Gdynia – people and places – the city character really matters

Adding date: 21.06.2018 | Poland

It’s the only city in the world I know, where the centre of the city goes directly into the sea. Only here I can see this openness, this gesture of the city going into the sea – Jeremie Hoffmann, Ph.D., Tel Aviv University.

Gdynia is lucky with people, with their visionary, courageous, but also well thought out approach to project implementation. This was also true over 90 years ago when a decision to build a city and port was made. Gdynia was built from scratch by the best planners, architects, urban developers and engineers. It seems that the idea of placemaking, still present today in investment planning, was perfectly understood by the builders of Gdynia. It is here that the most brilliant brains of the Republic of Poland, within an extremely short time, implemented bold visions and innovative solutions that have been serving as an inspiration and good example until today. Gdynia is perceived as the best place to live in Poland, owing to both harmonious layout of the city and its unique character – very desirable nowadays – by some referred to as genius loci. The above is confirmed not only by opinions of the city residents, but also by its top positions in various rankings and social diagnoses. To put it simply, Gdynia is a place where life, work and relax are good.

The philosophy of placemaking, a multi-dimensional approach to shaping space at the concept stage, is an accepted standard currently applied also to workplaces. An office means much more than just a place where professional duties are performed. The so-called soft factors, such as attractiveness of its surroundings, access to recreation areas and opportunities for leisure activities, are highly evaluated. In Gdynia it is possible to find all that of the highest quality.

Gdynia has a modern, gradually developing infrastructure, indispensable for running a business in the services sector and making key investor decisions by international companies and corporations. A total office space in the city is currently around 200,000 sqm. The market of modern office buildings is focused in the Redłowo district and in the city centre (Śląska Street). Apart from the space for lessees, Xenon Business Park, Enter, Twin Office or Asseco Poland building, located along Śląska Street, offer equally modern but smaller space attractive for companies that are not interested in giant facilities. The largest office centre in Redłowo is Łużycka Office Park, an A class building complex with a total usable area of over 22,000 sqm., developed by Allcon. Right next to it, Eurostyl completed last year the Tensor Z office building, which is part of the Tensor XYZ centre having an area of approx. 20,000 sqm., marked by its functionality and a number of eco-friendly solutions. The complex has, among others, internal relaxation area for both office workers and people using the services offered by the office park.

What makes the Redłowo-based centres attractive is not only the comfort of work in perfectly designed interiors, but also very convenient access to public transport. Within a short distance there are bus stops, the station of Szybka Kolej Miejska (Fast Urban Railway) and a new stop of Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna (Pomeranian Metropolitan Railway), opened in December last year. Employees are also increasingly often using cycle paths developed by the city and facilities for cyclists offered by building administrators. In just a few minutes you can reach the sea from there or take advantage of the offer of the Gdynia Sports Centre located nearby. 

In the immediate future, another office building of the Sportowa Centrum complex will be opened in Sportowa Street, an extension of Łużycka Street. This will increase the total area of the building up to 11,000 sqm. In addition to six floors of offices and a two-level underground car park, attractive facilities for cyclists are going to be provided, including a bicycle repair station, as well as a cloakroom and showers.

Owing to this investment, the property will get a completely new image. The C building, which is now under construction, has been designed in modernist style, and its modern shape with a light and clear façade brings a ship to mind. This makes reference to the architectural style typical of Gdynia, in particular to the kind of buildings found in the city centre – Marek Kluba, the CEO of Sportowa Centrum, adds.

NEW INVESTMENTS – COMFORT AND PRESTIGE OVERLOOKING THE SEA

Gdynia, as part of the Tricity agglomeration, is marked by the lowest office vacancy rate in Poland, i.e. 8.2%, which evidences high demand and need to implement new investment projects. A number of office developments will be implemented, among others, in the new Sea City district. The development of the Fishing Pier and redevelopment of disused shipyard sites are going to revolutionise Gdynia’s city centre. The scale of the project is comparable to transformations the city and port had gone through when they were first built in the 1920s. Adding up to 33 hectares of attractive investment area, Gdynia’s waterfront is a space unmatched by anywhere else in Europe. It’s where the city meets the port, right next to its vibrant streets of a city with a population of a quarter of a million. Urban planners have estimated that over the next ten years or so the Waterfront Prestige Zone may attract up to 15 thousand new residents and provide jobs for eleven and a half thousand people.

It is where Marina Office of Polski Holding Nieruchomości SA is being developed. It will comprise a modern office complex consisting of three independent five-storey buildings, surrounded by an internal green patio, with a leasable area of approx. 27,000 sqm. The investment will be located in the vicinity of Gdańsk Bay with a view over the Kościuszko Square in Gdynia. In the vicinity of Marina Office, PHN is also developing a complex of luxury apartments called Yacht Park. Magdalena Kacprzak, the Director of the Investor Relations and PR Department at PHN SA, declares that the office complex will be completed by the turn of 2020 and 2021 and adds: 

– Gdynia is a great place to implement projects due to its attractive location – new PHN investments will be developed close to the very centre of Gdynia in a district called Sea City, which has a chance to become the heart of the city and also its best showcase.

