Capital Park Group has completed the revitalisation of the Norblin Factory, the flagship project which has regained its presence on the map of Warsaw after several years of intensive design, construction and conservation work. The complex was granted an occupancy permit at the end of August 2021. The site at Żelazna Street has a history spanning more than two centuries when it has served a number of different functions. Reopening for the city, it boasts historical buildings integrated with modern architecture. The multifunctional project has a total area of over 65,000 sqm. Its office space has already been fully leased. Visitors to the Norblin Factory can enjoy cultural, entertainment and dining concepts including the original KinoGram cinema, the Bio Bazar organic market, and the capital city’s largest food court Food Town.
The revitalisation of the former Norblin, Buch Brothers and T. Werner factory began in 2008 when the two-hectare post-industrial site located at the junction of Żelazna, Łucka and Prosta streets was acquired by the Capital Park Group. Bringing the post-factory complex back to life turned out to be an extremely demanding and complicated process both during design and construction. The first phase of the investment project involved preparatory work including concept development in accordance with conservation guidelines, compiling necessary documentation and obtaining required permits. It was followed by four years of construction and revitalisation work involving at times as many as 1000 employees and over 100 conservators. The investment project has restored the former factory buildings to their former glory.
On top of them, eight-storey modern office space was built in an industrial style. The Norblin Factory offers over 65,000 sqm of usable area with state-of-the-art A+ class offices taking up 41,000 sqm of space and the remaining 24,000 sqm filled with entertainment, culture, food, service and retail concepts. There are two main alleys in the complex, named after Ludwik Norblin and Teodor Werner, accessible 24/7. The office space has already been fully leased, as has more than 65 percent of the entertainment, food, culture and retail space. The architecture of the Norblin Factory was designed by the studio PRC Architekci. The general contractor of the investment was Warbud SA working in co-operation among others with Soletanche Polska, Maat4, and TKT Engineering. Monument Service was responsible for the conservation of historical buildings. Bank lending was provided for the investment project by Bank Pekao SA (€99.3 million) and the European Investment Bank (€60 million); combined with the Capital Park Group’s own funds, it paid for the construction costs.
“The completion of the revitalisation of the Norblin Factory is a most important and emotional moment for our whole team. After years filled with challenges, difficult decisions and great efforts put into the project, I am proud to say that it was really worth it. I am happy to see day after day how the former Norblin and Werner factory once again turns into a vibrant part of the city. On behalf of the Capital Park Group, I would like to thank all the companies and individuals involved in this long-time demanding revitalisation process. With our joint efforts, we have managed to recover the former factory site and preserve its key features: a unique atmosphere and vivid history palpable in every nook and cranny of the place,” said Kinga Nowakowska, Member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer of the Capital Park Group responsible for the revitalisation of the Norblin Factory.
An original offer with unique culture, entertainment and food concepts, atmospheric spaces and the ever-present history of the site which one can literally touch: the Norblin Factory is multifunctional on a large scale. The complex includes a unique boutique cinema, KinoGram (3,300 sqm), which offers seven cosy screening rooms sitting a total of 525 people. The cinema halls are equipped with quality technology, stylish velvet sofas, armchairs, and wooden tables. KinoGram is also the seat of the Polish Directors’ Guild which provides expert support. The cinema displays an original Oscar statuette from the composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, and it features the Flow Art House art gallery. Fans of healthy unprocessed food will relish a broad offer of Bio Bazar (2,000 sqm), Poland’s first market with certified organic products, which makes a come-back to the post-factory location after several years.
The Norblin Factory is also home to Warsaw’s largest restaurant zone, Food Town, which comprises as many as five historic halls and 23 restaurant concepts serving dishes from all over the world. Overall, the Norblin food hall offers 3,200 sqm of space. One of the five halls is dedicated to culture and entertainment events. The complex also features an atmospheric Piano Bar located in one of the oldest buildings dating back to the days of the first owner of the location, Franciszek Ryx, the butler of the last king of Poland. The three levels of the historic building are filled with live music. Buqiet florist’s, a YES jewellery store, and Alkohole Świata shops have already opened in the Norblin Factory. In December, the Tashka publishing house, which is also the operator of the Norblin Factory Museum, will open its doors, as will the craft beer bar UWAGA Piwo and the Sirene Eyewear optician’s.
Opening at the Norblin Factory next year is the Apple Polska Museum (320 sqm) as well as Poland’s first fully digital art gallery, ART BOX Experience (800 sq.m.). Additional restaurants will open, including Soul Food, the Paradiso, as well as Blue Cactus which reopens after a hiatus of several years. A modern fitness club operated by Orange Fitness (410 sqm) will open in the first quarter of 2022 and the newonce.media Group will move to its new home in the Verit building. A SuperPharm drugstore and pharmacy and a dental centre of the Medicover Stomatologia chain will be available at Żelazna Street.
The office space of the Norblin Factory is home, among others, to Allegro (24,000 sqm), the Global Business Services Centre of Japan Tobacco International (8,500 sqm), the Scandinavian financial service provider SEB Bank (3,300 sqm), and the facility management service provider ISS World Service Poland (4,000 sqm), Mount TFI – (375 sqm), City Office – (almost 380 sqm).
The Capital Park Group’s flagship investment project was implemented with respect for the environment from its very beginning. It is pre-certified in the BREEAM system and rated Very Good. Due to the historic quality of the site and in the absence of vegetation, the project necessitated tailored solutions meeting the unique requirements for a historic site. As a result, 106 trees between 4 and 10 metres high have been planted in special pots placed in the ceiling of the underground car park at the Norblin Factory.