Echo Investment commits to the future of Polish cities
Echo Investment is betting on the success of Polish cities with 250,000 sqm of office space planned for Warsaw, Wrocław, Łódź, and Kraków in the next couple of years.
The multi-sector real estate developer already started construction of 93,000 sqm of office space in Warsaw and Katowice in 2018, leasing 80,000 sqm, including in its flagship 110,000 sqm mixed-use regeneration project Browary Warszawskie in the Wola district of Warsaw. In total, Echo Investment has five projects underway and six in the pipeline, and according to Rafał Mazurczak, a board member of the company responsible for the office department, is actively looking for more sites.
Echo Investment is invested in the future of Polish cities and feels confident in this strategic decision: “I fully agree that Polish cities are a strength for Poland,” said Rafał Mazurczak. “We have been watching them develop since 2000 and they are changing positively. (Because there are a large number of big cities) many international companies can grow their businesses, finding high-quality infrastructure and well-educated employees.” One city that Echo Investment wasn’t originally present in, but is now fully committed to, is Katowice. “Since we started our first project there – A4 Business Park – we have changed our perception of the city completely. It’s seen a transformation from an industrial hub to a modern business-friendly place which is great for culture and leisure too. Because we leased our first scheme so quickly, we have decided to stay here, committing to more office space, and even retail and residential,” said Mazurczak.
Łódź is a specific city, he said: “There’s a lot of available office space in Łódź at the moment, this is true, but this is because there was a large amount of space recently released to the market in a very short amount of time. The situation a year ago was the complete opposite – it was hard to find a large space. We have to wait for the market to even out a bit.”
According to Mazurczak, it’s not only the larger regional cities which are thriving: “Even smaller cities such as Rzeszów, Lublin, Bydgoszcz or Kielce have big ambitions, and it’s getting much easier to work with city authorities. BPO, ITO, SSC opportunities are being created and there’s a good quality of life, which is important today.”
What is behind this constant demand for office space? “I think that in the larger cities, broadly speaking, it’s the expansion of international companies driving demand, and in the smaller cities, it’s Polish companies. Our recent leasing transactions have shown big international brands wanting space for 1000 desks or more.”
Office space in Poland has grown significantly in recent years, reaching 10.4 million sqm of space by the end of 2018, according to a recent report by real estate consultancy Savills. Last year saw 750,000 sqm of new space added to the market. Echo Investment is confident demand will keep up with supply. “We see demand from our own tenants, and we believe this is mirrored in the wider market” claims Mazurczak.
Photos courtesy of Echo Investment