Ostrava seeks an investment partner for the Nové Lauby project

20/7 2020

Ostrava seeks an investment partner for the Nové Lauby project – a brand-new residential development in the city centre.

Ostrava seeks an investment partner for the Nové Lauby project

Nové Lauby: visualisation

The City of Ostrava is seeking an investment partner for a project to build an attractive new residential development in the heart of the city centre, including apartments, underground parking and retail units. The cost of the investment in the Nové Lauby project will be split between the City and a private investor, which will build the development. Once the project is complete, the private investor will be the owner of three out of the five blocks; the remaining two blocks will remain in municipal ownership. The City will select the investment partner by the end of this year. Construction work is expected to begin during next year, and the development will be completed in 2023.

The City launched preparations for the Nové Lauby residential development during 2015. The project documentation is already complete, and the construction permit process is currently underway – as is an archeological survey at the site, which will be completed by the end of this year. It should thus be possible to begin the actual construction work in early 2021.

The City of Ostrava has declared its intention to implement this flagship project as a partnership with a private investor, and it has announced a tender which will enable it to choose the investor by the end of this year. When the development is complete, the City will re-purchase a pre-defined part of it – 2 blocks (out of the total 5) containing apartments, plus part of the parking garage for tenants and the general public. The private investor will own 3 blocks containing apartments and retail units, plus the corresponding number of parking spaces in the garage.

Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura gave more details: “The Nové Lauby project was never conceived as a purely commercial venture; it was always the City’s intention to use it to expand the range of available rental housing as well as providing a larger-than-usual parking garage which will offer spaces not only to tenants, but also to the general public. However, the development will also include a number of very lucrative apartments, which will certainly have strong commercial potential. This model opens up a route towards a partnership between the public and private sectors, enabling two co-investors to split the costs of the investment and ensuring that both parties’ expectations are met.”

The tendering procedure will be divided into three phases. In the first phase, potential private investors will be able to express their interest by sending a letter of intent; the deadline is 20 August 2020. The assessment of the letters of intent will take place in September, and the bids themselves will be submitted in October and November. More information is available at the City’s website www.land.ostrava.cz.

The City will initially sell the entire land to the investment partner, with the necessary planning documentation and construction permits already in place, and at the same time it will conclude an agreement on a future contract to buy back a part of the completed development. The private investor will then build the entire development according to the plans supplied by the City. Once the completed development has been officially approved for use, the City will re-purchase the pre-defined part of the development and offer the apartments in it for rental. The remaining part of the development will be owned by the private investor, which can either rent out premises or offer them for sale.

Zuzana Bajgarová, the Deputy Mayor with responsibility for investments, added: “The Nové Lauby project is essentially ready for construction work to begin. The City has already dealt with the most complicated and lengthy phase of the process – comprising the archeological survey, the planning documentation, and the construction permit process – so we are able to offer it as a complete, ready-made package to the investor. Of course, the investor will be able to make alterations to the interiors of its own part of the development in order to meet its clients’ needs. For the parts that will be owned by the City, we will provide detailed specifications of the interiors. At the moment, it is of key importance for potential investors to express their interest by sending a letter of intent; the deadline for that is 20 August. The next rounds of the tendering process will be restricted solely to those potential investors who have submitted letters of intent.”

The Nové Lauby development will occupy a plot of land bounded by four city centre streets: Velká, Muzejní, Pivovarská, and the extension of Dlouhá St. It has been designed by the renowned Prague architectural studio znamení čtyř to be a high-quality addition to the city centre, filling a long-vacant lot left behind after the unfortunate demolition of some historic buildings mainly during the 1960s.

The development will have a ground plan in the shape of an irregular trapezoid enclosing a central courtyard, consisting of 5 blocks with a total of 85 apartments (ranging from 1 room to 4 rooms), a ground level with retail units, and 2.5 levels of underground parking with 174 spaces. In accordance with modern urban architectural trends, Nové Lauby will be sensitive to the needs of the environment and the climate; it will have its own atrium as well as featuring green roofs.

An archeological survey is currently in progress at the site. The results of the survey so far have been exciting, with uniquely well-preserved wooden structures giving highly valuable insights into Ostrava’s medieval history. The archeological finds reveal that the site was inhabited by the local socio-economic elite; items found at the dig include weights used by merchants as well as stove tiles bearing heraldic designs and religious scenes.