In the current time of intense market changes, exclusive space in centrally located boutique office buildings is a good option for companies migrating from large Warsaw facilities
Last year was one of the record-breaking periods in terms of the amount of space leased on the Warsaw office market, which for several years has been growing at a pace that had not been previously recorded in history. March 2020 has brought radical changes. Covid-19 has completely changed the market reality. It is still difficult to determine how much it will affect trends in the long run, but it is already known today that many companies are looking for ways to reduce expenses related to leasing space. In the post-Covid reality, high-class, intimate office buildings that offer smaller spaces in unrivaled business locations in Warsaw may gain popularity.
High-end niche office product
Boutique office properties, providing high-class space and great service, are responsible only for a small part of the capital’s offer. According to Walter Herz calculations, there are only over 270 thousand sq m. of space in modernized tenements and exclusive, modern office buildings located in the downtown area of Warsaw.
– The offer in this type of facilities is not large. And due to the low vacancy rates seen on the Warsaw market before the epidemic, which in the city center did not exceed 5 per cent, there are very few vacant offices in them. Nevertheless, many entities are interested in relocation to small office buildings. It is an optimal solution for companies, both due to the change in the nature of team work and optimization of rental costs in the event of an economic slowdown, which we all have to face today – says Bartłomiej Zagrodnik, Managing Partner/CEO at Walter Herz. – Savings in this case, however, should be calculated, not so much according to the rates per meter, because these are among the highest on the market, but according to the total prices for leasing compact space.
Small office buildings and restored office tenements located in the central office zone of the city, which often stand out with their architecture, constitute a unique part of the offer of the Warsaw office market. In some cases, they can even be considered a national heritage. They are usually chosen by entities aware of the impact that the prestigious address of the headquarters has on the company’s image. These are most often workplaces of business services units, financial and consulting companies, law firms, architectural offices, marketing agencies, as well as international associations and organizations and diplomatic offices.
In addition to the highest standard they offer, their strength is their surroundings. Located in the best parts of Warsaw, they provide direct access to rich urban infrastructure, and often also the green areas. They offer a view over the parks and recreation areas, as well as the most interesting pedestrian streets and city squares, as well as iconic places on the map of Warsaw. The indicator of their attractiveness is also access to commercial, service and even entertainment facilities. Designed as mixed-use buildings, in many cases they combine office space with commercial, catering, service and cultural offer.
Warsaw office gems
One of the most recognizable and representative boutique office buildings in Warsaw is Centrum Królewska. The high-class building, designed by APA Kuryłowicz & Associates studio, is located in the heart of the city, at the intersection of Marszałkowska and Królewska streets, opposite the Saski Garden. Its characteristic shape, reminiscent of a rolled piece of paper, bent at a right angle from the side of the neighboring buildings, and the façade made of ecological sintered ceramic panels give it a unique look. The upper floors of the building offer an unforgettable view of the crowns of trees of the Saxon Garden, and further away the red roofs of the Old Town buildings. The facility provides the latest technical solutions, convenient parking and practical solutions for cyclists.
Plac Bankowy 1 office building located nearby Centrum Królewska offers high-quality offices in the historical walls, where almost 200 years ago there was a bank and the stock market, and in the postwar years it housed Hotel Saski. Oscar-winning stage designer Allan Starski was involved in the renovation of the office building. He created a courtyard similar to New York’s tenement houses. The office building stands out with its interesting illumination. In its vicinity, at the intersection of the two main traffic arteries of the city, Marszałkowska street and Aleja Solidarności street, there are trendy Warsaw restaurants and pubs, as well as the Ratusz metro station.
Foksal City building is also a magnificent Warsaw office property. The intimate A-class office building is located in a prestigious location in the historic district of the city, by Trakt Królewski street, at the back of the historic palace of countess Maria Przeździecka. The building offers premium office space in the heart of the business and cultural center of the city. The building designed by Juvenes architectural studio. The building’s lobby stands out with a stylishly designed facade, referring to the art deco trend.
