Despite a plentiful literature on Polish cities during communism, research on economic activities in central areas has been limited. This paper examines the central area of Lodz, Poland's second-largest city, which was undamaged in the Second World War, causing the land-use characteristics of the capitalist era to be carried over into the communist period. Rents were absent during communism, but this did not lead to an indiscriminate land-use mix, and if anything the removal of small workshops from the central area emphasised the relative clarity of the earlier functional areas. The central business district was extended southwards by the construction of office blocks and department stores in the 1970s. The arrival of the market economy has substantially modified this land-use pattern as manufacturing has almost entirely disappeared, the ensuing redundant space having been taken up by wholesaling, retailing and offices, forming a multiple land-use transition zone round the central office and retailing spine. Tertiary and quaternary services have also infiltrated into the residential courts off the main street, further blurring the distinction between land-use areas.