JULY 2021

Development newsletter!!!

The search for a partner to modernize Ostrava’s “skyscraper” has begun

In the spring of this year, Ostrava’s architectural scene was energized by news about the planned reconstruction and modernization of a high-rise block in Ostrčilova Street known locally as “the skyscraper”. This landmark 1960s structure has stood empty since 2013, and it was originally earmarked for demolition. However, the City of Ostrava decided not to demolish the building, but instead to restore it to its original function – to be a living organism and to offer a home for people.

The plans for the modernization were drawn up by AI Design - a Czech studio headed by the world-renowned architect Eva Jiřičná and Petr Vágner. The “skyscraper” will be completely renovated to create a well-appointed modern residential complex comprising 76 apartments of various sizes. There will also be a parking garage for current residents and new tenants.

The reconstruction will take place in partnership between the City of Ostrava and partners from the private sector. The City has now announced the first phase of the tender for the project – a preliminary market consultation, whose primary aim is to contact potential investors.

Contractors are being asked for their statements on the plans, as well as for answers to various other questions concerning the project.

This phase of the tender will take place in a single round, with replies to be submitted in writing by 10 August 2021.

For more information about the preliminary consultation, interested parties can go to the City’s website pozemky.ostrava.cz and the City’s profile at www.tenderarena.cz (where they can register to participate).


 How best to integrate Lower Vítkovice with Ostrava’s city centre?

This question is the subject of an urban planning study focusing on the Lower Vítkovice / Karolina development area, which will explore the future use of the land between these two important locations in central Ostrava. The study has been commissioned by Ostrava’s Municipal Studio for Urban Planning and Architecture (MAPPA), which will continue to coordinate ongoing work on it.

The first phase of the study will bring a detailed analysis of the area of focus; this will form the basis for various proposed development options. In the second phase, the selected option will be elaborated in more detail, including a description of the individual steps that will lead to its implementation. The study will be completed at the beginning of 2022. 

The winner of the tender to produce the urban planning study was the consortium 4ct/koucky-arch.cz/Sendler/Špilar.

For more information on the project see the MAPPA website (only in Czech).


 We can expect a boom in logistics centres and warehouses

According to a current analysis by CBRE, the e-commerce sector has become increasingly important throughout the world in recent years, and this development has had a positive knock-on effect on the logistics real estate market. Although the Czech Republic cannot compete in size with major economies such as South Korea, the USA or China, it is one of the world’s leaders in levels of online sales as a total percentage of the retail market. Over the past five years, e-commerce here has risen from 8% to 17% of total retail sales – placing the Czech Republic ahead of countries such as Poland, Germany or Canada.

What has driven this increase? The reasons can be found not only in demographic factors, but also in easier internet access, the rise of internet banking, and improved transport infrastructure. Another key factor that has accelerated the growth of e-commerce during the past year has been the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as restrictions on shop opening have led customers to buy online.

The boom in online shopping has placed greater demands on the speed and quality of logistics services. According to an analysis by CBRE, there is no doubt that logistics real estate will be one of the major drivers of real estate market growth in the upcoming years.

Out of all the Czech regions, the largest volume of new logistics premises in 2020 was created in the Moravian-Silesian Region (followed by the Plzeň Region and Prague) – and a report by Colliers expects this trend to continue during the current year. A wide range of logistics projects are currently at the planning or construction stages – and again the Moravian-Silesian Region ranks among the most active parts of the country.

It is particularly good news that one of the largest transactions in this category has been located in Ostrava, where sports retailer Sportissimo has signed a preliminary tenancy agreement for a 70 000 m2 site at the Contera Park Ostrava D1, with a further 25 000 m2 reserved by AT Computers. Ostrava already offers several logistics parks and industrial zones with modern warehousing facilities – including CTPark in Ostrava-Poruba or Contera Park Ostrava City in Ostrava-Kunčice. New warehouse centres are currently being built at the P3 Ostrava Central retail and industrial park in Lower Vítkovice and Panattoni Park Ostrava Airport in Mošnov.

Source: CBRE; Colliers

Source of the chart:  Euromonitor, CBRE Research, June 2021

For more information on logistics parks in Ostrava see HERE


Pre-WW2 villa set to be revitalized by the City

The City does not only focus on new developments but is also well aware of the value of historic buildings. Ostrava has many architectural jewels from the inter-war period (the 1920s and 1930s), and many of them have been rescued from demolition or restored with varying degrees of success. One beautiful structure that has unfortunately become derelict is the Grossmann villa, built in 1923 – but the City of Ostrava is determined to restore this grand residence to its former glory. The villa, located between Na Zapadlém Street and 28. října Street was originally the family home of the building contractor František Grossmann. Until 2005 it was used as an after-school centre by a nearby school, but since then it has stood empty and has fallen into disrepair. The City of Ostrava has repeatedly offered the villa for sale, most recently this year. However, the interested party’s bid was lower than the City was willing to accept – only around half the expert valuation of the property.

