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Development over the tracks. Work on layered property rights begins

18 of February '21

The topic of developing space over railroad tracks in Poland's most attractive places is returning. Work on a layered property law to enable this type of investment is being launched. In February, the first meeting of the parliamentary team tasked with developing appropriate solutions was held.

Big plans in the freezer

Warszawa Główna

Warsaw Central Station

photo PKP

The railroads have some of the most attractive investment areas in the country. In the centers of many Polish cities it would be possible to develop and create public spaces above the railroad tracks. As we wrote in January, it turned out that, contrary to earlier expectations and repeatedly presented concepts, the modernization of Warsaw's cross-city railroad line will not allow development above it. The underground route, which runs through the center of the capital, is to undergo a major reconstruction by the end of the 1930s. PKP representatives presenting various development concepts over the years - from the Central Railway Station to the Central Park project to the area around the Warsaw Downtown station - were said to have finally buried those hopes, pointing to legal restrictions. This is hampered by the lack of layered property rights. The information was confirmed by the deputy infrastructure minister:

The possible development project will involve the reconstruction of modernized railroad infrastructure and the adaptation of structural elements not currently scheduled for modernization.


Centralna Park

Central Park

photo: PKP / X-City

Now it appears that perhaps the main legislative obstacle will be removed. Currently, the Civil Code defines that real estate is "parts of the earth's surface constituting a separate object of ownership (land), as well as buildings permanently connected to the land or parts of such buildings, if under special regulations they constitute a separate object of ownership from the land." In simple terms, land ownership extends above and below the surface of the plot. Such a law thus precludes "strata" ownership, allowing separate ownership of individual "strata." The new law is expected to change this.

Current regulations also preclude the sale of space above the tracks, resulting in the inability to use the land for urban development and depriving PKP S.A. of the opportunity to make money.

Pawel Lisiecki, chairman of the parliamentary team for the introduction of layered ownership in Poland (source: Dziennik Gazeta Prawna)

Not only railroads

The amended regulations are expected to help not only PKP and investments carried out over railroad tracks. New opportunities are to open up for investments on city land, or in the formula of Public-Private Partnership. This includes the possibility of locating investments above municipal underground parking lots.

Kacper Kępiński

The vote has already been cast