Bringing Warsaw’s forgotten town houses back to their former glory.Real Estate Investments
Originally Published in March 2018
According to the Luxury Realty Map report by Poland Sotheby’s International Realty, the value of the Polish premium and luxury real estate market in 2016 was 40 percent higher than in 2012 and it should continue to grow steadily until 2021. Some 54 percent of the wealthy Poles surveyed by Sotheby’s said they chose apartments in the centres of big cities over suburban areas. This trend is evident in Western European capitals, where the most sought after and expensive locations are centrally located revitalized historical buildings.
Warsaw is no different. Its most beautiful apartment buildings, with sublime pre-war decorative features, are situated in the city centre. Some carefully selected town houses are now undergoing major renovations, striving to secure as much of the original form of the building as possible. Experienced architects and skilled craftsmen meticulously recreate lost details. Functionality, intimacy and the immortal beauty of restored interiors, as well as the prestige of a historical building with classic design is a deciding factor for most investors.
“Elegant houses with modern comfort in historical buildings should stand the test of time, while new ones will certainly age much faster,” said Andrzej Kawalec, Chairman of the Board of Fenix Group. “An apartment in an old revitalized building in the centre of Warsaw should clearly increase in value in relative terms in comparison with similar premises in new development projects.” The company has modernized and restored more than 30,000 square meters of historic space.
Curiously and most people don’t see it yet, the spirit of Old Warsaw was best preserved in the Praga district, where the majority of buildings survived World War II. Town houses at Okrzei 26 and Jagiellońska 27, although exclusive, t right into the spirit of the old neighbourhood. Renovation work includes windows and roofs, reinforcing walls and ceilings and replacing old electric and water systems. The buildings will have additional features of modern comfort, such as new elevator shafts. Jagiellońska 27 has an impressive early-modernist façade based on the design from the 1910s. The gateway will have a carefully restored yellow terracotta floor, and a staircase made from original grey terrazzo. Decorative metal balustrades and pearl moulding in the hallway will be restored.
Thanks to such initiatives, the district is rapidly changing. Proximity to the centre, a new subway line and vast recreational areas along the Vistula River all contribute to the growing popularity of this location among artists and investors.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Warsaw was considered the “Paris of the North,” mostly because of its inner-city architectural gems. The uniqueness of the city-centre investments lies in carefully reproduced decorative details on the facades, original apartment layouts and pre- war interior charm.
Koszykowa 49 displays well preserved gate fittings and frescoes on the walls and ceiling of the gateway, an example of Neo-Renaissance architecture. It is also one of the only remaining buildings from the pre-war street. Now those buildings are surrounded by vibrant city life, with restaurants, cafes and galleries. The most exclusive in all Fenix Group’s historical buildings are the top-floor penthouse-style apartments, with high ceilings (up to 5,5 meters) and green roof- top terraces offering panoramic views of Warsaw’s skyline.