Haakon Sæter, a 50-year-old Norwegian entrepreneur from Fredrikstad, has bought up about 2.5 kilometers of Baltic coastline in Poland and plans to build as many as 4,000 holiday apartments on it. He calls the beaches west of Gdansk “shockingly beautiful.”
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported over the weekend that Sæter is moving forward with what could be the largest Norwegian real estate project ever carried out abroad. He and his investment partners started buying up property along the coast at Mielno, not far from the German border, in 2003 and now have ambitious prospects for the area due south of the Danish holiday island of Bornholm.
“This is two-and-a-half kilometers of beachfront,” Sæter told DN. “You suddenly realize the world has more to offer than the coasts of Østfold and Sørlandet.”
Around 200 holiday apartments are already completed and sold, he told DN. He expects total investment in the project to approach NOK 8 billion or EUR 900 million, as it unfolds, financed by sales in development phases over the next several years.
His target buyers are Polish summer tourists who want their own holiday homes. “We Norwegians often think of the Poles as construction workers, but there’s quite a bit of affluence in Poland and economic growth.” Sæter and his cousin Stein Knutsen envision development “of a whole new destination” at Mielno and they’re calling the project “Dune,” after the sand dunes that characterize the area.