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Office buildings are not just about office space

Katarzyna Michnikowska, Associate Director, Research and Consultancy Services, Colliers International

Colliers International, has carried out research into retail units in the capital’s office buildings. The study covered approximately 300 buildings and a survey was carried out on a sample of 200 employees. Our experts asked respondents about their expectations about the quality of the retail and service units in their workplace and what they have available at present.  

Only 30 pct of respondents were satisfied with the shops and services in their workplaces. Despite catering being fairly well-developed in office buildings, a large group of respondents would like canteens with simple, good quality meals at an affordable price. Lack of choice and high prices were also underlined by workers. Fitness clubs and grocery stores were often listed among expected amenities. Respondents expect a larger range of health and beauty salons – women need pharmacies and drugstores and men would like more hairdressers. The survey showed that people working in Warsaw’s office buildings also want better access to clothing and accessories stores.  

- The trend to change working space and the business environment will strengthen, which will have a positive effect on the demand for office space and the quality of developments. A derivative of  that retail units in office buildings are increasing and diversifying - says Katarzyna Michnikowska, Associate Director, Research and Consultancy Services, Colliers International. Growing demands of employees. 

Over a half (60 pct) of the office buildings in Warsaw offer retail and service space, although 80 pct have a surface area that does not exceed 2,000 sqm. In the vast majority of buildings, a maximum of 10 units is planned. The largest retail and service space can be found in Plac Unii, Koszyki, Royal Wilanów, Millennium Plaza and Europlex.

In terms of the tenant mix, caters are the largest group accounting for 33 pct of space. Second place is taken by financial institutions (13 pct) and third place goes to services (10 pct). The food and health & beauty sectors are quite strong and take 10 pct and 9 pct respectively. It is worth noting that the tenant mix by sector differs depending on the office district. 

Rental rates for retail space vary widely and depend on the location and prestige of the building. The highest rental rates are achieved for the ground floor units of the best office buildings on main high streets (EUR 35-55 sqm monthly). There are a few cases where expected rents fluctuate at around EUR 100 sqm monthly. Rents in office buildings located near transport hubs are in the range of EUR 20-25 sqm monthly, while in office buildings with retail and service space for employees and local residents prices are up to EUR 15-20 sqm monthly.

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