Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Rampa disappears

Well, the Rampa is coming down. Two sections of ironwork have been dismantled; in the left foreground you can see the skeleton frame of the first section. Oxy-acetylene cutters are in evidence, managable bits of scrap steel flung into huge recycling containers - to be taken away by road. Below: the middle section is still in place, spanning six of the 14 concrete pillars.

What will happen here now? There's a credit crunch in the air and developers who'd once have had ready access to working capital for building a new estate will find it far more difficult to get loans. As will their potential house-buying clients. A colleague in my office, who jointly with her husband was offered a 1.2m zloty mortgage in August was told earlier this month that 850,000 zlotys is all the bank would lend them.

Meanwhile the work goes on. The path to the left of the red machine was the marshalling yard for the rampa; wagons loaded with aggregate would await their turn to be shunted up to the unloading ramp. What will happen here? A road from Mysiadło and Nowa Iwiczna to ul. Karczunkowska? Or hundreds of new houses (and a couple of hundred of cars to go with - each causing additional rush hour volume on ul. Puławska)?

Across the tracks from the Rampa site lies a new estate of houses that's been completed just in time. New home owners visit their properties on Sundays, preparing to move in. Some pioneers are already living here. While the local plans foresee a new railway station between W-wa Jeziorki and Mysiadło, in the short term the unfortunate residents will find that getting into central Warsaw on weekday mornings is a lengthy, frustrating crawl just to get to ul. Puławska - then more of the same for another 15km.

Above: Before it goes for good: An annotated map of the Rampa on the current (as of October 2008) Google Earth satellite photo. The photo itself was from summer 2006. This shows how Google Earth can never be up to date when portraying emerging economies such as Poland's; the update might show some development work, but I'll bet the next photo won't yet show a completed estate.

UPDATE: The Google Earth map from July 2009 shows demolished ramp; since the economic downturn, work on the site has ceased.


Anonymous said...

What's going to happen next is this........

Anonymous said...

Nothing is what's going to happen.

I expect the public purse to be too stretched to be thinking about roads from (relatively) nowhere important to nowhere important.

The private developers who would be the only source of large scale housing projects will not be doing anything for quite a while thanks to assorted factors, primarily munch-crunch, falling house prices and more difficult mortgages.

Individuals with significant wealth enough to buy land and build are going to choose a different, snootier, neighbourhood they can brag about.

Individuals with limited funds are going to have mortgage difficulties. That's all assuming the land is zoned appropriately and that the land available for development of houses is not already purchased by one of the developers mentioned above.

Most likely construction in the next two years, in my opinion, would be logistics/light industrial. This would of course depend on zoning again and also the access to road network. (I don't know exactly the spot you're talking about - so this may be a silly suggestion)

So. I don't think you need to worry about more traffic just yet.

Of course. What should be happening is the government building housing and public transport & road network for Wa Jez to become a well planned satellite commuter belt town for Warsaw employees. But that's never going to happen.