Placemaking: Real Estate Projects

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Office buildings more frequently open up to inhabitants these days. Why? What is needed to create a place that attracts people? Jan Jakub Zombirt, Associate Director, Strategic Consulting, JLL, talks about placemaking in real estate projects.
Jan Jakub Zombirt, Associate Director, Strategic Consulting, JLL
Jan Jakub Zombirt, Associate Director, Strategic Consulting, JLL

 

Is public space an added value of any office complex? Does it influence its brand? May it improve the image of given property?

We may even say that such spaces more frequently become an integral part of office projects. The best and the most recognizable example is European Square at Warsaw Spire. There are restaurants and art gallery in the open air around the Square. Since the opening, the investment has been attracting various groups of visitors, including inhabitants, tourists, children, young couples or people who benefit from a gastronomic offer. This is a brand itself. An attractive space which is an element of the project arouses positive emotions, it’s perceived as a "good address". A brand of given building is today an effective marketing tool that allows for its sales or lease.

Why modern office buildings more frequently contribute to growth of local communities these days?

The reason is simple. Office buildings aren’t inaccessible business enclaves anymore. They’re open to inhabitants. On the one hand, cafes, pubs, smaller shops and other service spaces are located on the ground floors of office buildings. On the other hand, developers invite inhabitants to social consultations at the design or construction stages. This is the most effective way to create space from which people actually want to benefit.

What should be done so that employees wouldn’t be distracted by the presence of inhabitants around their office buildings?

First and foremost, such situation may occur when additional attractions are organized during work hours. However, managers usually take care of such places and make sure that the schedule of additional open events doesn't disturb the employees.

Various people benefit from public spaces. How to determine the right target group?

The most interesting placemaking projects are the ones which are open to various people, the ones which are inclusive, not exclusive. Thereby, the intended use of given space is more important than one concrete target group. It’s therefore crucial to analyze moods and needs of local communities. The example is the Łódź multi-use Monopolis project, which is being erected in the revitalized space of the former Polmos factories. The investment’s developer – Virako – has decided to create a place for both working and spending free time. There will be a theatre, fitness center with swimming pool, exhibition gallery, environmental clubhouse, kindergarten as well as bars and restaurants. Marketing actions had been conducted long before the commencement of the right construction works. They included events aimed at promotion of art, local identity or Polish design in cooperation with numerous local institutions.

 


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