Many Krakow residents are moving to Niepolomice, 25 kilometers to the east, to take jobs that foreign investment is creating there, the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported.
Until two years ago, people from Krakow came to the town of 22,000 only on weekends to visit its historic castle and relax in its surrounding forest. Now they are moving there to take jobs at such companies as Coca-Cola, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Amcor White Cap, Dresdner Fensterbau, HMS, Juka, and Oknoplast.
Overall, an astounding 1,400 companies are registered in the 98-square-kilometer town, which is bordered on the north by the Vistula River and on the south by the Puszcza Niepolomicka Forest.
?For the last two years almost all the (residential) building permits have been issued to Krakow residents,? said Niepolomice Mayor Stanislaw Kracik. ?Most often single-family houses are built but developers are also doing projects.?
Although the main draw for Krakow residents is jobs, Niepolomice officials believe the area?s friendly, small-town atmosphere is another attraction. And real estate prices are reasonable at the same time when Krakow?s are soaring.
?Prices are competitive if we compare them to Krakow ones,? Kracik said. ?It is possible to buy a new apartment for 4,000 zloty per square meter.? That compares with an average 7,000 zloty per square meter in Krakow in the center of Krakow, where prices went up to 20,000 zloty.
The town?s other pluses include good schools, a clean environment and an interesting history.
Polish kings used to live and hunt in the area. Kracik said those who move to Niepolomice like the fact that they can live in a community without high-rise apartment buildings, which town policy prohibits.
In addition, ?those who settle here appreciate how nice it is to live close to the forest,? he said.
The forest covers almost 12,000 hectares. It includes a 65-hectare European bison reserve established before World War II.The forest attracts animal and plant experts in addition to nature lovers. It also contains many places of historical interest.
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