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What's new on Krakow's property development market?

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Summer is almost over and so it is 'back to work' for the majority of us. Krakow's property development market, though, appears not to have taken any time off at all. Just what has been happening during July and August? The sale of apartments in Krakow continues apace this year and whilst there are traditionally a quieter couple of months during the Summer it appears developers have not rested on their laurels but rather used this 'down-time' to focus on completing further land transactions to bolster land banks.

The most widely publicised Krakow plot sale of the Summer was undoubtedly the disposal by one of Poland's most well-known businessmen, Grzegorz Hajdarowicz, (also of Polish 'Dragon's Den' fame) of approximately 6 hectares on ul. Wroclawska to LC Corp, the Wroclaw-based property development company belonging to Poland's third wealthiest man, Leszek Czarnecki. Hajdarowicz had already sold smaller chunks of land at the same address to Krakow development company, Terra Casa, and the Bielsko-Biala development company, Murapol, and it was largely expected that Murapol would follow up with the purchase of the rest of the land. In the end LC agreed to pay almost 100mln PLN for the plot in 6 phases over the next 5 years. Around 100,000 sq m of residential or office space can be constructed on the site so potentially close to 2,000 apartments.

'Rumours have also been rife surrounding several other significant pieces of land. Portuguese developer, Gerium, currently building the residential developments Rua Bonita on ul. Śliczna and Casa Feliz in Żabiniec is said to have entered into an agreement to sell their approximate 3 hectare residential site on ul. Grzegorzecka (abutting the Wiślane Tarasy development) to the Wiślane Tarasy developer, Inter-Bud, for a sum in the region of 50mln PLN. The original scheme was expected to encompass approximately 35,000 sq m of apartments. This land purchase on the banks of the Wisła and close to the city center would surely provide several more years' supply of apartments on the riverfront.

On the West side of town it is rumoured that another long-awaited residential project, 'Ogrody Galileo', belonging to Israeli developer GTC is also in the process of changing hands. The potential buyer is allegedly the Cieszyn-based residential developer, ATAL. The plot is the former Hotel Wanda site just off Armii Krajowej. Despite originally purchasing the plot almost a decade ago GTC struggled to get outline planning due to disputes with neighbours although eventually it is likely that a scheme of approx 30,000 sq m (approx 600 apartments) could be constructed there. The plot would have views looking back across towards Kopiec Kosciuszki over the leafy suburbs of Wola Justowska and apartment prices could be similar to those noted by local developer, Grupa Bryksy, at their nearby 'Male Blonie' scheme.

Even closer to the city centre on ul. Sw. Wawrzynca in Kazimierz, New York developer Tri-Beach Holdings have also parted with half of their residential plot. The completely new-build phase of this apartment development (amounting to approx 6,000 sq m of living space) with main access from ul. Podgorska will be developed by a local Krakow-based developer who finalised the site purchase at the end of July whilst Tri-Beach themselves will shortly begin renovation and construction work of the remaining 6,000 sq m mixed-use project of the former power house located exactly at ul. Sw. Wawrzynca 19 which they retain. It will be interesting to see the progress of both of these complimentary projects which are slated to complete in 2016 and indeed we will look at the Kazimierz market in more detail in one of our next articles.

Wednesday, 10 September, 2014

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