Office districts: Centre moving to Wola

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Warsaw Spire building site
Wola, not so long ago perceived as unattractive, is experiencing a renaissance. More and more investments appear in the post-industrial district of Warsaw. Will Wola become a new business centre of the capital?

The location right next to the heart of the city makes this district very interesting for both office and residential developers. A lot is being built in Wola district, and on a grand scale. Soon the highest office building in Warsaw will be completed here – 220 m high skyscraper, belonging to Warsaw Spire complex. The largest corporations, banks and insurance companies locate their seats in this area and more investors consider setting up a business here. What is the contemporary Wola like?

 

Well connected

 

Wola is one of the eighteen Warsaw districts. With an area of 19,26 km2, it stands for almost 4% of the city area. In the east, along Jana Pawała II Alley, it borders with Śródmieście (the City Centre) and in the north with Żoliborz – the historical district of the intelligentsia.  The other Wola neighbours are Bemowo and Ochota.

Undoubtedly, one of the main advantages of this district is a good road network. Its backbone is made of the exit road along Prymasa Tysiąclecia Alley and Armii Krajowej Alley to Gdańsk and Białystok and Górczewska Street – main route to Poznań. The authorities of the capital and of the district make every effort to keep the availability and capacity of the district in the best possible condition. In order to do that, some new investments are realized, such as widening of Prosta Street between Wronia and ONZ Roundabout, which started in January. The roadway, laid out temporarily more than half a century ago, in several months will disappear from the map of the capital bottlenecks and allow for easy access to the city center.

The largest local self-government investment in the capital city right now is the second underground line construction. According to the assumptions of the Warsaw magistrate, the first stations of the central section, including two in the district of Wola (Daszyńskiego Roundabout and ONZ Roundabout) are to be completed later this year. The third largest railway station in terms of  the size and the amount of checked-in passengers, Warszawa Zachodnia, is also located within Wola district.

 

With historical character

 

Residential areas take less than 30% of the area, while production and services occupy the greatest area (about 35%). The latter also decide about the district image. Industrial character has long defined the areas of Wola , which once was the industrial suburbs of Warsaw, where the landscape was dominated by chimneys of factories, windmills, brick factories and breweries. Today's sights of Wola are mostly associated with the history of the interwar period tycoons such as Zakłady Mechaniczne "Lilpop, Rau and Loewenstein" (Mechanical Plant "Lilpop, Rau and Loewenstein") or Zakład Platerniczy “Norblin” (Norblin Factory). After the war, Wola was a industrial district, however, a number of plants bankrupted and the grounds and buildings left have changed their character. Zakłady Radiowe im. M. Kasprzaka buildings (The Kasprzak Radio Parts Factory) are an example – today they serve as office space and e.g. Bank BGŻ and Kredyt Bank have their seats there. Bank PBK has its seat in the buildings of former Zakłady Wytwórcze Lamp Elektrycznych im. Róży Luksemburg (Róża Luxemburg Electric Lamp Factory). Previously mentioned Norblin factory will gain new life soon. Its owner – Capital Park Group – is going to build service-retail-cultural and office complex within the project of revitalization of this area. It will be a seven-storey office building with 40 000sqm of class A office space. Next to the offices, the company intends to create a public space with markets, shops and cafes, not only for the tenants, but also for the local residents. An interesting investment which corresponds with the industrial traditions of the district is also Karolkowa Business Park. Started in 2011, the building is to be completed in the autumn of this year. Office space (over 14 000sqm) and retail-service space is being created in the industrial hall of Polskie Zakłady Phillips (Phillips Poland) from 1922.  The outer walls of the former factory have been built in the project of the Karolkowa complex façade.

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