A unique Warsaw office building is also located at Plac Zbawiciela Square, where Mokotowska and Marszałkowska street meet, in one of the most significant Warsaw locations. Renaissance Building offers luxurious office space, shopping area and underground parking. The history of this elegant, historic building dates back to 1902. In 2006, the building was rebuilt and adapted for office purposes, and in 2017 it underwent a major renovation.
One of the most interesting, intimate facilities in Warsaw is the soaring, glass office building of Moniuszki 1A. The building is located in Warsaw’s Śródmieście district, near the Świętokrzyska metro station. In 2014, it underwent modernization, during which top-class technical and installation elements as well as finishing materials were used. The office building with a characteristic, uniform glass facade and a wide range of amenities for users is located in a well-connected culture and business hub of Warsaw. Stone and decorative glass, carefully selected elements of equipment and a cozy reception desk placed in a central point create a pleasant and modern working environment.
The Tides building was erected on the Vistula River, in Warsaw’s district of Powiśle. The office building is the last creation of an outstanding architect prof. Stefan Kuryłowicz, whose visionary design has been awarded many times in architectural competitions. In addition to the unique, wavy shape, it has charming surroundings. It is located next to the bustling Vistula Boulevards and offers an unlimited view of the Vistula River and the right bank of Warsaw. On the ground floor of the building there are trendy Warsaw restaurants with terraces. The high-class facility also provides a modern event and conference space hosting up to a thousand participants, as well as a fitness club.
Near the Zawiszy Square and Warsaw Central Railway Station, among the historic tenement houses there is a boutique, glass office building of Nowogrodzka Square. The six-storey building, designed in by HRA studio, is part of the historic surroundings of modernist tenement houses. The facade made of raw concrete in tilting windows was completed with semi-transparent stone – onyx. The office building offers an upper terrace with a panoramic view of the city and a metropolitan passageway, which was built between Nowogrodzka and Aleje Jerozolimskie streets.
The modern Nowy Świat 2.0 office and commercial building is complemented by the CBF Nowy Świat complex located near General Charles de Gaulle roundabout with a characteristic palm tree. The intimate building was designed by AMC Architekci architectural studio. It includes modern technological solutions, ensuring energy saving and minimizing the impact on the natural environment, thanks to which it received the LEED Gold ecological certificate. The original, rounded, glass facade provides wide access to natural light.
An interesting facade can also be seen in the restored tenement house at 37 Poznanska street, where the poet Miron Białoszewski once lived and created. Lipiński Passage is a historic building from 1897, which offers premium office space, as well as commercial and service facilities. The artistic tenement house is located in the very center of Warsaw, on the corner of Aleje Jerozolimskie and Emilii Plater streets, next to the Central Railway Station. The advantage of the location are the surrounding high-class hotels, boutiques and restaurants. Business meets art under the glass roof of the stylish Lipiński Passage office building.
The legendary Warsaw Cedet, located in the very center of the city at Krucza street, also offers the highest class space in the new office part. The XXth century Centralny Dom Towarowy department store built in the 1950s has regained its original character, becoming again one of the most interesting showcases of Warsaw. A neon sign with a characteristic arrow, representing the original piece was installed on the building.
The historic Le Palais office building is located next to the renovated Grzybowski square, which was created as a result of a thorough revitalization of two 19th-century tenement houses designed in the Neo-Renaissance style. After the reconstruction, the historic buildings located at 7 and 9 Próżna street became an elegant distinguishing feature of this historic part of Warsaw. The ground floor of the buildings, offering retail and service space, is part of the fashionable restaurant and cafe promenade that was created after the modernization of the street.
About Walter Herz
Walter Herz company is a leading Polish entity which has been operating in the commercial real estate sector across the country. For seven years, the company has been providing comprehensive and strategic investment consulting services for tenants, investors and real estate owners. It provides extensive support for both public and private sector. Walter Herz experts assist clients in finding and leasing space, and give advice when it comes to investment and hotel projects.
In addition to its headquarters in Warsaw, the company has branches in Cracow and Gdansk. Walter Herz has created Tenant Academy, first project in the country, supporting and educating commercial real estate tenants across Poland, with on-site courses held in the largest cities in the country. In order to ensure the highest ethical level of services provided, the agency introduced the Code of Good Practice.