Orange Real Estate: “Second Life of Buildings” conference

Redevelopment and modernisation is the talk of the town

Groundbreaking ceremonies are taking place throughout Poland, but not all old structures are being demolished to make room for shiny skyscrapers. Orange Polska Real Estate held a “Second Life of Buildings” conference in September at the Bristol Hotel in Warsaw. Over 200 real estate professional as well as lawyers, local government officials and financial representatives attended the one-day event. Partners of the conference included Deloitte, Cushman & Wakefield, Cresa, RD Bud, Interbiuro, and the city of Łódź.

Panels focused on the redevelopment and modernisation market in Poland and Europe – from investment to architecture. There was a discussion on the profitability of modernising multifunctional facilities in city centres and how developers are increasingly interested in redevelopment projects. Panelists also discussed legal regulations related to redevelopment of historical buildings and conservation requirements in addition to how it will affect the investment schedule and financing issues.

Piotr Muszyński, Orange Polska VP of Strategy and Transformation, said the nature of technology in telecommunications is changing dynamically and devices needed to carry out services occupy less space today. Therefore, the company sells these facilities to be repurposed to serve the people and remain an important part of the city.

Repurposed facilities can remain integral parts of cities, said Piotr Muszyński, Orange Polska Vice President of Strategy and Transformation.

As attractive plots in city centres become less available and housing continues to age, revitalisation and modernisation of properties is becoming more popular in Poland and other countries with increasingly mature real estate segments. In line with this growing trend, Director of Orange Polska Real Estate, Paweł Buchman, said, “Looking at the interest of investors and trying to understand their intentions, we came to the conclusion that it is worth proposing a conference in which all parties, ie investors, real estate agents, city authorities, architects and conservators, will have the opportunity to exchange their views.”

During the conference, Maciej Klukowski, Orange Polska Real Estate Trade Director, presented examples of transformations of Orange telecommunication buildings, which now operate as schools, lofts and shopping centers.

Various neighbourhood transformation projects and large completed mixed-use facilities were presented during the conference. “It’s crucial in the revitalisation process to have an area approach, rather than a local one, emphasised Radoslaw Kubaś, partner at Deloitte. “When such complex modernisations are carried out with the revitalisation of an area, real estate also brings many benefits to the local community.”

As a result of the conference, all panelists signed the Declaration of Model Revitalisation which will be submitted to the Warsaw City Hall to ensure efficient cooperation between investors and local governments.

Maciej Klukowski, Orange Polska Real Estate Trade Director, presented Orange telecommunication buildings that were given a second life.
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Written by: Monica Zielinski