Despite its important role in the modern history of Warsaw, the CEDET building, located at Krucza 50, is mainly known as the birthplace and long-standing HQ of the iconic company Smyk.
Just before Christmas this year, 40 years after opening ‘the largest kids store in Poland’, Smyk representatives and the investor, Immobel Poland, signed the lease agreement.
So, as expected by Warsaw residents, after a few years’ break for the extension and modernisation of the building, Smyk returns to its original seat.
All the youngest residents of the capital have urged their parents to visit this very place since Christmas 1977. Young couples from all over the country used to come to Smyk to buy layettes for their children, and it is the place where most Poles rode an escalator for the first time. Now after 40 years, SMYK has become an international company with a chain of toy stores in Poland, Romania and Ukraine. It currently operates over 150 of its own retail outlets located in Poland’s most attractive shopping centres and the smyk.com online store. In addition, the company has its own brands of clothes (COOL CLUB) and toys (SMIKI), which are also available outside Europe. The role of the location at Krucza 50 for the growth of the company is underlined by Marek Janeczko, COO and Member of the Smyk Group Management Board:
‘Krucza 50 is a magical address for Smyk. This is where Smyk was born 40 years ago. It was in this historical building where the first office of the modern Smyk was opened in 2000. This is where we opened the first Polish teddy bear factory. In this very store, with its selection of products, we took our first steps on the Internet as smyk.com. I am extremely happy that after a few years Smyk will be back at Krucza 50’.
Under the provisions of the lease agreement signed 21 December 2017, the company’s store will be located in a two-storey building, connected, of course, by internal escalators. The ground floor with entrances on Krucza Street and Jerozolimskie Avenue, will occupy 405 m2, and the first floor will take up nearly 1,100 m2.
Built in the 1950s, the Centralny Dom Towarowy (Central Shopping Centre) has been refurbished since 2015 by Immobel Poland, a subsidiary of Immobel Group, a leading Belgian real estate company. The investor’s intention was to restore the original character of the building – a commercial landmark of the city and a meeting place for its residents.
The agreement with Smyk enabled Immobel Poland to close 2017 with the commercialisation level of the retail part of the building at 75%. The retail outlets with a leasable area of over 7,000 m2 have been designed on the -1 level, the ground floor and the first floor. The remaining floors with an area of approximately 15,000 m2 are destined for prestigious offices. The new part of the investment will be put into operation at the turn of the first and second quarters of 2018.
‘CEDET and SMYK are two inseparable brands for anybody who knows Warsaw. From the beginning of the refurbishment, we had hoped that this company, beloved by kids, would decide to return to its roots and come under our roof. We didn’t envisage a different scenario,’ emphasises Jacek Wachowicz, President of Immobel Poland.
‘However, the redevelopment of the building was inevitable because its structure was severely affected by a careless and hasty refurbishment after the fire in 1975. Now, with a fresh look and new functionalities, the building will be back on the city’s shopping and office map, and the new Smyk store will undoubtedly be the brand’s showpiece. This agreement is also a confirmation that we managed to achieve our goal in this investment – to maintain the unique character of the place and give it a modern touch,’ adds the investor.
The construction works were carried out in close cooperation with the Monument Conservation Office. The new CEDET was built using the best materials and green technologies. The solutions implemented by the investor were acknowledged by the BREEAM Excellent Certificate, that was awarded for the building.