Zeitgeist builds the biggest private dormitory in the center of Warsaw

June 2021

Construction works have begun on Solec 22, Warsaw. Next autumn, a modern private dormitory will welcome students. The house will consist of 214 beds in 149 rooms, some of them in premium standard. “We are particularly proud of this due to its unique location in Powiśle district” – says Peter Noack, CEO of Zeitgeist Asset Management.

In June 2021, the general contractor has entered the Solec 22 office building, purchased by Zeitgeist Asset Management three years ago. This marked the official start of works aimed at adapting the building into a private student house of high European standard. First students will move in in autumn 2022. The dormitory will consist of 214 beds in 149 rooms, some of them in premium standard. The project in Solec refers to the U Průhonu student house in Prague - Holešovice, also created by Zeitgeist, highly valued by students.

Warsaw is the second largest academic city in Europe, with over 290,000 students. There are 96 universities in the capital, attracting nearly a quarter of Poland's total student population. It is also the most popular destination for young people from all over the world. Currently, about one-third of Warsaw's students come from abroad. There is a huge shortage of student housing in the city. The 99 dormitories offer only 20,000 beds, with poor quality accommodation. As a result, their occupancy rate is around 75%. A small number of dormitories and their low standard are encouraging students to take advantage of other opportunities offered by the rental market. According to a survey conducted by Domiporta.pl (2019), as many as 46 percent of students decide to rent an apartment or a room. The most popular are two-room apartments. It is these expectations that will be met by the private student house on Solec, which has the largest number of living units in the two-room system - where one person lives in one room and two in the other, in a system with a shared bathroom. There are also single rooms with private bathrooms.

"The concept we developed for the Warsaw dormitory in Solec was successfully tested in Prague. We are carefully analyzing the needs of students in Poland and we hope to provide them with similar accommodation conditions which have proved to be successful in the Czech Republic, that is: high quality accommodation in single and double rooms, in an excellent location and at affordable prices" says Zdena Noack, Managing Director of Zeitraum, a daughter company of Zeitgeist, which will manage student residences in Poland as an operator. Zeitraum is the second largest and most professional student house operator in the Czech Republic, which has been on the market for five years and currently manages 460 beds in student houses and 144 beds in 53 serviced apartments. Rental is done through the innovative, reliable and fully automatized zeitgeirt.re platform, which handles the entire booking process.

"We are particularly proud of the student house project on Solec due to its unique location in Warsaw's Powiśle district, right next to Wisłostrada and Vistula boulevards. The building is located near the university, but also in the heart of the capital's nightlife, which makes our project likely to become the favorite place for students to live in Warsaw, and which can be rented in a simple and fast way" adds Peter Noack, co-founder and CEO of Zeitgeist Asset Management, an asset management company for institutional and individual investors, investing in Central Europe.

Modern student house in the best location in Warsaw

The private student dormitory, at 22 Solec St., has two parts, 8 and 12 storeys, with a total usable area of 5,239 sqm. After reconstruction, the dormitory will have 149 rooms, including premium apartments and rooms for the disabled. Students in the building will also be able to use, among other things, a private self-service laundry room and a bicycle storage room. The lower floors will also house service establishments - including stores and food and beverage outlets.

"The scheme of the student house has been designed on the pattern of very modern dormitories, which we had an opportunity to see, among others, in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The overriding aim of the project was to integrate the residents. Therefore, the building will have common kitchens, multifunctional rooms equipped with soft sofas and pouffes, where it will be possible to listen to music, organize events, film screenings or lectures" explains Rafał Zelent, an architect from Grupa 5 Architekci studio, responsible for the cubature design of the student house in Solec.

In spite of modern amenities, the building will also preserve the style of brutalist architecture of the 1960s, of which there are not many left in Warsaw. The designers from the Grupa 5 Architekci studio decided not only to preserve, but also to emphasize the historical character of the building in Solec, among others by preserving the original staircase.

Warsaw is ready for modern and private dormitories

Analyzing the demand for rental properties in Poland, one can observe demographic and economic trends. "The young generation of students already has a different attitude towards real estate than before. The symbolic need to own property is gradually changing in favor of the rental sector. The migration of mainly young people to Warsaw and other large cities in Poland continues and drives the demand for rental properties, especially when it comes to students and young people looking for work" adds Peter Noack.

Construction works are executed by a general contractor, Polish company FBI Tasbud. The building is scheduled for completion in late September/early October 2022. Later this year, the company will enable the first students to sign lease contracts for the academic year 2022/2023.

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