The City has now announced a tender for a contractor to restore the villa, and the winner should be known by October. Reconstruction and restoration work will then begin immediately and should last around two years. The total cost of the restoration will be approximately 88 million CZK; the City has set aside 10 million CZK in loan funding for this year.


We are transforming Ostrava’s public space – coordinated by the MAPPA studio

Ostrava’s Municipal Studio for Urban Planning and Architecture (MAPPA) has become an integral part of the process for planning and managing Ostrava’s ongoing transformation. The studio coordinates a number of the City’s key projects, draws up documentation for architectural and urban planning competitions, and helps raise public awareness of issues connected with urban development. One of the projects that has recently been occupying MAPPA’s attention is the competition for the redevelopment of Edvard Beneš Square (Náměstí E. Beneše) in Ostrava’s city centre.

This square forms an important link between the historic part of the centre and the new Nová Karolina quarter with its shopping centre, offices and residential developments. However, for many years this open space has been an ugly eyesore because any changes have been blocked by a long-running legal dispute between the City of Ostrava and the developer Amadeus Real. Now the dispute has been resolved (to the satisfaction of the City), so the area can finally undergo its much-needed redevelopment. The competition took several months to prepare, and the results of the first round should be known in October of this year, with the final winner announced at the beginning of 2022. The revitalization itself should take place during 2023.

Another project involving MAPPA is a tender for an urban planning study focusing on the area between Středoškolská Street and U Studia Street. The winner of this tender, announced in May 2021, was the studio UYO architekti. The study will present a comprehensive development proposal, including plans for the integration of the development into the surrounding area. This will enable the studio to propose parameters for future construction projects, including the type, size and height of any new buildings as well as the design of public spaces.

The Ostrava-Jih municipal district plans to offer the land for sale to private investors; the tender for a developer will take place in the autumn of 2021. The conditions for investors will incorporate the results of the urban planning study.

More information on the planned revitalization of Edvard Beneš Square (only in Czech).

The urban planning study for the Středoškolská Street site (only in Czech).


Commercial units are available for rent at the Střelniční Street residential complex

To achieve a harmonious balance between historic buildings and modern functions – that is the City’s aim when participating in modernization and revitalization projects. A recent project of this type has completely restored a historic apartment building at Střelniční Street in the city centre. The City was keen to retain as many original historic features as possible, so the staircase (including its iron handrails) was carefully restored, as were the original interior doors.

Most of the apartments and commercial units already have new tenants. The only spaces still vacant and available for rental are commercial units with a total area of just under 77 m2. These include two shop windows facing onto the street and a separate entrance from Střelniční Street, as well as separate backroom areas and WC facilities.

For more information on the redevelopment of the Střelniční Street apartment block, see here (only in Czech).

Information about renting the premises can be found at the City’s website www.byty.ostrava.cz (only in Czech).


The Karolina supercomputer is one of the most powerful computers in the world

Did you know that the IT4Innovations national supercomputing centre (based at the VŠB–Technical University of Ostrava) has some of the most powerful supercomputing systems not only in the Czech Republic but in the entire world? One of its supercomputers – named Karolina – has recently been ranked the world’s 70th most powerful supercomputer in a regular survey of the global top 500 supercomputing facilities. Karolina is the 19th most powerful computer of its type in Europe and the most powerful in the Czech Republic.

The TOP 500 survey has been updated twice a year since 1993, and Karolina features twice in the most recent update – ranked 70th for its accelerated part (which is used mainly for artificial intelligence) and 149th for its non-accelerated part (for more general types of computing). Karolina can be used when developing new materials and new medicines, analyzing climate change, or conducting digital twin simulations. It is also hugely beneficial to industrial clients, offering companies the opportunity to harness their technological power and develop innovations to boost their competitiveness.

This is the second major success achieved by Ostrava’s Technical University in recent weeks. In June, the university announced the creation of a new innovation platform in conjunction with the renowned German Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft research institute (see the previous edition of the Development Newsletter).

Source of information and photo: VŠB–Technical University of Ostrava

More information on the TOP 500 survey can be found HERE.


