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Roma Tower closer to completion. Church skyscraper with new investor

07 of April '21

The Roma Tower skyscraper is a joint investment by the Archdiocese of Warsaw and BBI Development. The 180-meter office building, also called Nycz Tower, is closer to completion. The development partnership of the Archdiocese and BBI has entered into a letter of intent with the industry investor. Negotiations that have begun are expected to lead to the development.

The church-developer is to construct a building with 62,300sqm of leasable space. The height of the building is to reach 170 meters, and it will house offices, conference rooms, retail space, a fitness center and 245 parking spaces. The architectural concept is being prepared by the Juvenes-Projekt office, which was previously commissioned by BBI Development to design the Marszałkowska Center office building on the site of the demolished "Sezam," which was part of the historic establishment of the Eastern Wall.

Roma Tower

photo: press materials

looking for an investor

The PW Special Purpose Vehicle, formed by the archdiocese and BBI Development, has decided to seek an outside investor to make a significant equity contribution to the Roma Tower project. This would allow the current shareholders to reduce their stake in the project. Currently, the church holds 55% of the company's shares, while BBI has taken 45%. Now the company has entered into a letter of intent with a subsidiary of a foreign development group to join the project and provide a financial contribution. The agreement is expected to be signed no later than mid-2021.

according to plan, above the divisions

Roma Tower

photo: press materials

In 2017, the City Council, with the votes of Law and Justice (PiS) and Civic Platform (PO) politicians, adopted a local zoning plan for the southern downtown, allowing the construction of five high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Emilia Platter and Nowogrodzka Streets. This decision also gave the green light to the church project. The passed plan was criticized by residents and urban movements. It was pointed out that it lacked proper analysis and did not comply with procedures. The City Is Ours association called the adopted legal document a legal bubble and referred the case to the prosecutor's office, suggesting actions bordering on incompetence and corruption.

MJN has repeatedly pointed out the failure to comply with formal procedures in the preparation of documents for the draft plan widely protested by residents. The resolution adopted today by the councilors is inconsistent with the legal state of affairs as of the date of the decision, which MJN alleged in a notice to the prosecutor's office about the possibility that employees of the Warsaw City Hall - including Marek Mikos - had failed to fulfill their official duties.

The City Is Ours

The Mazovian governor has revoked part of the plan, but this does not affect the investment. According to a communiqué from BBI Development, both the Warsaw authorities' complaint to the WSA and the governor's decision, which they are appealing, do not concern the provisions of the plot on which the skyscraper is planned to be built.

Roma Tower

photo: press materials

for help to the pope

Opponents of the so-called Nycz Tower, including Jan Spiewak (then a candidate for mayor), have sent a letter to Pope Francis regarding construction on church land. Archdiocese spokesman Rev. Przemyslaw Sliwinski, referring to the letter, pointed out that the Holy See had already given its approval for the investment in 2013. According to the authors of the letter, as a result of the investment, Warsaw will lose valuable monuments, green space and the standard of living of the residents of this part of the city will deteriorate.

Dear Holy Father, we trust and believe that you will bow to our request and help us stop this investment, so harmful to us, the residents of this area of Warsaw!

excerpt from the letter

Roma Tower

photo: press materials

Despite strong opposition from city activists and residents, ambiguities in the procedure of the local zoning plan and the impact of the investment on the surroundings - the investors are determined to implement the project. The construction will also not be hindered by the recent listing of the St. Barbara Parish buildings in the register of historical monuments, requested by the archdiocese itself.

Kacper Kępiński

The vote has already been cast