Twenty years ago, the commercial real estate market in Poland was just beginning to form. Modern office buildings could be counted on the fingers of one hand, as could shopping centres and logistics parks, which are ubiquitous today.

“Living in a large Polish city like Warsaw, Kraków or Wrocław, it is difficult to appreciate the quantity and quality of the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years. Although "revolution" and not "change" would be a more appropriate word. Take Warsaw for example. In the mid-1990s, its cityscape was marked by only a few buildings, including the Palace of Culture and Science and the Intraco and Novotel buildings. After several years, new shopping centres, hotels and impressive office buildings gave the capital an urban character and the high standard of new buildings significantly contributed to the international prestige of both Warsaw and Poland,” said Monika Rajska-Wolińska, Managing Partner of Colliers International.

A little over two decades ago, the commercial real estate agency market was also born. “The beginnings of Colliers in Poland were based on just a few enthusiastic, goal-oriented people. Today, the company employs nearly 300 staff in seven offices in Poland. This demonstrates the demand that has grown over the years for our services, although its very nature has changed. We used to be agents. Today we are a consulting company with a wide range of specialised, complementary services that are continually expanding,” commented Monika Rajska-Wolińska, Managing Partner of Colliers International.

“Poland has seen many changes in the last 20 years, not only in the commercial real estate market, but also from a socioeconomic point of view. In 1996, Poland became a full member of the OECD, three years later it joined NATO, and in 2004 it was admitted into the European Union. Thanks to these events, confidence in Poland increased, and consequently the amount of foreign investment grew. In 1997, Polish GDP amounted to EUR 143 billion. For comparison, in 2015 it was almost EUR 475 billion, an increase of approx. 230 percent. During those 20 years, it was not only the value of foreign investment in Poland that changed, but above all, the origin of capital and investors. At the end of the 1990s, it was mostly Americans, French and Germans who were building in Poland. Today, capital is flowing from completely different places, such as Malaysia and South Africa, and investors are interested in knowledge-based industries. That is why shared service centres and R&D centres are developing rapidly in Poland,” added Monika Rajska-Wolińska.

Colliers will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of company’s operations in Poland throughout the year. For this occasion, a commemorative logo has been created. The communication campaign has been built around the most important aspects of the commercial real estate market and the changes that have taken place over the past two decades.

Since Colliers’ launched in Poland, the company has developed and grown locally and internationally. “Poland plays a very important role in Collier’s EMEA strategy and remains a growth story, not just in Europe but the world. We are very proud to have built a reputation as a market leader in Poland and to have played a major role in the creation of a specialist and professional real estate services industry in the country. Most importantly, we have built a strong team of local talent, which allows us to continue to innovate on behalf of our clients, and accelerate the success of our partners,” said Chris McLernon, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA, Colliers International.

“Everyone at Colliers is immensely proud of our history. Two decades is a significant milestone and it gives us enormous pleasure to be able to share our anniversary celebrations with our clients, our colleagues and the local community,” McLernon concluded.