Warsaw, a city with strong office development potential, epitomizes many directions of growth and the future of the property market. Its division into the left and right bank naturally gives rise to questions and speculation about the development of business space on each side of the Vistula River. Cushman & Wakefield’s report “Four Corners of Warsaw” investigates whether a large office hub is likely to emerge on the right bank of Warsaw and which locations have the greatest potential for office growth.
Close to 300,000 sq m of office space under construction on the right bank of Warsaw
The eastern part of the capital contains 273,923 sq m of modern office space. It is a substantial amount but accounts for only 4.4% of Warsaw’s total stock. Most of the office space on the right bank of the city is located in Praga Południe (160,023 sq m, or 58%) and in Praga Północ (86,491 sq m, or 32%). The highest concentration of office space is in the square delineated by four roundabouts: Wiatraczna – Waszyngtona – Starzyńskiego – Żaba, where it stands at 165,100 sq m, which equates to 60% of the total stock on the right bank.
The first large offices on the right bank of Warsaw were built after 1996 in the Promenada shopping centre, Centrum Millenium and Galeria Wileńska. New office development was later driven by the construction of the second metro line, which significantly improved connectivity with other districts of Warsaw, boosting investor and developer interest in this location. Further improvements to transport infrastructure facilitated office development, with such projects coming on stream as Centrum Praskie Koneser, Praga 306, and Fabryka PZO.
The growth of Warsaw’s Praga is being significantly powered not only by the underground rail system; the National Stadium and the reorganization of its surroundings, the redevelopment of the right bank of the Vistula River and the regeneration measures taken as part of Warsaw’s Integrated Revitalisation Programme for 2015-2022 are increasing the attractiveness of the district and changing public perception, thereby improving the chances of success for other commercial projects.
“The Praga side of Warsaw has great potential – its excellent location, proximity to the Vistula River, interesting old buildings and well-preserved historical urban fabric. Praga is well loved and connected to other districts by public transport. We have for years been committed to its revitalisation to support its vibrant economic, social and cultural life, but above all to improve the quality of living for local residents,” says Bartosz Rozbiewski, Deputy Director of the Department of Architecture and Planning, Warsaw City Hall.
New office locations
According to experts of Cushman & Wakefield, Warsaw is likely to continue to attract high levels of inward investment, largely thanks to its large job market with relatively low labour costs compared to Western European countries.
Due to the shrinking land availability in the city centre, development activity is likely to spread to non-central zones such as Praga. As convenient transport connections are an important factor in office occupancy decisions, areas close to metro stations offer the largest potential for office development on the right bank of Warsaw.
Locations with strong potential for new office development include Port Praski, Dworzec Wschodni, FSO Factory and Szwedzka. All these locations are easily accessible by public transport, making them attractive starting points for further projects.
“The added value, which office users expect buildings in this part of the city to provide, will also remain an important factor. As a result, we see the largest potential in further revitalisation projects and locations close to parks or the Vistula River. New office buildings are likely to be developed as part of larger mixed-use projects or to fill the gaps in the existing built fabric. However, large office hubs like Służewiec or Jerozolimskie Corridor are unlikely to emerge,” says Marcin Miazek, Associate, Office Agency, Cushman & Wakefield.