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Warsaw Business Journal interview with Maciej Gołębiewski

It’s been a good year so far with over 125,000 sqm in terms of renewals and extensions of contracts, says a smiling Maciej Gołębiewski, Asset Management and Leasing Director at Globalworth, a leading real estate company in the CEE region.

I couldn’t help but notice the “Office Renais­sance” campaign in the lobby and elevators. What’s the story?

First, you must understand Global­worth’s unique role. We are an investor mainly in office real estate and we provide a major­ity of related services in-house. We lease and manage all our assets which allows us to be close to our tenants and really care for them through the whole process. This is what our idea of “Office Renaissance” is about. We understand the disruption the pandemic brought on work patterns for companies (our ten­ants), so we want to support them in rebuilding the work-life balance. So work again becomes mainly what happens in the office and when at home you can focus on family values. As office own­ers, we feel responsible for mak­ing the experience at our offices special and intriguing so that our tenants’ employees enjoy the time in attractive surround­ings — both measured in facility supply, comfort, safety and pur­pose. These extraordinary graph­ics inspired by masterpieces of the greatest Renaissance artists, used in common spaces of the buildings, emphasize our ‘wel­come back message to all the people working in or visiting our properties.

You own offices in Warsaw and five other major cities in Poland. Do you see differ­ences in companies’ office work policies between War­saw and the rest of Poland?

Actually, it depends much more on what tenant it is than where it is. We are noticing that espe­cially international corporations have a longer decision-making process about asking employ­ees back to work in the office. It is an ethical issue, that they must assure not stepping wrong on. Small and local companies are allowed more under the radar and get things done quicker. We can notice that many of them are back to a more frequent office usage already or a hybrid model.

What are your thoughts about the “new” office?

Our strategy has all the time been to buy good, centrally located office buildings of high quality. This approach secures an attractive product for ten­ants allowing them to have access to public transport, talent pools and destinations that people are attracted to work at because of nearby shopping and enter­tainment options. Before Covid-19 hit, the fight for talent was already a major challenge for many companies and office loca­tions, fit-outs and facilities were already an important factor in winning the right employees. The pandemic has not made this crucial battle less important for companies. Therefore, the right office space energy and loca­tion are still very relevant. We must assume that remote work is here to stay but company cul­ture and social gathering are still important elements for cor­porations’ foundations. So, it is important that they are creating a model where people can come to work to meet, brainstorm and exchange with each other. This demands excellent meeting facilities, and easy booking and communication systems.

The demands and chal­lenges for modern offices are growing in terms of sus­tainability and technology. What are the key challenges and requests from tenants in this area?

When we were younger and joined a company, it was mainly based on the brand. Today, young people also look at the details, what the brand stands for and do they care about ESG and the small things (as a good and healthy workspace). Our aim is to be partners for our tenants and we do a lot in this field to help them and their employees. To name a few examples, all our offices are going to be BREEAM certified at an excellent level still this year. 100% of electricity in our buildings comes from renewable energy sources. We are upgrad­ing all air filters in the buildings. And we are working on our own application — to make our offices accessible touchless for employ­ees. We are active not only on the technology and sustainabil­ity front, but our motto is really: it is not just an office, it’s an expe­rience. And therefore, we are also arranging social activities and gatherings like open-air-cinemas, concerts, workshops, upgrading green areas to build­ings and making sure that we deliver on these extra small ser­vices people need for conveni­ence.

Warsaw and most of Poland as well have seen a boom in the office market in the last decade. Right now a lot of new space is becom­ing available as many new buildings are being finished. What’s your perspective on the present and future of the office building market in Poland?

Last year, as Covid-19 struck, the market came to a halt in many ways. Companies had no clear visibility for the future and as most offices were emp­tied and business stopped. This was no time to make decisions about new assets and spaces for companies. But 2021 is already much better for us and for other market operators. Spaces in the most attractive office buildings are leased and some places are already close to being fully booked. And as I said at the beginning of our talks, we are very satisfied with our results this year so far.

Has the crisis impacted leasing pricing?

No, it doesn’t feel so, at least if you have, as I said before, the right locations in modern facili­ties. Actually, I see companies’ interest in investing in Poland already building up again. You understand it when you analyse how much potential Poland has in terms of a talented labor force and large scale. So, for us, the market is still very attrac­tive.

When you say the market is attractive does it mean you have some new invest­ments planned?

We are right now investing in two very fascinating redevel­opment projects. Renoma and Supersam mixed-use pro­jects in Wrocław and Katowice respectively. Renoma used to be a shopping centre in a cen­tral location. We saw the chance to use this perfect location to rebuild it into a multifunctional destination, with state-of-the-art office space, original culi­nary concepts, fashion bou­tiques, and medical and fitness services. The same redevel­opment scenario is happen­ing with Supersam, in Katowice center. It is a smaller-scale pro­ject, but a very exciting trend of office facilities combined with retail and leisure, that one may see more of in the future. We are also constantly investing in other our properties, upgrad­ing their standards, modern­izing common areas, introduc­ing more greenery and modern proptech solutions.


  • 42 properties in Poland and Romania
  • Total combined portfolio valued at €3 billion
  • Overall standing portfolio footprint: 1,271.3k sqm of GLA
  • Company team of over 220 professionals in Poland and Romania
  • Over 650 national and multinational corporations among tenants
  • In Romania, the company owns properties in Bucha­rest, Timișoara, Constanța and Pitești
  • In Poland, it is active in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Łódź and Wrocław

“As office owners, we feel responsible for making the expe­rience at our offices special and intriguing so that our tenants’ employees enjoy the time in attractive surroundings. So, it is important to create a model where people can come to work to meet, brainstorm and ex­change with each other. Poland has a lot of potential in terms of a talented labor force and good at­tractive scale” says Maciej Gołębiewski, qualified chartered surveyor (MRICS), with over 22 years of experience in the Polish and CEE real estate markets.

Interview published on the Lokale Immobilia magazine, HERE.