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29.09.2020

Hi Piotrkowska enters the final countdown

The Hi Piotrkowska complex is now ready and is just waiting for the last few acceptances before it can open. The list of tenants is also almost complete. But there’s still one gem available for an exceptional catering tenant: the most prominent unit on the corner of the building. And as it’s so important to make the right choice of who will use it, this is not going to be an easy task, especially since the decision should be a reflection of good taste – and based on the tastes this tenant provides us with.

The construction process for Hi Piotrkowska is now almost at an end. But before the final handover to its tenants, the building was opened up to lovers of Łódź’s rich heritage. A tour was laid on for a select few, who were able to photograph the panorama of the city, behind which Hi Piotrkowska stood out like a shining star. The photoshoot took place during the Fotofestiwal 2020 in August and represented the crowning of a series of cultural events held in the city – as well as of the construction of the complex.

Hi Piotrkowska enters its golden hour

The Fotofestiwal is an international event in which most of the organisers are locals and enthusiasts of the city. “That’s why, along with holding exhibitions and workshops, we try to show Łódź in a different light. Each year we have been opening up places that are inaccessible to the general public. Usually, these are buildings that are locked up and closed to the wider population. But during the Fotofestiwal these buildings are brought to life. We hold exhibitions, workshops and photo walks in them,” reveals Justyna Kociszewska of the Fotofestiwal organising committee.

Thanks to this, in previous years guests and participants of the festival have been able to discover, among others, the interiors of the EC-1 and EC-3 CHP plants before they were closed down.

“Last year, with the University of Łódź we opened a former university building on ul. Sienkiewicza. On the first floor it has a remarkable, huge mirrored hall with a fireplace, and so we decided to hold an exhibition in this unusual setting,” recalls Justyna Kociszewska.

This year, the organisers came up with the idea of opening up a modern building to the city. As chance would have it, the finishing work on Hi Piotrkowska coincided with the finale of the Fotofestiwal. The opportunity was thus provided to view and photograph the Łódź cityscape from the terrace of the tallest office building in the city.

“There’s no other vantage point in Łódź like this. You won’t find a similar observation deck in the city that stands in comparison to what we have here at Hi Piotrkowska. That’s why this unique photo walk turned out to be such a great success. This summer many Poles were unable to go on holiday, so there was no shortage of interested residents of Łódź and tourists. There was even a waiting list of people who wanted to do it,” reveals Justyna Kociszewska.

Enthusiasts of the city and photography had the chance to capture the panorama of the city on film at 7 pm – the so-called golden hour of photography when the light is ideal for this.

“The view is amazing, especially when the sun is still shining. Łódź is notable for having relatively low-rise buildings. Up to now no skyscrapers have been built in the city, so being able to stand in such a high place gives you an added impression of height – and this is the difference Hi Piotrkowska offers compared to other buildings in Łódź,” insists Justyna Kociszewska.

Photographic workshops were also held at the top of Hi Piotrkowska. The portraits of Łódź taken during this unique walk now form a unique record of the panorama of the city.

“The photos reveal the view of the city from the building. Prior to this we have only published photos of its interior and aerial shots of the complex. Therefore, the pictures taken during Fotofestiwal 2020 give people their first chance to see the building from the perspective of its users – the future tenants, who, when they move into their new premises will have the same views from the windows that have been immortalised in these photos,” explains Karolina Majcher, the marketing and PR director of Master Management Group.

Aesthetics, environment and comfort

The twenty-storey office building in the Hi Piotrkowska complex does not only offer spectacular views from its windows, but also has the advantage of being environmentally friendly, having obtained BREEAM certification.

“The certification process started at an early stage of the project, which required the use of a number of water and energy saving measures. These include: low water flow devices in the toilets and kitchens, LED lighting, and energy-efficient air conditioning and ventilation,” points out Mariusz Jasicki, a project management director and BREEAM International assessor at Hill International.

The building is designed in such a way that around 80 percent of it has full access to daylight.