The extension of Místecká St. will be covered

Místecká Street is one of Ostrava’s most important transport arteries, and its planned extension is a complex project that has been under discussion by three key stakeholders for several years – the City of Ostrava, the national road management authority (ŘSD) and the Moravian-Silesian Region.

The national road management authority originally planned a four-lane road flanked by noise-reducing walls up to 14 metres high, but this option was unacceptable to representatives of the City. In 2019, Ostrava City Authority presented its own proposal, which incorporates the road infrastructure into a much more acceptable architectural solution. The road will take the form of a “gallery” – meaning that it will be sunken into a cutting and covered by a roof with a system of footbridges.

At the end of June, the City’s proposal was approved by all three stakeholders. This agreement is an essential precondition for the approval of the project by the central transportation commission, as well as the launch of work on project documentation (leading to the issue of a construction permit) and funding from the state budget.

Construction work is scheduled to begin in 2026–2027, and the estimated total cost of the project is 1.856 billion CZK.

More information about the revitalization of the Místecká Street area can be found here (only in Czech).


This year’s Invest MORE conference will be in September

The 6th Invest MORE conference will take place on 8 September 2021 at the Karolina Triple Hall in central Ostrava. This year’s conference focuses on sustainable growth – a hugely important global topic, so make sure you don’t miss it!

The conference is aimed mainly at owners and managers of companies in the Moravian-Silesian Region who are seeking new possibilities or inspiration for growing their business or increasing efficiency. The event is also open to anybody else with an interest in sustainable growth.

You can look forward to meeting several leading experts who will guide you through the topic.

The conference programme focuses on two main areas:

the circular economy
• corporate social responsibility

The conference offers an ideal forum for putting participants in touch with each other as well as a strong motivation to do business in a socially responsible way.

To attend the conference, you will need to register here.




Flights from Ostrava to London have resumed

After a pause of more than six months, the regular Ryanair service from Ostrava’s Leoš Janáček Airport to London Stansted has resumed. Flights will be twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays), and hopefully, this is a clear signal that after a lengthy period during which the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on air travel globally, Ostrava is now finally re-establishing its air links with the rest of the world. The regular LOT service to Warsaw is also set to resume in October of this year.

Besides these scheduled services, Ostrava’s airport is also an important centre for charter flights during the summer season, serving a number of popular tourist destinations. Most of the charter flights are operated by Smartwings, and they include around 30 services per week from Ostrava to 14 destinations.

Source of information and photos: Ostrava Airport


Reuse Centre – swap your old things for a good feeling

Sustainability, recycling, upcycling – all these terms have become an integral part of our everyday vocabulary during recent years. Ostrava’s Reuse Centre is a joint project by the City of Ostrava and the OZO waste management company, and it fully reflects these modern society-wide trends.

The Reuse Centre stores used furniture and other reusable household items that have been donated by people who no longer need them. The items are offered to new users in return for a contribution to a fund supporting public greenery in the city.

The Reuse Centre also helps to raise public awareness of issues connected with avoiding waste and promotes the reuse of old items. Recent interesting projects of this type include a joint event with the Čtyřlístek centre for handicapped clients, who used transport pallets to create raised flowerbeds, which they then cultivated.

Source of information and photos: Reuse Centre Ostrava (only in Czech).


Street art – a vibrant element of our urban environment

The City of Ostrava is constantly seeking new ways of revitalizing and improving public spaces. Several years ago, the City launched a subsidy programme to fund public space improvements, and it continues to implement a range of projects creating new urban greenery as well as regulations to combat “visual smog” (ugly and inappropriate advertising in public spaces).

Ostrava’s “visual smog” regulations have led to the removal of numerous huge advertising banners from the sides of buildings, and this has often revealed ugly façades. There are several ways of tackling this issue – restoring the façades, planting greenery, or building in the vacant lots. However, the City also plans to use street art as a way of achieving aesthetic improvements in the urban environment.

Street art is the art that exists in public spaces. It may brighten and enliven ugly buildings, or it may express an idea, a message, or even a social critique. High-quality street art has nothing in common with the graffiti “tags” sprayed by vandals: it is genuine art, created by renowned artists who take a highly responsible approach to their task, respecting the context in which their art is displayed and the people who live in its vicinity.

The City of Ostrava is working alongside experts and the general public to compile a database containing a list of places that would be ideal for large-scale works of street art (murals). A committee of experts from the City will use the database to select appropriate “canvases” for works of street art. Members of the public are welcome to suggest locations for the database: you can send your tips via the form HERE (deadline 31 August).