November 2019

Development Newsletter!!! November 2019

Ostrava can boast the highest possible rating

The City of Ostrava has been rated by international rating agency Moody’s since 1998. In the past four years the agency has raised the City’s rating, which is now Aa3/stable. This is the highest rating that the City can currently achieve, because it depends on the total rating of the Czech Republic as a whole (no city can be given a higher rating than the country in which it is located, and Ostrava’s rating is currently the same as the Czech Republic’s rating).

The excellent rating awarded to the City is primarily due to its excellent operating performance and low debt levels. Ostrava’s financial performance is strong thanks to an increase in revenue (from taxation) and strict controls on expenditure. The City’s average gross operating surplus is 22% of operating income over the past five years, and its debt is just 20% of operating income.

The rating also expresses Moody’s forecast that the situation will remain stable – in other words, that Ostrava’s performance will remain as it is now, or will improve in the future. The City’s positive rating gives it a substantial advantage when negotiating with credit providers. The rating covers not only the City of Ostrava as a whole, but also its 23 municipal districts and the 40 companies and organizations set up by the City.




Investment opportunities are displayed on the web portal

Ostrava is investing in its future. The city is ambitious, and it is taking the necessary steps to ensure that it develops into a fully-fledged regional and international hub.

One of Ostrava’s long-term priorities is to attract investors in order to generate highly qualified jobs in the city. This will bring increased demand for modern, high-quality housing in locations with a good range of shops, services and cultural facilities.

To support this priority, the City is offering several lucrative development sites in the heart of the city centre. If you are interested in one of the sites or development projects shown on the web portal, you can contact the City even if the site/project is not currently the subject of a call. For more information you can use the contact form or write an e-mail to



Ostrava has decided on a design for its new concert hall

The new concert hall has become the most-discussed architectural project in the city for several years. In 2018 Ostrava announced a public competition for designs. In July of this year, the competition jury chose the winning entry – a design submitted by New York-based Steven Holl Architects in conjunction with Prague’s Architecture Acts studio. The jury was made up of renowned architects, experts and representatives of the City.

The total construction cost is estimated at 1.5 billion CZK (excluding VAT). The project will be financed by the City of Ostrava alongside the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Moravian-Silesian Region. Building work is scheduled to begin in 2022, and the hall should be opened two years later, in 2024.




New City Spatial Planning and Architecture Studio (MAPPA)

In March 2019, Ostrava’s City Assembly approved the establishment of a new City-funded organization which will focus on architecture, urban planning, public space and municipal development. On 1 October 2019 the Ostrava-based architect Ondřej Vysloužil was appointed as the Director of the new studio (to be known in Czech by its abbreviation MAPPA) after a two-stage selection process in which he competed against nine other applicants. World-renowned architect Eva Jiřičná was one of the eight members of the jury that decided on the new appointment. In an interview for TV Polar she explained the importance of the new studio: “If a city lacks a vision, it is simply carried away like a small boat on the waves, so it’s really important that there’s a captain to steer the boat in the right direction.”

MAPPA will launch its activities in 2020. Its team will consist of around 15 experts, whose main task will be organizing architectural and urban planning competitions as well as involving the general public in spatial planning. The studio has already created an exhibition displaying the entries submitted in the competition for Ostrava’s new concert hall.



New parking garage

An architectural competition for a new parking garage to be located near the City of Ostrava Cultural Centre (the future site of Ostrava’s new concert hall) has been won by Projektstudio EUCZ. The jury chose the design from 42 entries submitted.

The new garage will have a capacity of 679 spaces, and it will be another in a series of interesting architectural projects in the vicinity – which include the new concert hall and the “Black Cube” (the Moravian-Silesian Research Library). The garage will help to relieve the severe lack of parking spaces that Ostrava currently faces; at the moment, the city lacks around 2000 spaces, and forecasts taking into account likely developments over the next decade indicate that by 2030 the deficit will reach around 3,000 spaces. Demand for parking greatly exceeds supply, especially in Ostrava’s central municipal district (home to 39,000 people), where most parking is for residents only.

