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edition 11 (225)
November 2017
Residential

Two to tango

Interviewer: Tomasz Cudowski

Two to tango
Mariusz Rodak, the general director of BPI Polska and Anna Grams-Szalacha, the financial director of Acteeum Group

Does a partnership of two medium-sized companies have any chance of success in the Polish private rented sector? Where did the idea for this partnership come from?

Mariusz Rodak: general director of BPI Polska: It started in the usual way in such cases: as a result of private conversations and personal contacts.

But who made the first move?

Anna Grams-Szalacha, financial director at Acteeum Group: While looking for new fields of operation Acteuum started considering PRS or the private rented sector. And since our day to day activities are in the retail property industry, we started looking round for a suitable partner. We chose BPI mostly because of its experience on the residential market and because of our earlier relations.

Does this mean that your residential projects will be aimed at institutional investors?

MR: That’s one of the options, but we’re not making any assumptions in advance. So far we are launching a joint project in Poznań, near Dęblińska route on the Vistula River, where we bought a plot. We are starting the preparation work this year, the construction work will take 20 months.

How have you divided up the responsibilities for this project?

AG-S: Both parties are actively involved in the development. We jointly share responsibilities and we have joint project management. BPI has more experience in individual sales while Acteeum will take care of the package sales if that’s what we opt for.

Youve registered two joint venture companies. The other one is for a project in Warsaw. Where and when is this project going to be built?

MR: We’re currently at the stage of negotiating a preliminary contract for the purchase of the land, so the location and the form of the investment are still confidential. We expect to announce the project in Q1 or Q2 2018.

How are you going to finance your joint projects?

MR: So far we’ve been using our own financial resources but this is still an open question.

Perhaps a joint land bank?

MR: We’re not planning that at the moment. We’re not a land developer – we buy a specific plots when we have a plan for a specific project.

Will this partnership have any effect on your parent companies? Will it modify their operations in any way?

AG-S: Acteeum has been looking at the PRS market for some time and we have been planning to develop in this way. Working with BPI is a result of these operations and not a cause. We can see a lot of investor activity in this region in Poland and for one such investor we’ve been looking for interesting projects earmarked for rent in Warsaw and Kraków. At the same time we are going to be working hard on our core business which we are best-known for, that is the construction, rental and management of shopping centres and retail parks.

MR: We’re not planning a revolution, either. We set up our brand and gained our experience on the residential market, which we are planning to continue with. We are planning our next residential and mixed-use projects in Warsaw, the TriCity and Wrocław. Our goal is to double our number apartments sold from 300 to around 600 units.

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