Ten years ago, global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield was one of the world’s first real estate advisory firms to have established a presence on the Łódź office market.
The first success came in September 2009 with Enthone leasing 135 sq m of office space in Forum 76. The first key transaction, however, was the lease for 3,058 sq m in Sterlinga Business Center signed by Takeda (formerly: Nycomed) and brokered by Cushman & Wakefield. Next, experts of Cushman & Wakefield represented Infosys Poland, Gopet Trans, Tate&Lyle, Deloitte, Clariant and T-Mobile. The opening of the Łódź regional office, which now has a three-strong team, in 2015 was a turning point.
The formation of the Łódź office market meant a huge effort to prove that Łódź was a city in which to invest. “We laid the groundwork, briefed local companies and encouraged international corporates to open offices here and institutional developers to acquire lands; we engaged with the municipal authorities and invited investors,” says Zuzanna Krech, Associate, Manager of the Łódź Office, Office Agency, Cushman & Wakefield.
Other advisory firms soon followed, which accelerated the growth of the Łódź market thanks to the synergy effect. “Not only does the presence of competitors create competition, but it also means a shared goal – to support the market’s strong growth,” adds Zuzanna Krech. The Investor Services Bureau of Łódź has in recent years been undertaking many initiatives to generate investor interest in the city, which is located under 140 km from Warsaw. “Determination is key, because other Polish cities are also taking steps to attract investors. Łódź’s strength lies in its location, competitive rental rates and access to skilled labour,” says Zuzanna Krech.
Łódź is also being favoured by local flexible office space providers such as Co:Spot and CoWalk Hub, which want to emphasise their Łódź roots. They target mainly start-ups and SMEs that enjoy many additional services under lease agreements, and strengthen cooperation with other tenants through experience sharing, which is particularly popular in the IT sector. Regus entered the Łódź market in 2018 and was followed this year by NewWork.
Łódź is currently going through an intense regeneration process - a unique project in Poland and Europe which covers almost the entire city and consists in redevelopment of post-industrial buildings into modern residential and office schemes or residential, office and service complexes. Completed projects include the redevelopment of a former vodka distillery into an office, leisure and cultural centre Monopolis, of the former Franciszek Ramisch factory into a mixed-use complex OFF Piotrkowska Center and of a former school into a boutique office building Targowa 77. Regeneration activity has also spread to tenement buildings, streets in the city centre, urban parks and squares. All this is being done to improve the quality of life in Łódź.
The difference between Łódź today and that ten years ago is most noticeable when considering the quality of the city’s office stock: Nowa Fabryczna, Brama Miasta, Ogrodowa Office, Hi Piotrkowska and OFF Piotrkowska Center are all modern buildings offering top-grade office space.
“The success of Łódź on the office map of Poland hinges on the determination of many people, an appropriate business environment and the country’s economic performance. Multi-faceted business cooperation is required for this. Advisory firms, human resources, universities and tax firms should operate as one body, with the municipality acting as a skilled manager,” concludes Zuzanna Krech.