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The Warsaw Voice » Business » February 25, 2011
Business & Economy
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13th Investors’ Obstacle Course
February 25, 2011   
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The 13th Investor’s Obstacle Course conference on the Polish market for real estate, organized annually by The Warsaw Voice, was held Jan. 25-26 at the Sobieski Hotel. This year, the conference sought to analyze the situation on the Polish market for investment. The event was attended by members of parliament, and government and local government officials.

The conference usually deals with infrastructure-related projects, but addressing the growing interest in the real estate market, this year the organizers expanded the agenda with topics such as housing and commercial and logistics real estate.

After welcoming addresses by The Warsaw Voice Editor-in-Chief Andrzej Jonas and The Real Estate Voice Director Marcin Kłosowski, the conference started with a panel discussion on construction permits, moderated by Jonas. He asked, “Do construction permits really permit construction?” and the question sparked a lively debate on administrative barriers that developers and investors encounter in Poland. Almost all panelists cited Złota 44, a prestigious project in Warsaw which has been struggling with numerous problems.

The largest crowd attended a panel discussion entitled “The government’s role in the construction process: troubleshooter or troublemaker?”, moderated by Jacek Bielecki, a member of the management board of the Polish Developers’ Association (PZFD). The participants were particularly interested in speeches delivered by Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Piotr Styczeń and Peter Obernhuber, a member of the management board of UBM Polska, and many questions followed. Styczeń spoke about the work on a bill on local zoning and planning and the government housing program until 2020.

The conference also featured discussions involving architects (a panel discussion moderated by renowned architect Andrzej Kuryłowicz), investors and politicians on opportunities presented by the Polish market for real estate. The participants discussed the problem of insufficient funding for eastern Poland, analyzed prospects for continuing development of Polish metropolitan regions and concluded there was room for strong cooperation between intermediaries and developers.

The second day of the conference began with a discussion on infrastructure and logistics projects, moderated by Kłosowski. The panelists described new warehouse projects in southern Poland and in the Tricity area of northern Poland. In their opinion, the market for warehouses will grow rapidly, as they believe that the demand for warehouse space could reach 1.5 million square meters in the near future.

This 13th Investors’ Obstacle Course closed with a timely discussion entitled “Euro 2012: A real or imagined opportunity for the hotel market?” moderated by Alex Kloszewski, a partner in Colliers International Poland.

The sponsors and partners of the conference were Echo Investment, the Agricultural Property Agency (ANR), the Polish Developers’ Association (PZFD), the Polish Chamber of Real Estate (PIN), SEG, SIXT and the Sobieski Hotel. The media patrons were Bankier.pl, Inwestycje Budowlane, muratorplus.pl, Infrastruktura transportu, Serwis Inwestora and TV Biznes.

Anna Korólczyk
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