Austrian company Karimpol Group officially launched the construction of the Squarebizz Bory project in Bratislava which will include retail, storage and office space. Peter Šmitala, Project Manager at Karimpol Slovakia talked to Property Forum about the project and the company’s future plans.
The growing importance of mixed-use projects will be one of the key topics discussed at Bratislava Property Forum on 3 September 2021.
Squarebizz Bory brings to Slovakia the so-called Work.Shop.Store concept. What was the idea behind it?
We wanted to bring a modern, representative and functional solution to small and medium-size business and also to enable future tenants to have it all under one roof with no need to deal with logistics between their warehouse, office and store or showroom. The Work.Shop.Store concept has been very successful in Austria and will now be implemented in Slovakia.
Is this a speculative project or have you already secured tenants for it?
We have already signed an important international company TÜV SÜD, which provides professional services in the field of quality, safety and inspections. At Squarebizz Bory, TÜV SÜD will open modern and technologically advanced operations of the technical, emission control and originality control stations. At the moment, we hold negotiations with several interesting international and local market retailers that we expect to close and announce in the upcoming months.
Have you observed significant changes in what retail and logistics tenants are looking for since the start of the pandemic? How are you responding to these changes?
Not really. We still see a high demand for service and retail space in Slovakia. This is also one of the reasons why we felt positive to launch the Squarebizz project this year.
Do you expect mixed-use projects where the tenants can choose the final function of the premises to become more common?
I believe so. Especially in the world of retail and e-commerce, where you meet all kinds of specific needs and requirements coming from retailers in order to keep their day-to-day operations effective and productive. From start-ups to large, well-known and established brands, the success of their business is very much affected by the premises they operate in.
The Squarebizz project and the Work.Shop.Store concept enables companies to create their own customized operation between store, showroom and office, and that I believe creates a great added value to their business. Not to mention all the supply channels that they will eliminate by having everything under one roof.
At the same time, more and more companies do consider the environmental aspect of their business, therefore being effective even in regards to the space they operate in, is very important.
What other projects are you working on at the moment?
The Karimpol Group focuses its activities in the CEE region, mainly in Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. Currently, we have over 250,000 sqm of developments in various stages of implementation, namely Skyliner in Warsaw, logistics projects in Austria and the Squarebizz concept in Austria and the CEE region.
Ákos Budai | INTERVIEW