Panattoni Europe is raising the stakes and expanding its European structures devoted to environmental studies. The new move is intended to reinforce the developer’s policy on projects executed on industrial or post-industrial sites, i.e. the so-called brownfield investments. The aim of such investments is to redevelop previously abandoned or contaminated industrial or commercial sites and put them back into productive use. The conversion process of such areas and the remediation involved are often complicated in technical as well as legal terms. That is why Panattoni Europe’s team has been joined by Piotr Kociołek, who has taken up the position of Environmental Director Europe.
Piotr Kociołek graduated from the Department of Chemistry of the University of Turin (Italy) and since then, throughout his thirty-year career, has been involved in environmental engineering. He has conducted environmental audits, notably those involving land and groundwater contamination, hazardous materials and substances present in buildings and installations. He is also a member of the Italian Association of Chemical Professionals and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) – a worldwide organisation established to promote best practice standards in environmental management, auditing and assessment. At Panattoni Europe, Piotr Kociołek will be responsible for the overall management and oversight of brownfield land, including any potential risks of contamination with materials hazardous for the environment: from managing the external consultants performing assessments and studies, through liaising with European operations, to implementing environment remediation strategies. He will operate in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and Romania.
“Panattoni Europe’s decision to step up its policy on brownfield investments was by no means accidental” – comments Robert Dobrzycki, Chief Executive Officer Europe, adding: “As a developer of industrial space, including BTS manufacturing facilities, we can boast a number of successful projects of this nature.” The first was the 30,492-square-metre BTS facility for Lear Corporation, which came into being through the reconstruction of an existing decaying facility in Legnica, at the Legnica Special Economic Zone. The redevelopment involved the adaptation of the facility and its infrastructure to the needs of its new tenant and produced a modern warehousing and manufacturing centre, which gave jobs to 800 people. The investment features a series of solutions dedicated to Lear’s specialised production process, including a side receiving dock, in-house paint shop, transformer stations and a press room.
In addition to further projects of this kind in Central Europe, Panattoni Europe also intends to implement re-developments in top locations in the German market. Fred-Markus Bohne of Panattaoni Europe added that the company is currently working on several brownfield projects in North-Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Wurttemberg. “With the expertise of Piotr Kociołek we will be able to develop even difficult brownfields and structure core projects which are eligible for investment. The risks from contamination and soil pollution have to be determined and limited. With our experienced team of architects and engineers and Piotr Kociołek as our Environmental Director we are in an excellent position to realise these plans and can substantiate our claim as experts in the field of logistics real estate,” Bohne explains.