E15 exkluzivně Last year’s extension of the metro A-line prompted developers to turn their gaze towards the Prague 6 quarter. The area around the long thoroughfare Evropská now tops the rankings for the sheer number of planned office dvelopment projects. But local inhabitants are less than enthused, with intolerable road traffic being their chief anxiety.
The broad Evropská avenue is the key corridor leading from the west of Prague to Václav Havel Airport. Of late it has also become a major target for developers and real estate investors playing for a bonanza. Karel Komárek, head of behemoth KKCG, is preparing to invest billions of crowns there, as are Czech Coal barons Vasil Bobela, Petr Pudil and Jan Dobrovský. Petr Kellner’s PPF group bought itself office headquarters in the location some years back. Now Kellner, the wealthiest Czech, is set to build his Open Gate school on Evropská, at the site of the demolished Hotel Praha.
“In terms of office space, Evropská remains a relatively underdeveloped locale,” noted Katarina Wojtusiak, head of the office space division of consultancy firm CBRE. “For a long time, the area lacked both a metro connection and public services.” But then last year Prague’s A-line was extended all the way to the Nemocnice Motol station. The new underground line is thus proving a magnet for developers.
“In many places, Evropská falls short of being the kind of avenue which connects an international airport with the centre of a metropolis, and which for many people is in fact a point of entry not just into Prague, but also into the Central European region,” said Martin Churavý, spokesperson for Prague 6 municipal authority. And so as part of efforts to prepare an updated city-wide zoning Metropolitan Plan, local authorities are also set to tackle the issue of upgrading Evropská.
BPD Development, operated by Bobela, Pudil and Dobrovský, has already built the Blox administrative centre just a stone’s throw from the large square of Vítězné náměstí. Internet giant Amazon, meanwhile, has established an international centre at this site.
The erstwhile coal barons are now planning on tying into that project with a new nearby office building called Telehouse. The name is inspired by the telephone exchange which once existed at this site. And with its 20,000 cubic-metre size, Telehouse is set to dwarf even the relatively large Blox.
The Bořislavka shopping and office complex represents another major project for Evropská. Karel Komárek’s KKCG group is preparing the development near the A-line’s Bořislavka metro station. Back in the spring, Prague 6 approved zoning changes to enable the project to go ahead. However, several interested parties have appealed this decision, and so now the wait is on for authorities to reassess the project.
In the meantime, the developer is moving forward with its plans. “Our architects are working on the project in preparation for gaining a building permit,” said project spokesperson Václav Sochor. “At the same time we are preparing a tender process to find a general contractor. We plan on initiating construction at the start of next year.” The planned centre will benefit from the relocation of Sazka, among others.
Israeli developer AFI Europe is also planning an entirely new office project on Evropská. But so far the details remain secret.