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Metrostav in the Media
Metrostav Development a.s. is responsible. for the development activities of the. Metrostav Group in the Czech Republic.

Released: 5. 6. 2017
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they focus on residential as well. as commercial projects.. Ondřej Buršík has been Managing Director of Metrostav Development since the beginning of this year. Over the past five years, he has held the position of Business Manager and Chairman of the Board which means he certainly knows the company very well. What are you plans for your new post? Primarily, I want to expand the acquisition programme and set out development within the framework of the Metrostav Group at a larger volume than we have been used to. Our aim is to place 300–400 apartments a year into the market in future, which is double what we have so far been doing, and also to progress as a developer of commercial projects. We entered this segment with the Palmovka Open Park project. The acquisition and purchasing of land is our main specialization and another aim is to provide Palmovka Open Park with tenants and yet another is to prepare projects in time in order to fulfil our plans. How do you see the current situation with regards to seeking new land plots? Land owners are really not selling plots at the moment and if they do then they do so for really high prices. That’s reality. It is necessary to purchase land that is available, for instance brownfields. Still, in order to be able to purchase something really good, we must proceed with many more opportunities and check on them. What is necessary is to focus on a much higher number of potential acquisitions than in the past. Brownfields can also bring a number of complications in the form of ecological burden, conservationists’ requirements and others. Brownfields are ideal for the trend that is trying to enforce IPR in order for the town to become denser within. Brownfields come with completed infrastructure and old buildings that bestow the project with the necessary genius loci. But there are also risks such as you have mentioned. Everything needs to be well considered and calculated. On the other hand, there is no bad plot in Prague nowadays. Everything is always about price. Prague is very attractive. What is purchased there can be sold well again. From a long term point of view, land in Prague will always retain its value. Your current project of Palmovka Open Park is also a brownfield. What is the situation like in this case? From an historical point of view, it is the former Jewish district in Libeň. The result of discussions with conservationists is that the former industrial hall by Horák – Hlava will be retained as a technical cultural monument. I think it will help both the location and potential tenants who come to us as the interconnection of modern and more ancient architecture. Metrostav seems to have settled well in Libeň. Metrostav Group is historically connected with Libeň and Palmovka. The first building was Palmovka Park 1 from the architect Josef Pleskot and built in 2001. This was followed by the second building, which underwent final building approval three years ago, Palmovka Park 2, where we are now based. The author was also architect Joseph Pleskot. We started working on the completion and construction of the new town hall and the building of the New Centre Palmovka. However, this has been terminated due to disputes with the city district of Prague 8, which is a shame as completion of the project would really assist the Palmovka location. We already belong to the location and have followed it up with the Palmovka Open Park project. With the word ‘open’, we want to show that it is not only for Metrostav Group but that we are also going to welcome other companies that are able to come to us. Palmovka has up to now been a relatively neglected area and we sense great potential there, mainly due to the fact that it is by the underground station and a large junction for trams and buses. The location can be, from an historical point of view, compared with Anděl; it was also a neglected area 15 years ago and was not attractive at all. Still, all the development has turned this part of Prague into a modern district. I think that the buildings we construct and Crestyl’s development by the river will change the whole area beyond recognition in a few years’ time. Many things have already changed with us coming there. It is starting to liven up and there are new restaurants and services. It is turning into a micro-location that will be comparable with other parts of Prague. It is situated just four underground stations from Republiky Square and on the main access route to the centre, which are the attributes we benefit from. Prague 8 makes ideal sense as a local centre. What about the area situated under Libeň Bridge, which is currently far from an ideal condition? Development is going on on both sides of the bridge. Once the bridge is reconstructed, it will bring a further impulse for the development of the location. Five year ago, Palmovka was surrounded by a relatively large number of homeless people but now, as the location has livened up, these people have tended to move further away and I think that it will be similar with the

location surrounding the bridge. It is a discussion issue for representatives of the municipality. In order for the location to move on further, we must create something. There must be some development – offices, houses where people live and work, and they will then complete the location themselves. But you do not need the town’s support for that. You need to have someone on your side with vision, an idea, a concept. Someone who wants to do something that will make sense in a particular location. I must say that I don’t really hear of these ideas with present day political representation. There are exceptions but the city does miss it. Everybody is nowadays talking about public areas. We, Metrostav Development – or developers in general, feel responsibility there and try to create public areas. But for that we need, at the city council and city districts, someone who is able to provide clear rules and who knows what they want. It’s alpha and omega. There are towns that do have that clear vision… Certainly, you can for instance see it at the EXPO REAL trade fair in Munich. Projects in Helsinki and Hamburg are superb. They present their ideas yet also invite investors to come to the city. And when you stop at the stand, there is always someone who understands it and can provide you with knowledgeable information. Their outline and regulation plans are very well prepared. The developer then knows exactly where he is going to build and that there will be the relevant infrastructure with an underground and railway that the city is to finance. And then you come to Prague’s stand and feel a little sad. We can but quietly envy such preparedness and communication with the council. Certainly. And towns can therefore determine where they want public areas. Now there is ‘young blood’ in IPR. One can feel energy from one’s people but they must have the support of politicians and have a strategic plan. Prague has that, but it needs to be executed into individual action plans in order to make clear what transport will look like and what regional development will be like for several decades ahead. That needs to be done via a long term horizon. ARNOŠT WAGNER / PHOTO: METROSTAV

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