Three years ago, in Gdynia’s Waterfront, Vastint Poland completed the first stage of the Gdynia Waterfront I project, by putting into use Hotel Courtyard by Marriott and an office building where the headquarters of PKO Bank Hipoteczny is located. As part of Gdynia Waterfront II, new office buildings, residential buildings and hotels with a total area of 75,000 sqm. are going to be developed. The newly designed buildings perfectly match the modernist architecture of Gdynia. The public, but simultaneously cosy character of urban interiors is marked by a human touch, creating good atmosphere and “life in between buildings”.

We are primarily focused on large regional cities, where demand on the commercial real estate market is growing. Tricity, besides Wrocław, Poznań and Szczecin, is a local market where Vastint has decided to invest and implement its projects. What has the key impact on our interest in Gdynia is investment potential of the city, which has ultimately resulted in the purchase of building plots in Śródmieście. Currently, Tricity is the fourth largest office market in Poland, offering about 700,000 sqm. of modern office space, of which approx. 25-30% is located in Gdynia. The city is one of the rapidly developing business centres in Poland. An increase in supply on the office buildings market is an indicator of growing popularity among entrepreneurs, particularly companies from the BPO, SSC, IT and R&D sectors, which consider opening new centres in Tricity. This is favoured by well educated staff, availability of modern services, convenient geographical location at the seaside and extensive infrastructure. The quality of investment services and increasingly successful efforts of the city and region authorities are also of crucial importance – Roger Andersson, the Managing Director of Vastint Poland, concludes.

In Orłowo, a fashionable business elite district of Gdynia, AB Inwestor has just started its new investment Orłowo Unique – an office building with a unique façade resembling linen fabric, which is supposed to be a sort of cinema screen with the possibility of displaying images. It is a perfect seat for companies that want to be visible and stand out, not only by a prestigious location. A total of 600 sq m will be available in sizes ranging from 60 to 200 sqm. within just a short walk to the pier in Orłowo.

The developments to be implemented in the city centre include a six-storey office building of AB Inwestor – Square having 4,000 sqm. in size, with a scheduled completion date in 2020, and Officer with a floor area of 3,200 sqm., where six office floors, including service premises on the ground floor, as well as two garage storeys will be established by the end of 2019. The company owner, Andrzej Boczek, explains why he has opted for the location: The developments to be implemented in the city centre include a six-storey office building of AB Inwestor – Square having 4,000 sqm. in size, with a scheduled completion date in 2020, and Officer with a floor area of 3,200 sqm., where six office floors, including service premises on the ground floor, as well as two garage storeys will be established by the end of 2019. The company owner, Andr zej B oczek , explains why he has opted for the location:

We feel a good business atmosphere in Gdynia. People are optimistic about each other and, in our opinion, they have more confidence in each other than they do in other cities. The location of Gdynia’s city centre in the immediate vicinity of the sea is an additional advantage.

It is worth emphasizing that the city’s development plans consistently take into account the global trend of striving for balance, also in space-related terms. In the coming years, Gdynia will open for its inhabitants the Central Park, an extraordinary place that will let them take a break, relax, go jogging or rollerblading, whatever they like. Discreet architecture will allow to put the greatest possible amount of green and water space to the forefront. It is supposed to be a park that will provide rest and recreation, but also support the city in taking care of ever cleaner air.

WORK AND RELAXATION – LIFE WITH PASSION – DIRECTION GDYNIA

A high level of construction activity both in the area of A and B+ class office buildings, noticeable also for smaller investment projects, allows us to be optimistic about the future. Gdynia has many convincing advantages which do matter in a struggle for acquiring talented staff, new companies and investments. It’s not only high salary and office originality that are aspects used in negotiations. A friendly place and attractive opportunities to spend time after work and on days off are gaining importance. In this respect, the comfort and quality of life that Gdynia offers are really unique. The attractive life in Gdynia is influenced by many factors: high level of safety, environmentally-friendly transport systems, clean air, unique modernist architecture, high quality education, culture and sports, the sea and forests within easy reach, as well as prominent events such as the Open’er Festival, Polish Film Festival, Red Bull Air Race, Gdynia Sailing Days, Ladies’ Jazz Festival and Ironman 70.3. – Poland’s biggest triathlon race.

Gdynia is also the first city in Poland and this part of Europe to have received ISO 37120, a smart city certificate. Registered on the international platform www. dataforcities.org, the city can now be compared against other global leaders such as London, Amsterdam or Dubai. It puts Gdynia on the map as an attractive and competitive city worldwide, both in economic and social terms, with very strong and sometimes excellent results across the board.


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