Karimpol’s Squarebizz Bory now 75% leased

Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture

Having opened and completed leasing on the first phase of its 30,000 sqm commercial park Squarebizz Bory, Karimpol is now close to 75% leased on the second phase. Tenants who have already moved in include Alpod, Cortelazzi, Ekosklad, ExpresPrint, Fitham, Inipex, Kellys Bicycles, TȔV-SȔD, Valivé ložiská and Virtuplex. Project manager Peter Šmitala (Karimpol) says the most difficult part of the project was the initial period of leasing, before end users could see what the space would eventually look like.  “We learned that until we’re two-thirds done with construction, it’s very hard for them to imagine what type of building we’re going to build,” he says.

In fact, as a big box warehouse specialist, this type of development is a step into the unknown even for Karimpol. Its team is used to dealing with major corporations and 3PL providers who sign leases for tens of thousands of square meters at a time. With Squarebizz, by contrast, the target group are family-owned companies and entrepreneurs. “They’re dealing with their own money, not just some company’s money, so closing deals takes twice as long,” says Šmitala. They’re also not used this type of real estate and location. “They’ve been doing business in B or C category buildings in Stara Vajnorska, Avion or Petržalka, but there was nothing in Bory until Penta started investing here. To convince them and their employees that Bory is a good location is a step-by-step process. It takes a long time.”

Karimpol acquired the project from Penta, which was busy with its hospital, retail and residential projects in the area. The developer tweaked Penta’s designs somewhat to match the potential demand more realistically, removing extra floors, while retaining the green roofs on the two buildings.

The rent component of the final cost is a lot more than it is in B and C class facilities, but the cost savings they can achieve in an A1 energy category building makes it more acceptable. Inflation has pushed rents for storage at Squarebizz Bory up from €6/sqm into the €6.70 range. Showroom space along the main road has risen by a similar margin from Karimpol’s original plans for €8. Some companies (like Kellys bicycles) use their space almost exclusively to display their goods. Most units have a showroom to storage ratio of 30-40% / 60-70%.

The first phase of Squarebizz Bory opened in June 2022

Having convinced Bratislava businesses of the concept, Karimpol is taking the product on the road. It’s already launched a construction tender for a 15,000 sqm project in Nitra. Construction could begin by the end of spring. And the developer will continue with the branded Squarebizz concept to other larger cities in Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

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