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edition 4 (219)
April 2017

In-Spired Warsaw the winner

MIPIM 2017 and the sunny side of real estate


Some of us brought back a pile of business cards and new contracts; others came home with tips about investment possibilities in the largest Polish cities; a select few walked off bearing statuettes, while the majority of us came back with a tan and a good mood from this year’s meeting of the real estate sector on the French Riviera

It was a successful fair – as many of the people I talked to on the journey home agreed. However, it was the team of Belgian developer Ghelamco, which apart from new business contracts also carried off their award for the Warsaw Spire skyscraper, who were in the best spirits of all on the way back. The developer’s flagship project – and the only Polish project nominated at this year’s MIPIM Awards – was voted ‘Best Office & Business Development’ by the jury and participants of the fair, beating projects from London, Rome and Shenzhen. At the official gala, which took place on March 16th, the statuette was presented to the founder of the Ghelamco Group, Paul Gheysens (who also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Eurobuild Awards last December). “The most important prize on the real estate market, a MIPIM Award, is the crowning achievement of the work of Ghelamco Poland and all the teams involved with us in the development of the project,” exulted Jeroen van der Toolen, the managing director of Ghelamco CEE. “I would very much like to thank all those who believed in our vision, investing their knowledge, time and hearts in the Warsaw Spire development. The project has transformed Warsaw’s image and become a global symbol of new thinking about commercial construction,” he added.

You could also have returned from Cannes with a solid portion of knowledge about the possibilities of investing in some of the largest cities in Poland. Warsaw, which shared its stand with ten partners this year (BBI Development, BZ WBK, CMT, GerPlan/GerProp, Mayland Real Estate, Ghelamco Poland, Golub GetHouse, HB Reavis Poland, Orange Polska, Skanska Property Poland and Vastint Poland), was able not only to publicise the eleven plots it has for sale, but also a report for future investors entitled ‘Poland – Your Place to Invest’, which has been drawn up in by Warsaw city council in cooperation with eight other Polish cities and the real estate market agencies that form PORF (the Polish Office Research Forum). Meanwhile, the city of Łódź and Colliers International had on display a report on the commercial real estate market in Łódź, with Monika Rajska-Wolińska of Colliers International Polska and Hanna Zdanowska, the mayor of Łódź, on hand to present the research. Another report unveiled by Colliers at the fair makes the case that the real estate as an asset class across Europe remains in the stable and secure category, despite the political, economic, demographic, technological and other upheavals adding to the general feeling of unease. The Brits probably betrayed the greatest sense of insecurity, as almost 25 pct more attended than last year. Well, we will soon find out whether Brexit will result in UK operations being moved overseas, such as to Central and Eastern Europe. Polish office developers, however, did genuinely seem satisfied with the way things are going. “We have very good memories from this year’s MIPIM. Our stand was well-liked and quickly became an extremely popular meeting place. Our ‘Space for Leaders’ slogan turned out to be rather apt, as we did actually create quite a bit of space for the sector’s leaders,” joked Nicklas Lindberg, the CEO of Echo. However, when it comes to the business dealings themselves, those involved in them generally shy away from close scrutiny, so the results of these talks over the odd glass of Provençal rosé are only likely to become clear after some time.

Over the last 30 years, Cannes has established itself as the capital of the global real estate market, attracting all the most significant developers, contractors, investors, advisors and other real estate experts from around the world in order to exchange their knowledge, build up their contact networks and show off their best projects. More than 24,000 participants turned up at the French Riviera this year (according to organiser’s figures). The next fair will take place in a year’s time, between March 13th and March 16th.

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The 4th Invested Interest - Investment Market Conference
17th Eurobuild CEE Golf Tournament
13th Eurobuild CEE Tennis Tournament
The 9th Conference Office Market for Poland
Eurobuild Awards 2018
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