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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » May 20, 2009
Warsaw Prepares for Euro 2012
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Three Years to Kick-Off
May 20, 2009   
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By 2012, Warsaw City Hall and municipal companies will carry out almost 50 projects worth some zl.7 billion in preparation for the European soccer championships.

The city has so far completed the first metro line, built new park-and-ride parking lots, finished the renovation of Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, started modernizing tramway lines around the National Stadium and replacing municipal buses and trams. Recently started projects include the construction of the Północny Bridge, the next renovation stage of the historical Royal Route and a number of road projects such as the Marsa interchange on the Siekierkowska Expressway.

The bulk of Euro 2012-related projects in Warsaw involves state institutions, local government, and even private investors who are building hotels. The main Euro 2012 venue, the National Stadium, is being built using public money by the Narodowe Centrum Sportu Sp. z o.o. (National Sports Center) company. The general contractor is a consortium of German, Austrian and Polish companies with Alpine-Bau at the helm. The total value of works to prepare Warsaw for the championships, including City Hall investment, is estimated at almost zl.20 billion.

Roads for champions
Municipal transport is capable of taking around 65,000 people an hour to the National Stadium area and the Warsaw authorities want the whole city to have equally efficient transportation links. Warsaw has completed work on the first large group of projects that will have a direct impact on the Euro 2012 preparations. The first metro line has been completed with the four remaining stations built-Słodowiec, Stare Bielany, Wawrzyszew and Młociny, plus a huge transfer station comprising the Młociny metro station, a tram and bus terminal and a park-and-ride parking lot. Renovation has finished on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street and upgrade work is underway on Ujazdowskie Avenue farther down along the Royal Route. In the south of Warsaw, the newly extended Poleczki Street and an overpass on Wirażowa Street (a project by the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways, GDDKiA) form a new road link to Okęcie airport. The city has also enlarged Modlińska Street which leads towards the airfield in Modlin and built an overpass on Jerozolimskie Avenue over the intersection with Popularna Street. New paving has been laid on the Poniatowskiego Bridge and the second stage of renovation (balustrade and lamp posts) will be carried out this year. The city has modernized the entire tramway line from Jerozolimskie Avenue to Gocławek which passes near the National Stadium. Finally, following the completion of the first modernization phase on tram tracks along the W-Z (East-West) road, the second stage began in March.

Early this year, construction began on the Marsa interchange on Siekierkowska Expressway and at the end of April, the city also signed a contract with the Pol-Aqua company on the construction of the Północny Bridge. These two projects are of vital importance to the eastern part of Warsaw, while a third one will begin this autumn with a stretch of a new beltway from the Wiatraczna Traffic Circle to Zabraniecka Street. A tender is underway to upgrade Francuska and Paryska streets, the promenade east of the Vistula River where Euro 2012 visitors will come to relax. Works planned for the end of this year and start of next include the launch of construction on Krasińskiego Bridge, an extension of Krasińskiego Street to link the Żoliborz district with Budowlana Street in Targówek on the other side of the river.

Three more projects will begin next year in the direct vicinity of the National Stadium, including the Świętokrzyska Road from the Świętokrzyski Bridge to Zabraniecka Street and a new Tysiąclecia Street from Grochowska Street to the Żaba interchange. The third project involves thorough modernization of the tram line from the Warszawa Wileńska railway station via the National Stadium to the Waszyngtona Traffic Circle. The city and Narodowe Centrum Sportu have also agreed to enlarge Wybrzeże Szczecińskie Street between Poniatowskiego Avenue and the Średnicowy railway bridge, a section adjacent to the National Stadium. The city is also urgently working to move the Warszawa Stadium bus station to the neighborhood of the Warszawa Wschodnia railway station.

By 2012, Warsaw will build new tram lines near to the Tarchomin district and near the Krasińskiego Bridge.

Traffic on roads leading to the National Stadium from the eastern sections of the city will also improve thanks to continued modernization of Modlińska Street and upgrade of Św. Wincentego Street between the Żaba Traffic Circle and the Targówek shopping center. On the other side of the Vistula, construction will soon begin (a contractor has been chosen) on an interchange and an overpass at the intersection of Jerozolimskie Avenue and Łopuszańska and Kleszczowa streets. The interchange is part of a major exit towards Katowice and Cracow which the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA) will build nearby.

For a year, GDDKiA has been working on a 10-kilometer section of an express beltway leading from Armii Krajowej Expressway to the freeway interchange in Konotopa west of Warsaw. The construction is progressing at a fast pace and tenders have been announced on other western sections of the beltway which will assure convenient access to the Okęcie airport and Puławska Street.

Riding new trams to a match
Warsaw is sparing no expense on new buses and trams. The Tramwaje Warszawskie (Warsaw Tramways) company recently awarded a tender on the delivery of 186 trams worth around zl.1.5 billion (including 120 trams to be delivered by 2012). Around 600 new buses have been carrying passengers in Warsaw since 2007 and by 2012, the Municipal Bus Company alone plans to replace 700 buses.

In April, the Szybka Kolej Miejska (Fast Urban Train) launched a public procurement procedure for 13 trains to run on a new line to the Okęcie airport, to be built by state rail carrier Polskie Linie Kolejowe PKP. A contractor is being selected to build a 1.5-kilometer link from the airport terminal to the existing railway line which underwent modernization last year.

Quality service
Intensive work is under way in many other departments. The city has developed the strategy and architectural design for the Integrated Coordination and Response Station, scheduled for completion by 2011. The building assigned to house the facility will be soon modernized. Warsaw will put up around 150 new surveillance cameras to add to the present 450. At a cost of zl.200 million, the city is modernizing and enlarging six hospitals which will provide medical care during the championships (Praski, Bielański, Czerniakowski, Grochowski, Wolski and on Solec Street), with special focus on the emergency and surgery wards.

The airport in Warsaw complies with all UEFA requirements and is the best of all airports in the Euro 2012 host cities. Terminal 2 at the airport opened last year and the Polish Airports State Enterprise has unveiled a schedule of works to be carried out by 2012, including complete integration of Terminals 1 and 2, modernized runways, taxiways, fueling systems and a new hotel. The project is in progress.

Welcome to Warsaw hotels
Soccer fans coming to Warsaw will find plenty of accommodation. Warsaw has around 31,000 beds and another 7,500 are available in the rest of Mazovia province.

As enticement for investors in hotels, at the end of 2007 Warsaw councilors adopted a resolution on real estate tax exemption lasting five years for newly constructed hotels and four years for buildings and sections of buildings used for tourism and sports. The condition is that such projects must be completed by 2012.

Warsaw will have no problem accommodating UEFA guests. They need a total of 3,880 rooms in five-star (1,530 rooms), four-star (2,050) and three-star (300) hotels. In Warsaw and around the city there are 2,956 rooms in five-star hotels, 3,463 in four-star hotels and 3,545 in three-star hotels. Another 1,500 rooms are being built or upgraded in hotels with three to five stars. This means Warsaw can accommodate UEFA guests during every stage of the championships.

Attractions await Euro 2012 soccer fans in Warsaw throughout the event. The main fan zone for around 100,000 people will be situated in the vicinity of the Palace of Culture and Science. If necessary, smaller zones will be created near Pola Mokotowskie, Agrykola and Skaryszewski parks.
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