The City of Ostrava is now ready to start looking for a developer to implement the project. Complete project documentation will be produced, and construction work is scheduled to begin in 2021. The parking garage will serve employees as well as visitors to the institutions and venues in the vicinity.



Ostrava has the second lowest apartment prices per m2 in the Czech Republic

In October, consultants at Deloitte updated the data on the average prices of apartments sold in the Czech Republic. The national average is now 60,700 CZK/m2, and the price index (i.e. the percentage change in the prices of apartments sold compared with the previous quarterly survey) was +4.8 %.

Prices in Ostrava are considerably lower than the national average; the average price per m2 is just 24,300 CZK (the only Czech city with lower prices is Ústí nad Labem, with 17,000 CZK/m2). The price index in Ostrava was +1.1% during the period under investigation, which is also below the national average. The only cities with a lower price index than Ostrava were Liberec, Hradec Králové and České Budějovice, where average prices per m2 fell by between 2.1% and 9% compared with the average prices in the previous quarter.

 More information on price trends can be found at the Deloitte website.



Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region held a joint presentation at a leading international investment fair in Munich

From 7–9 October 2019, representatives from Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian again presented investment opportunities at the international investment fair Expo Real in Munich. The presentation informed visitors about the complete range of investment projects that Ostrava is planning (the new concert hall, the reconstruction of the former municipal slaughterhouse to create an art gallery and cultural centre, the new multifunctional complex for the University of Ostrava, and more). Representatives of the City also discussed opportunities for investment and development, including new residential projects, options for vacant sites in Ostrava’s city centre, and potential projects to build parking garages. There were also one-to-one meetings with representatives of logistics developers and other potential investors interested in cooperation and development projects at various locations.

The event featured over 2,000 exhibitors from 45 countries, and attracted 46,747 visitors (potential investors) from 76 countries all over the world.

Participation at Expo Real is of key importance for both the City of Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region, as the event represents an ideal opportunity to set up new contacts, communicate a broad spectrum of investment opportunities to potential partners, and keep up to date with the latest developments on the European real estate market. Expo Real is a leading international event which brings together unrivalled numbers of key real estate players all under one roof. It is popular with cities, investors, private capital owners, developers, and many more real estate and development professionals, and it offers a perfect chance to meet up with experts from the field as well as discussing specific opportunities for development and growth.



Ostrava was the right choice for Air Dispatch

Air Dispatch is a company that provides centralized load control systems for air transport. Its clients include leading global airlines from five continents. In 2016 the company joined the Emirates Group (dnata), one of the world’s largest aviation services providers. In 2018 Air Dispatch opened a new branch in Ostrava.

The company’s Operational Manager Jiří Krákora explained why Ostrava was the obvious choice:

“Opening a branch here in Ostrava was a clear choice for our vision of the future. Ostrava is a self-confident European city full of energy and active people, which offers an excellent quality of life for all, attracting young, hard-working and creative people to become involved in the community. As a result, average wages in the city are growing, and Air Dispatch CLC decided to contribute to this trend. One major advantage is the geographical location of this regional centre, which enables the company to create links between its three branches as well as offering easy access for the Prague-based management team.

The company’s Ostrava branch continues to grow, and this year it has offered a range of interesting vacancies. A complete list of currently available positions can be found on the Air Dispatch website.

Source: Air Dispatch (CLC) Ostrava



Changing public spaces

In this in-depth interview, Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura evaluated Ostrava’s progress and assessed where the city currently stands. Ostrava has managed to reduce its unemployment rate from double figures to the current 5% through a continuous process of investment in industrial zones and other means of supporting the creation of new job opportunities. Currently the City of Ostrava has the lowest debt level of any major Czech city thanks to a range of cost-saving measures and efficient financial management by the City and its organizations.

One of the biggest current topics of debate in Ostrava is the transformation of the city’s public spaces. Ostrava is investing in several large-scale projects; as the Mayor explained, attractive architecture (alongside housing and job opportunities) is one of the key factors that will help the city to develop into a major urban hub. These projects include the reconstruction of the historic municipal slaughterhouse to create an art gallery, the construction of a new research library and a concert hall, and the renovation of the Jiří Myron Theatre and the Poklad Cultural Centre. Other projects will create cultured urban boulevards on two prominent arterial roads – 28. října in the city centre and Opavská Street in Poruba.

