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Crazy House crazy times Sopot

Uncle Bob 2 | 82  
20 Mar 2008 /  #1
For those who know it, the Crazy House in Sopot is rapidly following in the footsteps of other new commercial developments in the city and proving a dud deal for business owner/occupants.

Catering largely for restaurants and small shops, the lack of promotional marketing by the owners to increase the footfall in the building, combined with unrealistic rents, is leading to businesses failing at an alarming rate.

Two more restaurants have closed over the last few weeks with one, owing close to 6 months rent, resorting to staff locking themselves in the premisses to prevent their fixtures and fitting from being removed in lieu of rent.

The problem is exacerbated by dishonest business owners, especially those running bars and restaurants. Able to win high sponsership deals from alcohol companies etc, many of them take the money and run, leaving their businesses to quickly fail and having a knock on effect for other occupants of the building.

This is the reality facing many business ventures in Sopot. Those familiar with the market are aware of the difficulties they face, especially out of season, and many plan a quick in-out strategy. This is typical of what so many are now seeing as the Polish approach to business: make as much as you can, as quick as you can and with little or no thought to how this might impact on business tomorrow.
LondonChick 31 | 1,133  
20 Mar 2008 /  #2
What do you see as the solution, Uncle?
OP Uncle Bob 2 | 82  
20 Mar 2008 /  #3
There are different problems here, one of which is greed, that will require different solutions. Current rents for commercial properties are unrealistic in relation to what business can realistically expect to turn-over.

The result of these high rents is a combination of businesses failing and properties sitting empty and making owners no money. The approach to determining rents for commercial properties here is bizzare to say the least.

I have some commercial properties in Poland that are about to come on the market and have spoken to agents recently in order to determine what price I can realistically ask for them. The figures I have been given vary considerably and the general approach is to ask me what I would like for them.

Obviously there is a large difference between what I would like and what people are prepared to pay. Over-pricing will leave my properties sitting empty - I realise this but it seems that many people would rather ask for grossly unrealistic rents for properties and then have them sitting empty. Doesn't make sense to me; perhaps I am missing something.
LondonChick 31 | 1,133  
20 Mar 2008 /  #4
Re the seasonal thing... what are the options for off-season? Developing some new markets such as conferences or trade fairs etc in the Winter months? Sports events, dental patients from outside of Poland?

Why did you decide to invest in those properties in the first place?
OP Uncle Bob 2 | 82  
20 Mar 2008 /  #5
Sopot is unable to attract sufficient business to sustain it off-season and nothing is being done to change this. The attitude that previals in the Crazy House - of taking business owners' rent but doing nothing to increase foot-fall, is the same attitude of the local council.

Although I have previously run a business in Sopot, the properties mentioned aren't actually there - I bought them because they represented a good investment. The thread was posted after a phone conversation with a frustrated friend who owns a shop in the Crazy House.
Michal - | 1,865  
20 Mar 2008 /  #6
It all just goes to show what a strange defined form of capitalism exists in Poland today and why I want nothing to do with the flaming country either for myself or any member of my immemediate family.
spiritus 69 | 644  
23 Mar 2008 /  #7
Crazy House ? Is that the Crooked House on Monte Cassino ?

If so then it's a great concept but poor delivery as it was like a ghost town inside. Reminded me of the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Loads of people like to view it from the outside but there's not much inside to keep them interested
OP Uncle Bob 2 | 82  
23 Mar 2008 /  #8
Thats the one spiritus. Its a vicious circle. The owners of the building do nothing to entice the punters inside so those business that are there eventually close through lack of custom. Then there's even less to bring people in. The place is a ghost town as you say, but they still want the highest rents.

It's getting to be the same for the whole of Sopot centre. A couple of key bars and restaurants attract what punters there are and the rest close. And they are building a huge new development there which will need some serious marketing if it is to make occupants any money out of season
szkotja2007 27 | 1,498  
23 Mar 2008 /  #9
If so then it's a great concept but poor delivery as it was like a ghost town inside.

That was exactly my experience. In fact, I can't even remember what was inside it !
Sat out the front of it and had a few drinks on occassion though.

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