Which location is the best?
Last year proved to be beneficial for Warsaw, Cracow, Łódź, Gdańsk and Katowice. Popularity of these cities has been influenced both by investors and leaseholders. Developers have been following the trends present on the market in deciding locations for investments. The factors which decided on leaseholders' choices the most were development of city infrastructure, availability of personnel and rent rate.
Last year's popular topic in Poland turned out to be sustainable construction. Green offices, built in other countries for a long time, have begun to appear in Polish cities as well. Beginning of a certified building's construction contributed to increase of attractiveness of a location, in which they were being built. Western consortiums, used to sustainable construction's standards, eagerly locate premises of their branches in such structures.
Warsaw wins again
Last year, like the previous ones, has been favorable for capital, which is an unquestionable office leader in Poland. As a city with the best communication and availability of many amenities it enjoys the greatest interest among leaseholders and – as a result – investors. Warsaw's strenghtened position as a leader is a result mainly of its fast development, possesing highly qualified staff and executing communication investments. Despite having highest average rent rates out of all Polish cities, around 20 Euro per sq m, Warsaw had a record amount of leased office space, over 570 000 sq m.
Cracow still high
The capital of Małopolska remained a leader among regional cities in 2011, maintaining second place in Poland after Warsaw as a location with the largest amount of office spaces. Many aspects contributed to the success of Cracow – the city of students, i.a. specialised, relatively cheap staff, which attracted companies from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. An important role was being played also by works on improving the city's infrastructure. Road repairs, beginning of fast tram lines expansion to Ruczaj district, which is locally known as the "research-office" part of the city, finishing repairs on Ofiar Katynia roundabout, which allows for more efficient communication – these are the factors, which impacted the city's attractiveness. It's also worth mentioning, that Cracow attracted with lower than Warsaw's average rent rate of around 15 Euro and, similarly to the capital, achieved its record in the amount of rented office structures, over 70 000 sq m. In an interview for e-biurowce, Monika Sułdecka-Karaś of Knight Frank company described precise situation of Cracow's office market.
The unexpectedly attractive Łódź and Katowice
These cities have become incredibly popular for both developers and leaseholders in the previous year. In Łódź's case, the main factor causing the increase of its popularity has been the information on planned construction of a fast train line, allowing to reach Warsaw from Łódź in just 35 minutes. The plans are long-term, but they still caused a commotion among investors, who started locating their structures in this city. Łódź's attractiveness is further enhanced by road investments facilitating communication with the rest of Polish agglomerations – A1 and A2 highways cross each other near the city.
The things that definitely distinguish Śląsk's metropolis is its close vicinity to Cracow, an international airport and a highway which allows to quickly drive as far as to Germany's capital. The city also decided to invest in young people: last year has shown that modern courses, which are being created in Śląsk's universities, attract students, who are going to become part of qualified staff in the future.
Lower average rent rates as well as good communication, in combination with specialised staff with relatively low costs of employment are unquestionable advantages of both cities.
Cities with a large potential
Wrocław, Poznań and Gdańsk – cities with huge possibilities, have been important points on the map of polish office market for a long time. Their main advantages are very good infrastructure, close vicinity to western borders ( Wrocław, Poznań) as well as large workforce potential. Like all regional markets, they're characterised by lower average rent rate. It looks like year 2011 has been the least favorable for Wrocław – despite high supply, leaseholder's interest wasn't as big, as investors expected – around 35 000 sq m have been rented out in this city. However, it doesn't mean that developers' decisions on choosing Dolny Śląsk's metropolis for locations of their investments were a mistake. It is expected, that buildings concluded in 2012 are going to satisfy the market in IT and financial services areas, the most popular industries for Wrocław. Heavy traffic in transactions could also be observed on Gdańsk's market, which is responsible for 50% of office spaces' supply in Tricity. In Poznań as well there have been successfully executed or planned investments, which place this city in the group of attractive locations. Both cities attract investors from R&D sector.