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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » November 5, 2008
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Modern City With Tradition
November 5, 2008   
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Despite a big jump in supply, prices of apartments in Wroc³aw have remained stable since the beginning of the year. Demand is particularly high for quality apartments that attract foreign businesspeople who are investing in the city.

According to Reas, a residential market consultancy company, foreign direct investment in Wroc³aw totaled $4 billion over 1998-2005. The city is particularly keen on attracting investors in the new technology sector.

The capital of Lower Silesia province, Wroc³aw has been among the fastest-developing cities in Poland for several years, and the brisk pace is expected to continue in the run-up to the 2012 European soccer championships. Some of the games will be played in Wroc³aw, which is expected to stimulate development of the city's infrastructure and improve its transportation links with other big cities.

Wroc³aw lies at the foot of the Sudety Mountains, on the Oder River. Intersected by the river's numerous tributaries and canals, it is an exceptional metropolis of 12 islands linked by more than 100 bridges. With a population of 635,200, it is Poland's fourth-largest city.

Developers favor Wroc³aw
Information collected by Reas indicates that demand for new apartments in Wroc³aw has been falling since the second quarter of 2007, while the supply of apartments has increased. Some 7,000 apartments appeared on the market last year.

The year 2007 was also a record in terms of construction permits issued. Emmerson real estate service company says that 332 permits were issued for the construction of 916 new buildings with a total of 8,877 apartments.

The Central Statistical Office reports that in the first quarter of this year alone, 1,707 apartments were completed in Wroc³aw, compared with 225 in Q1 2007. A majority were in the area between the Old Town and the prestigious Krzyki district in southern Wroc³aw.

In Krzyki, apartments in the Oaza estate on Nyska Street went on sale in mid-September. With this project, Dom Development, a company previously focusing on the Warsaw market, launched its operations in Wroc³aw. Construction will take place in two phases and will be completed in the first and third quarters of 2010. The estate will include four six-story L-shaped buildings surrounding a yard. The project will include 460 apartments with areas ranging between 28.7-101.4 square meters. Ground floor apartments will have small gardens. All the apartments will be delivered in turnkey standard and will cost between zl.6,900-10,900 per sq m. There will be an underground garage for 450 cars. The estate will be fenced and will have security.

Demand for luxury
The luxury apartment market in Wroc³aw has developed very fast since 2005. Demand for luxury apartments results mainly from the presence of foreign businesspeople working on a large number of investment projects in the city and nearby. In the second quarter of this year, more than 30 such estates were completed in Wroc³aw, at an average price of zl.9,956 per sq m, according to Emmerson.

Despite dwindling demand, prices have remained stable since last year. The average price of a primary market apartment in Wroc³aw in the second quarter was zl.7,831 per sq m. The most expensive districts included ¦ródmie¶cie (zl.11,300 per sq m) and Old Town (zl.10,900 per sq m), Emmerson reports.

In ¦ródmie¶cie, prices have jumped due to prestigious projects launched in recent months. Verity Development, a company operating on the Polish market since 2005, is working on three luxury residential estates. The company also provides investment and real estate management advisory services.

One of the Verity Development projects, Verity Rivage, is being built on Maxa Borna Square, just 300 meters from the Market Square. This six-story building was designed by Autorska Pracownia Architektury Kury³owicz & Associates studio. On the ground floor, there will be retail space with large glass windows, some overlooking the riverbank promenade. On other floors, there will be modern apartments, with spacious penthouses on the top floor. The project will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Verity Development is also handling Trinity Residence, a five-story luxury apartment estate under construction between Hlonda, Wyszyńskiego and Kominka streets on Ostrów Tumski, the oldest district of Wroc³aw. Again, the ground floor will offer retail space, with luxury apartments on the other floors. The third floor will hold split-level apartments. The project is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2010.

The company's third project, Verity UpTown, is located at 12/14 Drobnera St. This will be a seven-story building with 65 apartments ranging from 45-120 sq m. The project is to be completed in the second quarter of 2010.

Home with a soul
Despite the destruction of World War II, many interesting buildings have survived in Wroc³aw, some in their original shape and others renovated or reconstructed after the war. The city has 8,000 historical tenement houses, the country's biggest concentration of this type of historical heritage. Apartments in renovated historical houses are in high demand, so major developers have undertaken their renovation.

The historical tenement house at 3a Matejki St. was bought by Ghelamco. The early 20th-century house is in a very good condition. After renovation it will hold 18 luxury apartments on five floors, sized between 42-190 sq m. The building will have a richly decorated stairwell and an eclectic facade. The project is on the drawing board and the developer is preparing to apply for a construction permit.

Another early 20th-century tenement house, at 50 Rynek St., is being developed by Griffin Real Estate. It will hold retail space on the ground and first floors and in part of the basement. On the remaining four floors, there will be 11 luxury apartments of 80-140 sq m. The building, along with two neighboring buildings, no. 48 and 49, were designed by Schlesinger und Benedict studio, which also designed other places important for today's Wroc³aw, such as the Niepolda center, a shopping complex in the former Jewish district. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2009.

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