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The Warsaw Voice » Business » June 3, 2014
Business & Economy
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Service Centers Boost Demand for Offices
June 3, 2014   
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Modern business service centers have consolidated their position as a key driver of demand for office space in Poland.

Over the past few years Poland has become a Central and Eastern European leader in terms of the number of people employed in the business service sector, and a key international location for projects of this type.

“Foreign business service centers in Poland already employ more than 120,000 people,” says Jacek Levernes, president of the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) in Poland. “Year on year, employment has increased 20 percent, which means the most optimistic scenario predicted by ABSL has come true,” he adds.

The business service sector has maintained its position as the most rapidly developing segment of the Polish economy. This growth trend is expected to continue. ABSL forecasts that in the coming years such centers will create 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs a year. To meet the growing need, outsourcing companies are looking for new locations in Poland that would be able to give them easy access to the kind of staff they need. That is why business service centers are becoming the main driver of demand for office space not only in big cities such as Cracow, Wroc³aw, Poznań, Katowice, the Tricity, £ód¼, Lublin and Szczecin, but also in smaller towns.

Multinational companies from the business service sector rented more than 220,000 sq m of office space in Poland last year. “Our analyses show that companies from the modern business service sector rented about 200,000 sq m of office space outside Warsaw in 2013, which is about 50 percent of the total demand recorded outside the Polish capital,” says Anna M³yniec, head of Office Agency and Tenant Representation at consultants Jones Lang LaSalle. “In the whole of Poland the demand from this segment of the economy reached 20 percent,” she adds. Her company estimates that business service multinationals operating in Poland occupy a total of 1.2 million sq m of office space. Examples of office space leases signed last year by business service companies in markets outside Warsaw include IBM Global Services Delivery Centre Polska (12,000 sq m in total, Katowice), Lufthansa Airline Accounting Center (8,500 sq m, Cracow), ING Services Polska (7,300 sq m in total, Katowice), and Cisco (7,000 sq m, Cracow).

For several years now—practically since the beginning of the sector’s rapid expansion in Poland—business service companies are the main tenants of new office developments outside Warsaw. Leases signed by these businesses usually involve a large volume of office space, comparable to the space taken by leading financial and telecommunications companies. “It started with some breakthrough transactions: leases signed by companies such as HP and Credit Suisse in Wroc³aw, Shell and State Street in Cracow, and Infosys in £ód¼ a few years ago,” says Mateusz Polkowski, associate director for market research and consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle. “These were transactions thanks to which the modern business service sector started being perceived as a strategic office tenant outside the Polish capital. Today companies from this sector account for about 50 percent of total office space in Cracow, 36 percent in £ód¼ and 35 percent in Wroc³aw,” he adds.
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