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52 (147) 2022

Real estate and construction

ARP is bringing modern infrastructure to Poland’s medium-size towns

By Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A.
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Modern infrastructure is important for the effective operation of small and medium-sized businesses, and medium-sized towns, of which there are over 255 in Poland, need new strategies and ideas for growth and expansion. In 2018, Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu (ARP S.A., Industrial Development Agency, which has been supporting Polish businesses for over 30 years) launched its Fabryka (‘factory’) programme. This article presents a case study from the programme, the Urbi Ferro office building project in Stalowa Wola. Construction began in January; it is due to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2023.

The Fabryka programme is part of a package of measures aimed at medium-sized Polish towns, within the government’s Strategy for Responsible Development (SOR). Fabryka is aimed at redeveloping centres that have lost their former social and economic functions. The idea is to support the development of medium-sized towns by constructing office buildings in which companies from the business-services sector can operate. The Urbi Ferro (Latin for ‘City of Iron’, alluding to the name Stalowa Wola) office and service building is one of four such projects being carried out by ARP S.A., with projects in Włocławek and Elbląg also being part of the Fabryka programme.

Stalowa Wola is one of the first towns included in the Fabryka programme. The three-story building offers office space on the upper floors and retail and service premises on the ground floor. The building's distinguishing feature will be a centrally located patio planted with trees, which will become a green enclave within the building, constituting a zone for relaxation. The investment also includes 133 parking spaces in an underground garage and at ground level, along with electric-vehicle charging stations. Stalowa Wola will become an advantageous investment space.

“This town is an obvious choice for many reasons. First of all, the Podkarpackie province is the area of operation of our two Special Economic Zones – Tarnobrzeg and Mielec. It is a dynamically developing centre with a long industrial history. We want to give an additional impulse to the development of Stalowa Wola so that the activities we undertake within the Special Economic Zone can create even better conditions for investors and businesses,” says Paweł Kolczyński, vice-president of ARP S.A.

The design of the office building was prepared by the Krakow studio URBA Architects, and the general contractor of the investment was Adamietz. A compact body of the building was proposed along with the horizontal rhythm of window openings with graphite window joinery, emphasising the bright colour of the facade, referring to the best modernist architectural traditions of the interwar period, when Poland’s Central Industrial District (COP) was established. According to the schedule, construction works are to be completed in the second quarter of 2023. The task of finding tenants for the building will be supported by the world's largest real-estate consulting agency, CBRE, and the entire project will be carried out by the ARP Operator, a subsidiary of ARP S.A..

“We are making our debut in Stalowa Wola. The first construction within the Fabryka programme was launched in a town with strong industrial traditions dating back to the beginnings of the Central Industrial District,” says Mariusz Domeradzki, president of ARP Operator. “Today, Stalowa Wola is a town looking to the future and focusing on development, as well as being a significant location on the map of south-eastern Poland. Urbi Ferro will support the economic potential of a town whose growth is inextricably linked with increasing the quality of life of residents. I am convinced that in about a year and a half, we will hand over to future tenants a facility that meets the highest standards, which will become the city's business showpiece,” says Mr Domeradzki.

ARP Operator's tasks include asset optimisation as well as effective land and real estate management. As part of the Fabryka programme, the company – alongside the Stalowa Wola project – will also invest in office and service buildings in Elbląg and Włocławek.

Office buildings wanting to be an attractive place for companies and employees must meet several conditions, such as location in an easily accessible place, availability of a large office space that can be arranged to the client’s specific needs, all the necessary services such as a canteen or catering service in close proximity, sports and recreational facilities, shops, banks, and the provision of amenities, such as parking or space for bicycles. Proximity to local higher-education institutions is also important.

To support the development of Polish businesses, ARP S.A. carries out restructuring processes, grants working capital loans or investment, and supports the development of regions. In special economic zones managed by ARP S.A,, Euro-Park Mielec and Euro-Park Wisłosan, there is access to skilled labour, and there are headquarters of modern companies which deploy new technologies in production and are powered by green energy.

Thanks to these activities, employment will increase in Poland’s medium-sized towns. It will become possible to activate professional activity and reduce the outflow of employees to larger agglomerations. This will all translate into social and economic development. In accordance with the principle that business attracts business, the presence of reputable companies and well-qualified staff will attract new enterprises, from the modern business-services sector, as well as from other companies using the services of this sector.

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