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Mordor or Shire? - “Four Corners of Warsaw”

Marcin Miazek • 14/01/2022
Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has launched “Four Corners of Warsaw”, a new series of mini reports on interesting business locations on the map of Warsaw. The first issue is about Służewiec.

From a rural area to one of the largest office hubs in Poland

The rapid redevelopment of Służewiec is not a phenomenon of the last 30 years. Since the beginning of the 20th century, this area transformed several times. Until the early 1900s it was a rural area. A horse race track was built here between 1932  and 1939, and in 1938 Służewiec was incorporated into Warsaw. In 1951 the Polish government took the decision to create an industrial district in Służewiec – that decision transformed it into an industrial zone for decades. With the political transformation in the early 1990s, the era of manufacturing dominance in Służewiec came to an end. The completion of the first modern office building Curtis Plaza at 18 Wołoska Street in 1992 marked the beginning of Służewiec’s metamorphosis into the business district as we know it today. 

The evolution of Warsaw’s “Mordor”

The office part of Służewiec is a very popular destination on the business map of Warsaw. With more than one million square metres of office space available in a zone delineated by Woronicza, Wołoska, Obrzeżna and Bokserska streets and the tracks of the Radom railway line, it is the second-largest business hub in Poland, after the centre of Warsaw, and is usually associated with corporate life as over 100,000 people work there. Warsaw inhabitants used to associate the Służewiec office hub with “Mordor” – heavy traffic, office monoculture and a dearth of services. 

Służewiec looks completely different today – new housing developments have in recent years transformed it into a modern resident- and worker-friendly office and residential zone. More greenery is also expected to be added in Służewiec – work is currently underway on the design of the Suwak Linear Park, which will be built by 2023 at an undeveloped site along the railway line from PKP Służewiec railway station to Woronicza Street,” says Marcin Miazek, Associate Director, Building Consultancy, Cushman & Wakefield.

Służewiec is not only about offices

The transformation of Służewiec into a modern mixed-use district, coupled with the expected office undersupply in 2023-2024, is likely to once again boost demand for office space in this part of Warsaw, and the district’s pejorative nickname of “Mordor” will become just a brief episode in the history of this rapidly evolving and attractive area.

“We want Industrial Służewiec to have housing estates and greenery and to provide jobs. We will ensure a functional mix. We will be implementing the concept a ’15-minute city’. That’s why we are working on a new zoning study for Warsaw. With the rapidly rising number of inhabitants, the district is also experiencing a surge in demand for schools, kindergartens and sports facilities,” says Marlena Happach, Director of the Department of Architecture and Planning, Architect for the Capital City of Warsaw.

Transport connectivity is also changing. Key recent improvements include the redevelopment of Marynarska Street with a flyover in Postępu Street, the completion of a road linking Suwak Street and Woronicza and Żwirki i Wigury streets. These projects have eased traffic congestion in the area and cut the journey time between the two parts of Służewiec, previously separated by Marynarska Street. Służewiec’s relatively easy accessibility compared to other non-central districts, high availability of modern office space and lower rental rates in comparison with the city centre will continue to attract many tenants. 

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