Salans advises on Railway Station revamp

International law firm Salans has advised Meyer Bergman, the European real estate investment management firm, on its joint venture to redevelop the Railway Station in Katowice.

The project, whose progress has been eased by recent legislation connected with the Poland’s preparations for the UEFA Euro 2012 football tournament aimed at simplifying and shortening the usual planning and building permit procedures, marks Salans’ first collaboration with Meyer Bergman.

“This is Meyer Bergman’s first development project in Poland, which is one of the most dynamic retail markets in Emerging Europe,” – commented Meyer Bergman Principal Zsolt Kohalmi, who oversaw the transaction. “It was a complex transaction, in which all of the parties brought complementary retail development skills and experience to the table.”

Salans Partner Chris Berlew and Counsel Monika Sitowicz led the Salans transaction team, overseen by Eric Rosedale, Co-Chairman of the firm’s Global Real Estate Group.

“This was perhaps the largest and most sophisticated real estate transaction in the Polish market in 2010,” – noted Eric Rosedale. “The Polish real estate market is the most dynamic in CEE, and we can expect to see more investments of this magnitude in the coming year.”

Meyer Bergman is a privately held specialist real estate investment management firm. Headquartered in London, it has a highly experienced, entrepreneurial team dedicated to the acquisition and active management of retail anchored assets throughout Europe.

Meyer Bergman’s joint venture partner on the Katowice project is developer Neinver Polska Sp. z o.o., part of the Spanish Neinver group. Polish State Railways (PKP S.A.) contributed the development site and will own the redeveloped Station.

Bank Pekao S.A. will provide construction financing. General contractor for the project is the Polish arm of Strabag SE, one of Europe’s leading construction groups.

“This was a genuinely multi-country deal: We had a Spanish developer, a British joint venture partner, an Austrian general contractor and a Polish bank,” – said Salans’ Eric Rosedale. “It demonstrates both the strength of our real estate team – in Poland and throughout the region – and our ability to execute the largest and most complex cross-border transactions.”

The multi-phase development, which is valued at about EUR 240 million, includes the reconstruction of the Railway Station and its commercial area, construction of an underground bus station and road passage under the Station’s main hall, and construction of a five-storey shopping center – Galeria Katowicka, in addition to an underground car park and multiplex cinema.


© Neinver Polska; section of Railway Station and Szewczyka Sq.