Cracow is the most absorptive regional office market in Poland. It is also the undisputed national leader in the business services sector. The recent development of the industry in the capital of Małopolska region is evidenced by the number of opened IT/SSC/BPO centers, with 158 already operating  in the city. Over the last year, almost two times more new centers have been created in the agglomeration than in Warsaw. Hence the huge demand for Cracow offices.

According to Walter Herz data, in 2017, over 200 thousand sq m of space found tenants in Cracow, a few per cent more than a year earlier. This year the demand for offices is not smaller. The largest customers of the new space are shared service centers.

Almost 75 thousand people are employed in the business services sector

Around 68 thousand people are already employed in this sector in the Cracow agglomeration. According to ASPIRE, the organization associating the largest SSC/BPO/IT companies, it appears that this year another 7 thousand people will find a job in the IT and business services sector in Cracow. By the end of the year, approximately 75 thousand employees will be working in Cracow’s centers.

In the whole country, companies from the sector currently have 265 thousand employees. About 20 per cent more than a year ago. Estimates show that by 2020, over 300 thousand people will provide business services. According to ABSL, only in 2017, 51 new business service centers were created in Poland.

Cracow has already established its position as the strongest outsourcing center, not only in Poland, but also on the global map, as confirmed by the Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations. In the last report, the capital of Małopolska region was ranked 8th among the most attractive cities in the world for investments in the SSC/BPO/IT segment. According to ASPIRE association, the total annual value of this sector in case of Cracow is EUR 2.6 billion.

Demand for Cracow’s offices is higher than supply

Mateusz Strzelecki, Partner at Walter Herz, notes that the rapid growth of the office market is followed by the intense growth of the business services sector in Cracow. – 2017 was a record year for the city in terms of the amount of commissioned office space. The offer has increased by 193 thousand sq m of offices, and Cracow’s resources exceeded 1.1 million sq m of space. Interestingly, last year’s demand for Cracow’s offices exceeded the new supply. Such high absorption of the market includes, among others, lease transactions covering the entire buildings, which are often concluded by one tenant – explains Mateusz Strzelecki.

According to Focus on Kraków report developed by Pro Progressio, Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Antal and Walter Herz, it appears that currently over 300 thousand sq m of office space is under construction in the capital of Małopolska. Among others, 20 class A buildings are under implementation. Another 150 thousand sq m of offices are already being prepared for construction.

There are no clearly outlined office zones in Cracow. The main areas of office development are the northwestern part of the city near Armii Krajowej Street and the northeastern part of Cracow in the area of al. Jana Pawła II Street, where, for example, Podium Park (22.6 thousand sq m) and O3 Business Campus (19 thousand) sq m) are under construction.

Intense development of the center of Cracow

The city center has recently established its position, especially in the area around Mogilskiego and Grzegórzeckiego roundabouts, where such investments as: High5ive (32.3 thousand sq m), Mogilska Office (12 thousand sq m), Unity Center (46 thousand sq m) with 27 storey Unity Tower measuring 102 meters, which will be the tallest building in Cracow, V. Offices (24.9 thousand sq m), and Fabryczna Office Park (13.5 thousand sq m). The southern part of the agglomeration is also developing in the area of Wadowicka and Wielicka Streets, where, among others, Equal Buisness Park (22.3 thousand sq m) and Tischnera Office (33.6 thousand sq m) are under construction.

The average rent for office space in Cracow, according to Walter Herz, is approximately EUR 14/ sq m /month and has been on the same level for a long time. The second largest office market in the country is substantially cheaper than Warsaw, but according to Mateusz Strzelecki, the cost is not the only factor that attracts investors to the city. – Above all ,Cracow stands out with the highest educational potential in Poland. The capital of Małopolska has the highest number of qualified specialists in the country – admits Walter Herz expert.

The strength of Cracow lies in a large academic background. Every year, in the city inhabited by 770 thousand residents, on average around 50 thousand people graduates. Over 13 thousand of them graduates from technical schools. Whereas for example in Warsaw, there are only over 7 thousand of such graduates. The largest number of graduates of Cracow’s universities are specialists in finance, linguistics and IT.

Author: Walter Herz