented a plan of creating a new business and housing precinct. Its aim is not only to interest local and foreign investors, but also those who located their companies in the capitol. The Capital High project includes the creation of 55 meter tall buildings for office, housing and hotel purposes. This property is characterized by the close proximity of A4 highway and airport. Currently, the investment is in the project phase and the date of construction is yet unknown. However, the property developer claims that first potential leaseholders have made their interest known.
Podgórze district area is very attractive for the potential investors mainly due to its good communication with the city center. In the previous years, these grounds have been used by property developers from office sector who value this district’s advantages more and more with every passing year.
In 2008, when the construction of Enterprise Park complex has begun, being in close proximity of so much office space was, in my understanding, a chance for development not only to this area, but to my company as well – says Andrzej Włodarczyk, co-owner of Roan, the company which created the Dekert 18 office building. Now, as these buildings are completed, I think that they are a huge advantage of this area. One big company brings another and that’s how office centers are created.
One of the property developers, which has just recently began operating on Cracow’s office estate market, is Avestus Real Estate. In 2012, the company has put into operation the first part of office buildings complex Enterprise Park located by Powstańców Wielkopolskich Ave. Due to this investment, the city of Cracow will gain three buildings providing a total of 28 000 sqm of usable space and 15 300 sqm has already been created. The complex is created in accordance with the BREEAM ecological system. The project has already been spotted by leaseholders, what can be seen by the lease of 8 500 sqm by Delphi Poland and 3 500 sqm by Cisco Systems.
A new office building, located at Jan Dekert’s St 18 in the Podgórze district has 1800 sqm of usable space. This small location called Dekert 18, which has been finished in two years, has been built by Trade Company Roan. In the beginning the property developer wanted this location to have a more universal character, however, the direction of the district’s development towards business centers has caused a change in plans. Nevertheless, the ground floor of this office building will be set for rent to companies from trade and services sector. Near this location is also another office building, namely Diamante Plaza, and some of the leaseholders of its space are companies like AON Hewitt.
Bonarka for Business is the office buildings complex which is currently under construction. The owner of this place is TriGranit Development. At this location, a total of four buildings and 35 000 msq of space will soon be created. Two of this complex’s buildings have already been put into operation in 2011 while the third, offering as much as 9 500 msq of space, was finished at the beginning of 2013. The last of the buildings is currently under construction and is said to be finished in the last quarter of 2013. Some of the space of these office buildings has already been taken by companies, such as: Herbalife, Alexander Mann, PureHealth and Fitness, Antenna, Lexmark, StateStreet, Aterima and Lux Med. The property developer plans to build 50 000 msq of additional up-to-date office space also in this part of Cracow.
Another impressive achievement in this district is Orange Office Park, created by East-West Development Office Sp. z o.o. by Klimeckiego 1 St. This complex is made of three office buildings, namely Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haque, which will provide a total of 29 000 msq of space. The first stage of the plan, which will give the Cracow’s market as much as 9000 msq of usable space, has started with the beginning of 2013 and will end in March 2014. The building already has first leaseholder – it’s Brown Brothers Harriman.
The Cracow’s Technology Park, which is the manager of Cracow’s special economic area, is located at Czyżyny. Due to many tax allowances, this area can be especially attractive to potential entrepreneurs. What investors also appreciate is a good communication with the city center. Many interesting locations are present in this area and one of them is Office Center Azbud located at Aleja Pokoju. Czyżyny have the potential to become, in the following years, a fast growing area in the office space sector.
In this area office building Nautilus, the first of a twin office building complex Nautilus-Aquarius, is under construction. It will offer 6000 msq of medical-office space and will be put into operation by the end of 2013. The property developer of this complex is ABP Investments. The primary leaseholder of this location will be the polish central medical laboratories consortium Diagnostyka, but at the same time negotiations with other companies take place. The investors’ representatives point out, that the location is especially attractive due to a well-developed communication system, close proximity of Main Railway Station, Cracow’s bypass and Balice airport.
Another office building, called Ellipsis, owned by Esco Development, will be built at Jana Pawła II 74 Ave. Although it was supposed to be finished by the end of 2012, the investment is still only in planning phase.
An office building, which is supposed to serve as a modern Data Center, should also be constructed in the near future. Comarch has placed a bid for procuring a project and construction of a building for services and office use with the total space of 11 708, 87 msq. It will be created in the Special Economic Area Cracow-Czyżyny. The value of the investment is estimated between 50 and 60 million zlotys. The construction is said to begin this year and the building will be put into operation in 2015.
Lesser Poland’s potential
In 2012 a trend of setting new investments in smaller cities, usually in close proximity to bigger metropolises, has become more noticeable. The prefiguration of this tendency could have been spotted in suburban regions of Cracow. One of the examples is Przy Parku complex located in Wieliczka. It consists of two office buildings providing a total of 3400 msq of usable space. The property developer, Murapol SA, points out the complex’s perfect location.
Another example confirming this trend is Park Technologiczny 3.0 MMC Brainville which is currently under construction in Nowy Sącz. Its aim is to facilitate the development of companies from new technologies sector. The locations’ administrator is Miasteczko Multimedialne Sp. z o.o.
Business Center Niepołomnice is a project of an up-to-date office building that will soon be created in this little town. Till now, the area has been associated primarily with big industrial investments. The property developer has seen the chance to use the city’s potential and responded with a proposition for adequate location providing 3000 msq of space.
The article is a part of the report ‘Architecture Transactions Investment. 2012 office space market’s summary’ published by e-biorowce.pl team. Full report is available on the website in Our publications/Reports section.