Former ‘Sezam’ will shine with a new splendour – the cornerstone was laid at ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’

On 7th December, we witnessed a ceremony of laying the foundation stone for ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ in Warsaw downtown. The modern office and commercial (Class A+) building, featuring the iconic ‘Sezam’ department store, is set to be accomplished in the first quarter of 2018 by BBI Development S.A. and the Warsaw Cooperative of Grocers ‘Społem Śródmieście’. The building will be the first in the capital to be integrated with the underground network through the connection with Świętokrzyska metro station at the intersection of two underground lines. The new opening of the building will amaze Warsaw residents with an unprecedented greenery space to be located in the very city centre thanks to the opening of nine green terraces and revitalization of Witold Rowicki passage with some attractive elements of a small city architecture.

The visiting card of Warsaw Downtown

The implementation of ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ project is being carried out smoothly and according to the schedule. In March next year already, the construction of the building will catch up with an existing ceiling of the first floor above the exit from the underground station and will start climbing up. In terms of the construction works, the integration of the building with the underground station is already complete. The demolition of the wall separating the mezzanine of the station from ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ will take place in the last phase of works, so that the impact of the ongoing construction on the functioning of the station is reduced to the very minimum. The underground commuters can already notice an information billboard indicating the future entrance to the mall.

“The laying of the foundation stone marks a new stage in the project, one which everyone was waiting for. In a little over a year, ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ will welcome its first customers and employees, and it will become the visiting card of Warsaw downtown. BBI Development S.A. as well as the WCG ‘Społem’ are both convinced that it was worth taking up the challenge to build a facility that will fit so naturally into the fabric of the city, becoming an important edifice for the residents. Alongside the WCG ‘Społem’, a reputable trading company that has been operating on the local market for 148 years, we are creating a new chapter in the history of Polish cooperative activity”, says Michał Skotnicki, CEO of BBI Development S.A.

“A few years ago, as the Board of a cooperative with over a 140-year-old tradition and also as the owners of ‘Sezam’ department store, we faced a dilemma on how to further develop our business. The decapitalised building of ‘Sezam’ was increasingly deviating from standards typical to large city centres. We decided to find a reputable business partner, and today we have made another important step in the implementation of this new investment – we have laid the cornerstone. It is a particularly important event for us. Soon, along with the opening of ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’, we will witness the return of ‘Sezam’ store, but in a more beautiful and functional edifice, just as customer-friendly and well-stocked as ever before”, complements Anna Tylkowska, CEO of the Warsaw Cooperative of Grocers ‘Społem Śródmieście’.

For tenants and residents

The project will offer a total of 16,500 square metres of usable floor area, of which 3,400 sq. m. will be allocated for trade and services, whereas the remaining part for offices. The excellent location, with daily traffic figures of 120,000 pedestrians getting on and off from the second underground line station will offer incredible trade opportunities for future tenants. Such modern space will enrich the high-street eastern wall of Warsaw downtown characterized by a strong potential.

“The intersection of two major arteries of Warsaw – Świętokrzyska and Marszałkowska – is the very central point of the city, one which is well connected thanks to many bus and tram lines as well as the proximity of the Central Station. ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ is in addition the only office and commercial building in Warsaw, which will soon provide for a direct access to two underground lines at their intersection. The project has managed to combine the very downtown location with the philosophy of ‘work & life’ balance. Thanks to this, the commercialisation process is at an advanced level, while the interest among tenants – when it comes to both office and retail as well as service floor area – very significant”, says Rafał Szczepański, Vice-President of BBI Development S.A.

The office space integrated into the building will perfectly meet individual needs of those companies, which value above all such factors as prestigious address, visible seat, central location in the best-connected area of Warsaw business district, as well as the guarantee of higher comfort and environment protection. The investor expects that the use of eco-friendly solutions will enable it to receive the ‘very good’ level on the BREEAM Europe Commercial Standard 2009 Certificate. The investment will boast with a two-level underground parking for 106 cars as well as a parking for bikes with changing rooms and showers.

‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ contributes to a trend of restoring the greenery in the city centre and it will enrich ‘Warsaw green trail’ on Świętokrzyska street. An integral part of the complex will be nine green terraces with a total area of over 1,000 square metres. As one of the few newly-constructed buildings, the project will offer drawer windows controlled by an intelligent building management system. What should be recalled is that Złota 44 investment has a similar window solution installed, thanks to which workers and residents of the facilities have an unhindered access to fresh air. As part of the investment, a revitalised Witold Rowicki passage will also be made available. It will be an intimate and truly downtown public space filled with greenery and small city architecture elements, one which will provide for a place to relax in the city’s hustle and bustle.

With respect for tradition

‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ is being erected at the site of former ‘Sezam’ department store and it will continue the tradition of a place that became iconic for a number of generations of Warsaw residents. A well-known and renovated ‘Sezam’ neon will be installed with a new shine, and the interior of the building will be decorated with secured mosaics and ceramic wall coverings. The modern facade of the building, positioned in the letter ‘S’, will discreetly refer to its predecessor. Currently, city residents can visit an exhibition prepared by the investor describing the rich past of this downtown quarter. To nurture the identity of the place further, on 10th December, a walk along the historical trail surrounding ‘Sezam’ was held with a city guide Jarosław Zieliński. The participants of the event were able to take part in a competition to win the book “Marszałkowska – the corner of Świętokrzyska and its surroundings”, issued as part of the series on Metropolitan Warsaw by BBI Development S.A.

“I worked in ‘Sezam’ from its first to the last day. It was not just a store, but an important place on the map of Warsaw, where you could shop, meet and talk about important matters. I am glad that this will be made possible again thanks to ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’”, says Alicja Cacko, the most senior employee of the former store.

It should be recalled that the contractor of ‘Centrum Marszałkowska’ is Doraco Construction Corporation. The company specialises in the implementation of large and complex projects, whose total value has recently exceeded several hundred million euros. The sole agent responsible for the lease is CBRE. The building will be completed in the first quarter of 2018.