“The certification process itself contributed to a reduction in CO2 emissions during the construction stage. The general contractor was constantly monitoring the water consumption and waste generation. It’s worth stressing that around 90 percent of all the waste was recycled. The visible result of this – an entire complex of buildings in a prominent quarter of Łódź – is all the more pleasing because during its construction we took care not only of the aesthetic qualities and the overall final effect, but also of the environment and the comfort of its future users,” emphasises Mariusz Jasicki.

Hi Piotrkowska is ideal for those who appreciate the combination of a perfect location and optimal space maintenance costs. “Considering the specificity of this project, which combines many functions, achieving our intended goal was not easy. From the very beginning, we wanted the project to be as cost-effective as possible while at the same time ensuring the comfort of all those with a stake in it: the tenants, the investment managers and the investors. As an experienced property manager, I am convinced that the Hi Piotrkowska complex will meet the expectations of even the most demanding tenants,” insists Ewa Skrzypczak, a construction manager at Hill International.

Fascinating construction facts

Hi Piotrkowska is one of the tallest buildings that Erbud has ever constructed. The complex is currently awaiting final acceptance.

“All the SAP systems, DSO, sprinkler and hydrant systems are thoroughly tested. Another important measure is fume ventilation, which, along with the others mentioned, is essential for ensuring the building can be used safely,” explains Bartosz Czerwiński, a project manager at Erbud.

He admits that the complexity of the project was a challenge. At first, it was necessary to avoid interfering with the existing underground infrastructure.

“This took several months, after which the construction of the diaphragm walls could get underway. Carrying this out was not made any easier by the limited area of the construction site, the proximity of existing buildings, and the need to ensure the safety of residents and pedestrians,” admits Bartosz Czerwiński.

The pandemic only added the difficulties that had to be overcome. “There were issues with the supply of materials and the services that were required. Supply chains have been lengthened and some have even been broken. However, we have managed to finish the building and I think it will be opened to the citizens of Łódź and those from outside the city in the near future,” believes Bartosz Czerwiński.

Despite such unforeseen obstacles, the history of the construction work on Hi Piotrkowska is littered with interesting facts. Such as how the exterior of the complex has been created: “It has been given a prefabricated façade, which was delivered to the construction site in ready-made segments and then mounted from the inside of the building without the use of scaffolding,” relates Michał Ruczkowski, the site manager.

The reinforced concrete structure of the building, meanwhile, was created using hydraulic self-climbing formwork. “The concreting pumps were raised hydraulically together with the building and the crane,” adds Michał Ruczkowski.

Pearls among tenants

What’s the leasing philosophy of the Hi Piotrkowska team when it comes to retail and service tenants?

“We tried to fit the selection of tenants into the concept of a mixed-use building. We were guided, among other considerations, by the need to fulfil the everyday needs of office workers, which is why we decided to bring in a Żabka convenience store, a Hebe drugstore, Starbucks and a Just Gym fitness club. It is worth pointing out that the fitness club will cover more than 1,700 sqm on the upper floors of the building, which can be accessed from the ground floor of the shopping arcade,” reveals Anna Polak, the director of the commercialisation department at Master Management Group.

The company has thus focused on well-known and much-loved brands that will also be attractive to local residents. “That’s why the tenant mix will also include Z Pieca Rodem, a local bakery chain recognised by the people of Łódź for offering the highest quality of ingredients and products. Another local brand will be Delikatesy Fabryczne, which will offer a wide selection of wines and delicacies,” adds Anna Polak.

Master Management Group is currently finalising lease agreements for the last available retail and service space. “At the moment we cannot reveal the names of these individual tenants, but we will certainly do so at some time soon. These are modern Polish companies who are represented directly by their owners. They will be an excellent addition to our range of services. And we are still looking for a tenant in the catering sector for the most prominent corner unit,” emphasises Anna Polak.

According to the company, this space will be one of Hi Piotrkowska’s gems. And as it’s so important to make the right choice of who will use it, this is not going to be an easy task, especially since the decision should be a reflection of good taste – and based on the tastes this tenant provides us with.