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edition 1 (217)
January 2017
Eurobuild Awards

The Pearl of Pomerania

The Warehouse of the Year 2016: Centrum Logistyczne Kowale I and II

Rafał Ostrowski

The Pearl of Pomerania
Ryszard Gretkowski, vice-president of 7R Logistic, and CEO Tomasz Lubowiecki

The winner of this Eurobuild Award, Centrum Logistyczne Kowale I and II, is located just outside Gdańsk and can be characterised as a place that has it all – chiefly, an excellent location and management

This year the winner in a category that has been dominated so far by big multinational development companies is a complex constructed and managed by a relatively small warehouse developer from Kraków – 7R Logistic. The company scored impressively in the Millward Brown survey. The lowest mark from the 33 questions tenants were asked was 3.33 points out of 5, which was how they felt about the rent rates in Centrum Logistyczne Kowale. But even this assessment was good. Tenants have never been generous as far as rents are concerned, and this year only four rivals scored better than Kowale in this category.

Nevertheless, Kowale was judged to be the best in other categories. It scored the highest number of points – 5 out of 5 – twelve times. This was for the location, working conditions (including the central heating, air conditioning, lighting and ventilation systems), the technical conditions and the quality of the materials used, the lorry park, the transparency of the service fees, the manager’s effectiveness, the facilities for the tenants built during the leasing process and, on top of all that, the general assessment of how well the “product” meets the needs of the tenants.

The centre was also one of the two most highly regarded buildings (along with MLP Pruszków) for access to the rail network, which is not often the case for warehouses, and for the convenience of the car park for visitors (where Prologis Park Wrocław III came out on top). The centre also achieved the best score in terms of its service fee value for money.

Constructed for its own use

“We are absolutely delighted because this is our first logistics building,” said the representatives of 7R Logistics upon receiving the award. The history of the park goes back to 2008, when a group of companies out of which 7R Logistic later emerged (Limpol and TIM-Imex, among others), needed a new warehouse in the TriCity. Up until then the companies had leased space from other developers. “Due to its dynamic growth, the companies’ managements decided to construct their own building. Having extensively analysed the market in the TriCity, where not many modern warehouses were available at the time, we decided to have a bigger building than we had initially planned for,” says Ryszard Gretkowski, the vice-president of 7R Logistic, recalling the end of the last decade. As a result, instead of a warehouse with an area of 5,000 sqm, they decided to open a building more than double that size – 13,500 sqm, including 2,500 offices. And that’s how Centrum Logistyczne Kowale, which came into use in 2010, came into being. “We fully leased the building during the construction. BBK, which owns the Home & You, Essex and à Tab brands, then decided to rent space in our warehouse. The company leased 5,000 sqm of warehouse space and 1,200 sqm of office space,” he adds. The building generated so much interest that the developer promptly started another investment – Centrum Logistyczne Kowale II, which was completed in 2012. It took only a few months from its completion for 25,000 sqm to have been leased in the centre.

Location, location, management

Indeed, Ryszard Gretkowski, the vice-president of 7R Logistic, is more than happy with the choice of the centre’s location. “We were one of the first developers to see the potential of the Pomeranian warehouse market. In our opinion the TriCity market is exceptional because of its unique location. Companies are increasingly appreciating access to sea ports, as this makes it easier to carry out overseas operations,” he emphasises. The park is situated near the S6 expressway, which forms part of the TriCity ring road and the A1 motorway. “This is not far from the city centre, the Lech Wałęsa airport in Gdańsk as well as Gdańsk’s harbour and the Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT),” he points out.

The subsequent history of the investment also provides confirmation that this was the right choice for the location. In the last few years 7R Logistic has constructed two more warehouses in Kowale (III and IV), and is currently building Kowale V. In total the park will have six phases, with the final one, with a total area of 140,000 sqm, scheduled to start this year. Since November 2016, the buildings that were constructed and managed by 7R Logistic in Gdańskie Centrum Logistyczne Kowale have been taken over by CBRE Global Investors. “This is the culmination of the development process for us,” Ryszard Gretkowski is happy to tell us.

What does winning a Eurobuild Award mean to the company? “It confirms that we have adopted the right strategy. We are grateful to our tenants for the award, because this is the best reward for our team and for all their hard work,” says the vice-president of 7R Logistic.

Centrum Logistyczne Kowale I and II

Area:
Gdańsk – Centrum Logistyczne Kowale I 13,500 sqm; Gdańsk – Centrum Logistyczne Kowale II 25,000 sqm

Ultimate area:
Gdańsk – Centrum Logistyczne Kowale will have around 140,000 sqm

Tenants:
LPP, SAS, Bać Pol, DKS, QSL, ATEC, 7RSolution and others

Developer: 7R Logistic

Manager:
2010–November 2016 7R Logistic/ currently CBRE

Owner:
2010–November 2016 7R Logistic/ currently CBRE Global Investors

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