Poland: Blending heritage with modernity

At Black Pearl, we love a historic building and take great care and pleasure in restoring lost real estate gems. In Poland we took a 100-year-old building, known as Pasaz Pokoyhof and transformed it into a cultural and business hub in the heart of Wroclaw’s old town.

The location was ideal, but the building needed extensive regeneration. It had a rich history having been used as a department store, cotton mill, warehouses, offices and various retail outlets.

Black Pearl understood that to preserve the building’s history, a restoration above and beyond the ordinary was needed. The building’s entire façade was originally clad in thousands of mosaic tiles which had significantly deteriorated over time. The tiles were a key part of the building’s uniqueness, so we decided to make their restoration a priority.

Through our local partners on the ground in Wroclaw, we installed a kiln on site and invited several local artisans to work alongside our team, using traditional techniques, to give a new lease of life to this landmark building and celebrate its past. The interior refurbishment was given just as much attention to create bright offices with clean lines and an abundance of natural light, thanks to 4m high ceilings. Exposed brick and beams acknowledge the building’s industrial past, while polished concrete floors give a very modern feel.

The additional investment has attracted tenants from a diverse range of industries such as fashion, publishing and software development. The ground floor is made up of retail spaces, playing host to a gallery, a bank, a hairdresser and a dance school.

By focusing on delivering a quality product, Black Pearl has created something quite special that celebrates the building’s history.

Dubai: Towering above

Never one to shy away from big or difficult projects we jumped at the chance to help deliver the world’s tallest residential block. We joined a joint venture to purchase land in Dubai’s marina district which had permission for a 102 storey building, reaching 444m.

It was an exciting prospect, being involved in what would be a global landmark with over 1.1million sq ft of saleable space and 441 apartments. We provided interim funding to enable the project to come forward and unlock a difficult site.

Hong Kong: Creating a co-working community

Co-working is the cool kid on the block. With research showing that co-workers are more productive and creative, employees are increasingly asking for more from their workspaces.

From 2011 to 2014 Black Pearl purchased six floors across five separate buildings in the heart of Hong Kong’s fashion district – Lai Chi Kok – all in need of refurbishment. Rather than creating more of the same, we wanted to create an office space that responded to companies’ demands for flexibility and encouraged innovation. Our vision was to create an incubator for start-ups, bringing them together and clustering them around communal spaces. The floors were divided into 80 units and marketed to early stage businesses with break out areas and kitchens, giving tenants a space to collaborate, meet for coffee with other occupiers and hold meetings with clients.

This was one of the first co-working spaces in Asia and local entrepreneurs have bought into the idea; since its launch the space has had a 97% occupancy rate.  The offices are ideally located to facilitate trade between China, Hong-Kong and beyond with many of the businesses exporting all over Europe.

At Black Pearl, whether it is a new working space or a housing development, we don’t believe in a one size fits all approach. To be successful we believe you need to respond to local needs and develop spaces that are bespoke. That is why we employed a local operations manager who has lived nearby for most of his life to run our facilities. This gives us the ability to foresee and respond to any issues which may arise.

London: Satisfied global tenant

Hantec Markets has been a tenant at 12-14 Wilfred Street in London since the company’s inception ten years ago. The mixed-use building includes 3,627 sq ft of office space and there are 3x residential Ensuites on 2nd Floor close to Victoria Station. We’ve supported Hantec Markets throughout their growth which has seen them also take space in our Dubai business bay premises.

Bashir Nurmohamed, Hantec Markets:

“From the outset Black Pearl have been an extremely professional landlord. The quality of the space is excellent and their proactive approach to maintenance has ensured it’s stayed that way. Nothing is too much of an ask and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough, so much so that when we needed space in Dubai they were our first choice.”