The city announced a breakthrough in talks with the creator of the Powder Magazine in Żeromski Park in Żoliborz. Marianna Zjawińska was offered a lease of this place for a period of three years. After this time, the city is considering transferring the property to the future tenant in the form of a concession.
The cafe in the historic space of the Żoliborz fort was run by Marianna Zjawińska for 10 years. But her contract ended in January 2022and the new competition was won by another company – the Dapius company. The competition procedure and the winning offer raised serious doubtsDespite this, the Green Management Board and the greenery coordinator at the town hall, Magdalena Młochowska, defended their decisions. In one of the interviews Młochowska admitted that the company had committed “distortion in references”however – in its opinion – this did not give grounds to invalidate the signed contract. Grassroots protests did not help either.
Last December the contract with Dapius was terminatedas the reason, citing the lack of implementation of the events presented in the offer and the reconstruction of the water and sewage system without the consent of officials.
At the beginning of March, the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, decided that the Property Management would take over the property from the Green Management Board.
Agreement with the former landlord
– We managed to communicate with the creator of the Powder Magazine, Mrs. Marianna Zjawińska. We assume that we will be able to sign the contract as soon as possible – said Tomasz Bratek, Vice Mayor of Warsaw, on Wednesday. He added that the premises will be made available to Zjawińska for three years without a tender procedure. – Let us remember that this is not only a place of rest, but also an important point where cultural and social activities were quite well developed. We hope that this activity in a similar scope will function in the near future – emphasized Bratek.
The offer presented by the city to Zjawińska assumes the possibility of leasing not only the Northern Powder Magazine, but also the Southern Powder Magazine. But it is not yet known whether the tenant will lease both spaces. Talks on this matter are still ongoing.
As Bratek underlined, Marianna Zjawińska’s decision to accept the offer will allow for the functioning of the Prochownia and at the same time the development of a model of a long-term contract that will be “at least 10 years old for the entity that will operate there in the future”. He also noted that the current agreement will be signed for only three years, because it was the only possibility to conclude such an agreement, in accordance with the law on real estate management, through negotiations.
Bratek emphasized that the premises are ready for use, and Prochownia is to return to the cultural and gastronomic map of Warsaw later this season.
“The city is still learning”
After more than a year of downtime in the functioning of the Powder Magazine, the city admits to having made a wrong decision regarding the selection of the entity that was to lease it. – In this regard, the city is an organism that is constantly learning and trying to fix its mistakes – admitted Bratek.
In that tender, the amount of rent was crucial for officials. Dapius proposed 6.8 thousand. PLN per month, while the former tenant – 3.3 thousand. References regarding experience in running gastronomy were also important for the competition committee. As it turned out, these were issued to Dapius by Finals 11. The president of both entities turned out to be the same person. Wasn’t the selection committee able to pick it up at the right time? Tomasz Bratek says no. – In the conditions of the competition, there was no examination of the veracity and reliability of the recommendations. Therefore, it was difficult for the committee to assess it at that stage, the vice president said. – We want to develop a target model that will not be guided only by the price when it comes to the development of this type of places – he added.
Instead of a lease, there will be a concession
The three-year contract with Zjawińska is a temporary solution. After this time, the city is considering applying the concession formula here. Officials enumerate that it has several advantages. The first is the possibility of including the social side in the selection of the future concessionaire. As Bratek explained, it is about the appointment of an advisory body consisting of, among others, from the local community, the community center in Żoliborz or the District Council for Social Dialogue.
Another criterion is the evaluation of tenders. The formula of the concession, unlike the lease procedure, allows the main emphasis to be placed on the criterion of the cultural offer. The city hall wants the program of events that will focus the cultural life of the district to decide, and not who pays more rent.
In addition, officials indicate that the formula of the concession “would also allow for more effective solving of problems reported by residents neighboring the premises”. It is mainly about: issues related to noise, alcohol consumption or pollution of the park.
Granting a concession would be a long-term cooperation – minimum 7 years, maximum – 10 years. And this – according to the town hall – would give the future operator of the powder magazine a chance to obtain a return on the expenses incurred in its development.
Main photo source: Mateusz Szmelter/tvnwarszawa.pl