|Apricot Capital Group has recently launched construction on its first office project in Poland|
Courtesy of Apricot Capital Group
Adam Zdrodowski: Apricot Capital Group entered Poland in 2007 and has recently launched its first office project in Warsaw. Have you been waiting for the right moment to start building or did you need that time to develop your business in the country?
Agnieszka Jaworska: Our idea in 2007 was to buy cheap plots without an approved planning decision or master plan because we did not want to compete with other developers paying market prices.
In 2008, we sold our retail project on ul. Radzymińska [in Warsaw] to Kaufland supermarkets before the financial crisis and since then we have just been obtaining permits for our plots in Żoliborz and Mokotów and securing more plots for future projects.
Your first Polish project is located in an area of Warsaw’s Żoliborz district that has until recently been mostly associated with industrial space. Do you think the neighborhood could become an attractive office location in the near future?
We believe that Żoliborz is already a very attractive location for offices. It doesn’t suffer from traffic problems and the access to the city center is much better than from Mokotów, for example. We like this project so much that we are actually planning to keep the building for our own fund.
How many apartments will be built within the residential part of the Żoliborz project and when will construction on those housing units launch?
The residential part of the Żoliborz project, called “Żoliborz Park,” will comprise 350 apartments. The complex has a valid building permit and we are currently preparing a tender for a general contractor. We plan to deliver the first phase at the end of 2013.
Apricot is also planning an office building on ul. Domaniewska in Warsaw’s Mokotów district. Can you reveal any more details?
We will develop an office complex of around 32,000 sqm of GLA and it will have the maximum [number of] parking [spaces possible] in the whole area. The disadvantage of that part of Mokotów is that competition is huge and a lot of projects have been delivered recently or are under construction, which has made rent levels fall.
The main advantage is that I find most of the projects being built in the area to be really similar and as if they were designed 10 years ago. We will have the concept for our project in around three months and our building will be a landmark for the whole area. We think that top companies will prefer to pay €1 more in headline rent and stay in a unique place.
Where will Apricot’s planned retail project in Warsaw be located? How large will the investment be, what will its format look like, and when could construction start?
We are planning a 30,000-sqm retail park on the eastern side of the Vistula. Again, it will be different from anything seen in Warsaw. It will be composed of retail boxes of 150 sqm of space on two floors and they will be for sale or for rent. It will look like a luxury version of the retail park on ul. Bartycka [in Warsaw].
Are you considering more land acquisitions in Warsaw? If so, for which kinds of projects and in which locations?
We are currently in negotiations with a big multinational firm for whom we will construct a built-to-suit office and warehouse project in Warsaw, and we are also very interested in office projects on the eastern side of the Vistula.
Are you planning expansion to other Polish cities?
For outside Warsaw, we are only interested in joint ventures for retail projects with companies that need an equity partner but have a ready project. We won’t develop anything by ourselves outside Warsaw in the short term.
From Warsaw Business Journal by Adam Zdrodowski
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