Real Estate Publishers recently spoke to Michal Marzec, General Director, Polish Airports about the company's forthcoming Chopin Airport City project, which includes plans for the development of over 170,000 m² of usable space on 22.5 ha of land, incorporating 17 class-A office buildings, as well as a congress center and retail/leisure services. Here he talks to Kate Hanlon about the project's unique location and its appeal to investors.
A convenient, multi-modal location
"The location of Chopin Airport City is one of its major assets, as it is close to the existing Chopin Airport terminal, and only around a 20-minute drive from the center of Warsaw. The train connection between the airport terminal and the project area is currently being upgraded, and should be ready later this year. The multi-modal nature of this location therefore makes it a prime site for this kind of development in Poland.
A phased development
"Because of the scale of the project, it is likely to be developed in phases over the next 10 years. We intend to start with the congress center and then move forward with the office element. But this depends firstly on finding the right partners. We had a number of successful meetings at MIPIM, so we will see what happens next. It's difficult to categorize the type of investment partner we're looking for, but any partner must be ready to build and have the ability to work with and manage the infrastructure.
"Work on some of the construction projects to develop what is to become part of Chopin Airport City infrastructure is already drawing to a close. Two new hotels are under construction at the moment, and are due to open next year: one is the five-star Renaissance by Marriott to be integrated with the Chopin Airport City and the other, the two-star Hampton by Hilton neighboring the airport city.
"Situated right next to the Chopin Airport Terminal is the fully operational four-star Courtyard by Marriott which will also be part of the Chopin Airport City infrastructure. Hotels are very important element of the scheme. They will attract clients and will be their first experience of the site. We will expand on what the area can offer from here.
"The recreational aspect will be a unique aspect of Chopin Airport City. Inside the developed areas we want to have lots of green space. All car traffic will be kept out of this area. Our intention is to invite the occupiers and our neighbors to use this space.
Focus on the business traveler
"Chopin Airport is very focused on the business traveler which is reflected in the standard, prices and facilities here. This is another reason why we want to build Chopin Airport City in this location so that we keep business travelers in the area.
"This year a new airport, Warsaw-Modlin Mazovia Airport, will also open near Warsaw. Its main focus will be low-cost traveler. Polish Airports are one of the four shareholders in this investment.
"The idea of developing an airport city depends on the type of airport, the location, etc. For instance in Dall