The Mayor´s vision is clear: “We are offering investment opportunities both in the heart of the city centre and at development zones. One of the fundamental conditions for success in our aim of revitalizing the historic city centre is to attract more residents to live there.”

Source (Interview with the Mayor in POZITIV magazine, p. 54-55)



First ever meeting of five post-1989 Ostrava mayors

As part of a project to celebrate 30 years since the Velvet Revolution, the City of Ostrava hosted the first public debate featuring all five post-1989 mayors. Evžen Tošenovský, Čestmír Vlček, Aleš Zedník, Petr Kajnar and the current mayor Tomáš Macura met on the stage of Ostrava’s Puppet Theatre for a discussion hosted by Czech TV moderator Pavel Navrátil.

The guests recalled the challenges and difficulties they faced during their periods in office, and reflected on Ostrava’s position today as well as the city’s future direction. Ostrava’s first post-revolutionary mayor Evžen Tošenovský remembered the key steps his administration took in the earliest phase of the city’s transformation from a heavy industrial centre to a modern economy – the closure of the blast furnaces and coking plants. Čestmír Vlček recalled achievements such as the rescue of the historic railway station building in Svinov, the City’s takeover of the debt-ridden Palace of Culture and Sport (now the Ostravar Arena), and the twinning agreement with the USA’s steel capital Pittsburgh. Aleš Zedník recalled how the City purchased land from several different companies and prepared it for the construction of today’s Nová Karolina complex, and he also traced the gradual revitalization of the castle in Silesian Ostrava. Petr Kajnar described the key investment in the Hrabová industrial zone, which helped Ostrava – still suffering from high unemployment at the time – to create up to 10,000 new jobs.

The current mayor Tomáš Macura praised his predecessors’ work, pointing out that when he took over the position, he no longer had to deal with the challenging socioeconomic problems that they had faced. Thanks to their legacy, Macura said, he was now able to focus on helping Ostrava to become a fully-fledged regional and international hub, with high-quality architecture, public spaces, housing, sport, culture and more.

You can watch the entire discussion on Facebook here (CZ language only)

Other news

New air link from Ostrava to Warsaw?

The Moravian-Silesian Region have announced the launching of air link from Ostrava to Warsaw. The current plan is to operate 5 flights per week, but in the future there could be flights up to two times a day to Warsaw. If the process runs according to plan, services to Warsaw should be launched by the March of next year.



Ostrava is choosing the operator of its bikesharing scheme for next year (2020)

The bikesharing scheme has quickly become very popular in the city. The latest statistics from Nextbike, the company currently contracted to provide the service, show that a total 33,361 users have already registered for the scheme, covering over 400,000 km since it was launched. Citizens have wholeheartedly embraced this simple and cheap alternative form of public transport, so the City of Ostrava has decided to continue funding the bikesharing project. The City currently contributes a sum that enables the company to provide the first 15 minutes free of charge.

On 7 November 2019 the City accepted the final offers in its tender for the next operator. Starting from 2020, the winner of the tender (the company that submits the best offer) will repair the bikes, redistribute them to stations throughout the city, and carry out regular servicing. The new provider will also have to offer a mobile app, making it much easier for members of the public to use the bikes and return them afterwards.



Ostrava is set to host the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship at the end of the year

The IIHF World Junior Championship is returning to Ostrava after an absence of 12 years, as the city will co-host the event for the second time. The championship will take place in Ostrava and Třinec from 26 December 2019 to 5 January 2020. The main venue will be the Ostravar Arena in Vítkovice, which has a capacity of more than 10 000 spectators. Ostrava will host 19 matches and Třinec 12.

It is no surprise that Ostrava has been chosen as the main host city for one of the world’s premier ice hockey tournaments. Tomáš Král, the President of the Czech Ice Hockey Federation, explained that Ostrava and Třinec have modern arenas offering excellent facilities and infrastructure – as well as being in a geographically strategic location. Another important factor was the support of the City of Ostrava, which decided to invest 15 million CZK in this prestigious event – one of the top ten sporting events that will be held in Ostrava during 2019/2020.