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Łódź REdiscover

19 April 2017

The promised city

The second Łódź Rediscover conference, organised jointly by the City of Łódź and Eurobuild Conferences, took place on April 11th. This year’s event, which was held in the Andel’s by Vienna House Łódź hotel, attracted more than 100 guests.

Those attending included representatives of investors, developers and office tenants. The conference was opened by a speech from Hanna Zdanowska, the Mayor of Łódź. “These days cities are not competing so much for projects, as for personnel. It is the quality of life that determines the city we want to tie our future to. This is what we are focusing on in Łódź. If you are not here yet, then you should be,” declared the mayor, whose city is attracting more and more companies as a location for their service centres. These were the topic of the first discussion panel. “Łódź is characterised by the very large scale of individual lease transactions it has. Each of our projects has been larger than the previous one. But we are not worried about the increased competition, because this provides tenants with more options,” argued Magdalena Reńska, the regional leasing director of Skanska Property Poland. Investors would not have come here had it not been for the pro-active approach of the city council. “The rate of development in Łódź is due to the fact that we started to utilise potential that had been hitherto untapped: locations, the economy and human resources. Our strategy is simple – we are seeking investors, employers and employees very actively. And in doing so, we aim to use Łódź’s unexploited assets as much as possible,” revealed Adam Pustelnik, the acting director of the investor relations department of Łódź City Council.

However, these are not the only aces up the city’s sleeve as far as attracting business is concerned. “The image of Łódź has been changing – and this can be seen at all the main industry events. The city can boast some excellent figures, such as a vacancy rate of only 6 pct. So we decided that this gave us the opportunity to focus on our project on ul. Piotrkowska,” explained Justyna Drużyńska-Krystosiak, the director of office operations at Master Management Group. Even companies that have had somewhat difficult beginnings have since benefited from the investment boom and appreciate the changes that have taken place in the city. “We believe that the positive trend is long-term. GTC has been present in Łódź since 2008. It has not always been so good here, but the present situation is excellent. We have certainly been a beneficiary of the blooming of the city. The Łódź market is maturing and as a result has become more stable. Łódź is catching up with other cities and has the chance to become not just the sixth but even the fourth largest market in Poland by 2018,” predicted Grzegorz Boczek, the key accounts office leasing manager at Globe Trade Centre (GTC). For the Łódź market to become a worthy player of the real estate game it has to attract the investors who buy buildings. A few have already been drawn in, but there is still quite a lot to do. “It was not easy to sell Forum 76, as the investment market is still in its early stages. A few buildings have been sold, but they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Convincing investors that Łódź is a good investment market is going to take some time,” pointed out Anna Cielichowska, a member of the board and the commercialisation director of Virako. The panellists also emphasised that Łódź is not just a good place for working and doing business, but also an excellent place to live. “The city has been changing; it is becoming comfortable to live in. The area and people who comprise it are great assets. It is they who create these places – they radiate energy and passion. This is what sets Łódź apart from other cities in Poland,” stressed Michał Styś, the managing director of OPG Property Professionals.

However, Łódź Rediscover is not just a conference made up of discussions, panels and presentations. of the guests of the event were given the opportunity to see the city with their own eyes and find out whether the words they were hearing at the conference rang true. The schedule included a visit to the EC1 events and cultural centre, along with a presentation of the plans for the Nowe Centrum Łodzi scheme to revitalise the city centre, as well as sightseeing tour involving a stop-off at Off Piotrkowska redevelopment project. After a short rest, the guests could enjoy the final item on the agenda: the dinner and the night programme at the Before Food Market on Łódź’s main high street, ul. Piotrkowska. In spite of the busy schedule and all the information that needed absorbing, we have no doubt that Łódź has not disclosed all its secrets to us. But don’t worry – there will be an opportunity to rediscover the city once again in a year’s time. You are already invited to the third Łódź Rediscover conference.

TSG

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