A cornerstone has been laid for the integrated transportation, retail and office center that is being developed by Neinver and Polish State Railways (PKP S.A.) at Szewczyka Sq. in Katowice. The ceremony, which saw the participation of a couple hundred guests, took place at the construction site, where a slip road to the complex’s underground part is about to be located in the future.
The ceremony began at high noon with the hosts’ speeches. Jose Maria Losantos y del Campo, the founder and president of Neinver Group, Barbara Topolska, Managing Director at Neinver Poland, and Paweł Olczyk, Board Member of PKP S.A., were the first to take the floor. The prime contractor, Strabag Sp. z o.o., was represented by its chairman, Alfred Watzl.
Participants included the Silesian Voivodeship Governor, Zygmunt Łukaszczyk, the Mayor of Katowice, Piotr Uszok, representatives of local and national authorities, as well as partners and subcontractors involved in the investment. Upon a special invitation offered by the Neinver Group’s president, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain, Francisco Fernandez Fabregas, took part in the event.
The ceremony’s key moment was signing and laying a foundation act. The document was then put into a container commonly referred to as a time capsule, along with Polish and Spanish coins, as well as covers of the current issues of local papers.
Instead of a customary cornerstone, a specially protected data storage device was laid in the foundations of the emerging investment. The device contains scanned handprints of over a thousand residents of Katowice and the whole region. The images were collected during the event named “Bear a hand in building the new center of Katowice”, which was held on 27th of May around the construction site.
“Every city achieves milestones in development. The cornerstone being laid today is such a milestone for Katowice. In fact, we can say about a start of the City Center redevelopment” – said Piotr Uszok, Katowice Mayor.
One of the event’s key decorative elements were sunflowers which are the symbol of Katowice in its bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2016.
In her speech, the General Manager of Neinver Poland, Barbara Topolska, said: “Katowice is a city of changes, to which our investment has also contributed. We appreciate the potential of Katowice and promote it around Europe. We keep following the city’s efforts to become the European Capital of Culture. The final decision in this matter will be made within the upcoming days. What we consider symbolic is the fact that our company, which was established in Spain, is developing and investing in the center of the city which stands a chance of attracting the whole Europe’s attention along with its Spanish twin town.”
The project carried out by Neinver and Polish State Railways in Katowice involves building a new Railway Station hall, an underground bus station, Galeria Katowicka and an A-class office building. The investment also entails modernization of the road infrastructure around the new complex.
“This is going to be a huge shift in quality for our travelers,” underscored Paweł Olczyk, board member of PKP S.A. The Katowice project is currently the largest undertaking of this sort conducted by PKP S.A. and a private investor. “Along with our Spain-based partner, Neinver, we are providing the residents of Silesia and their guests with modern space where they will enjoy spending their free time” – he added.
The plot area covers 3,2 ha. The usable space of the complex is going to be comparable to the area of 27 pitches of the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów. Over 115 000 cubic meters of concrete will be used for construction purposes, which means 8 times as much as in the case of the Silesian Stadium. More than 200 000 sq. meters of new usable space will be created, of which 53 000 sq. m. accounts for retail space – 250 shopping and service points in Galeria Katowicka, an office building and the new Railway Station’s hall. 5 800 sq. m. are designed for the new Railway Station’s area for passenger handling; 5 200 sq. m. of space will be provided for underground bus stops; the area of new Szewczyka Sq. will cover 5 400 sq. m.
source: press office of Neinver