MARCH 2021

Newsletter Development!!!

Building work at the Nové Lauby development begins

One of the strongest current trends on the real estate market is the growth of interest and investment in rental apartments. Recently, this trend has been reflected in the Czech real estate market’s largest transaction of 2020 (the purchase of Residoma by the Swedish company Heimstaden Bostad), as well as by growing demand from individual clients. Last year, rented housing made up 50% of the total Czech real estate market; echoing developments in Western Europe and the USA, this sector is also becoming dominant in the Czech Republic (source: CBRE).

The City of Ostrava has been monitoring this trend for a number of years, and it has observed a steady increase in demand for high-quality, modern rental housing. In response to this trend, the City is directly involved in a number of projects to build or renovate apartment complexes offering rental accommodation to a broad section of the general public. One of these projects is the Nové Lauby development in the heart of the city centre, which has now moved into its construction phase.

More than four years after launching the preparatory phase, the City Assembly recently decided to sign a contract with the investor to build the Nové Lauby residential complex. The development will represent a major boost to the attractiveness of Ostrava’s city centre, including ample public and private parking plus premises for various services. The construction work will be launched in April by the private investor, the BBB Nové Lauby consortium.

According to the contract, the building work must be completed within three years. Nové Lauby is one of the City’s strategic projects; it will expand the range of rental housing available in Ostrava, help breathe new life into the historic city centre, and fill a large vacant lot with a highly attractive new piece of architecture.

The complex, with five above-ground levels, will be located on a plot of land bounded by four streets: Velká, Muzejní, Pivovarská, and the extended Dlouhá Street. It will contain 85 apartments ranging in size from one-room (studio) units to spacious 4-room apartments, plus underground parking (173 spaces) and retail premises.

When construction is complete, the City will purchase 31 apartments, 119 parking spaces and 17 cellar storage units from the investor, for a total cost of 252 million CZK (excluding VAT). The part of the complex owned by the City will be offered solely for rental. The City-owned parking spaces will be available both to tenants and the general public.



Construction of Ostrava’s most modern industrial park is set to begin

Although the current COVID lockdown has put many investment projects on hold, international real estate specialist CBRE expects the market for industrial and logistics real estate to grow.

Katarína Brydone, head of CBRE’s investment department, explained: “We are noticing that investors’ preferences – meaning the types of real estate that they currently prefer – are changing as a consequence of the pandemic. There is growing demand for sectors that are less severely impacted by government restrictions – particularly the residential sector, as well as industry and logistics.” A further factor is investors’ desire to reduce their dependence on Asian markets.

Examples of the real estate market’s solid state of health include several projects that are currently underway in Ostrava. One of the latest projects is the construction of the Contera Park Ostrava D1 industrial park, which is being created by Czech investor Contera on a former brownfield site.

The future industrial park will boast state-of-the-art technologies and highly impressive parameters. The first hall to be built – which will be used as a logistics centre by the largest Czech sports goods retailer Sportisimo – will have a clear height of up to 23 metres, featuring automated systems and air conditioning. Covering 90 000 m2, it will be one of the largest logistics centres in the country. When completed in mid-2022, Sportisimo’s new hall will create around 700 jobs.

Contera Park Ostrava D1 will also feature a hall covering a total area of 40 000 m2, part of which will be used by the Czech brewing giant Plzeňský Prazdroj.

Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura explained the significance of the brownfield development: “The City has devoted much time, effort and money to consolidate the land ownership at this once-derelict former industrial site in order to create an ideal location for investors. Although there was strong pressure to use the site as a dumping ground for coal-mining waste material from the nearby slag-heap in Heřmanice, eventually we decided to use it for development. We were convinced that the site offered strong potential for developers on the industrial real estate market, and I am delighted that our expectations have been confirmed. I’m confident that the companies based at the new park will bring high-quality jobs to Ostrava and the region, helping to boost the city’s development and working in close cooperation with local research institutions.”



Ostrava’s unique Grossmann villa is for sale

Ostrava has put the unique Grossmann villa – a legally protected building that is an outstanding example of the art deco style – on the market for acquisition by a private investor. The villa is being sold along with the surrounding land, technical premises, a gazebo and a garden pond. The deadline for interested parties to submit bids is the end of April.

This villa dates from the period between the two world wars, and it requires a thorough renovation – a project that the City has been preparing since 2017. The project was granted the necessary building permit at the beginning of this year. The new owner’s task will be to revitalize this magnificent 1920s villa while remaining as faithful as possible to its original architectural style and appearance, as well as making part of the premises available for rental and short-term accommodation (for a minimum period of 10 years) and opening the building up for tours by the general public.

For complete information on the project, see the City’s website (only in Czech).

Source (only in Czech)


Major transport artery set for transformation into an elegant boulevard

Ostrava’s Municipal Studio for Urban Planning and Architecture (MAPPA) has announced an open call for proposals to transform six public areas adjacent to one of the city’s busiest transport arteries (the east-west axis of 28. října / Opavská Street).

The aim of the call is to improve the quality of these public spaces by implementing specific interventions that do not involve the construction of new buildings. In order words, the changes will be simple, and will not require official permits. Potential improvements may include various aesthetically designed barriers separating pedestrian zones from the road itself, the installation of street furniture and other equipment encouraging the active use of the public spaces, graphic and colour designs for various surfaces, planting greenery or removing inappropriate advertising (“visual smog”).

The call forms part of Ostrava’s Concept for the urban boulevard 28. října – Opavská, which sets out a comprehensive and strategic vision for transforming this major corridor of public space. The concept will make it possible to implement a consistent approach to the development of this space in order to make it a coherent and integrated part of the city’s urban fabric.

However, the implementation of this concept is a complex, long-term process, requiring inputs from various institutions and companies – the City of Ostrava, its municipal districts, municipal services providers, private developers, the public transport operator, and more. The project to implement quick changes (which do not need official permits) represents the first phase in the overall transformation concept, and it will be based on the principles set out in the strategic concept document.

Source (only in Czech)


Nová Karolina Park has a new owner

One of this year’s largest deals on the Czech real estate market has taken effect in Ostrava. The PASSERINVEST Group has sold the Nová Karolina Park office complex in the city centre. The new owner is the RT TORAX Group, which is planning an ambitious new investment project in the close vicinity – a skyscraper which has been named the Ostrava Tower.

Tomáš Häring, Partner and CEO of the RT TORAX Group, gave more details: “Ostrava, and especially the Nová Karolina area, remains at the core of our plans. We are currently planning the construction of a skyscraper on the nearby “Teardrop” site – and this will become a major new city landmark as well as the tallest building in the country. Our investment in the Nová Karolina Park complex is a strategic step for us, and it will enable us optimize our development of the entire area.”

Nová Karolina Park is home to a number of major tenants, which currently include ABB, Verizon, UniCredit Bank, Česká spořitelna, AXA Assistance, Stora Enso, Raiffeisenbank, Hello Bank!, NESS, Brose CZ and Y Soft.



Ostrava will again help fund renovation projects at cultural monuments and historic buildings

Ostrava can boast numerous magnificent and historically valuable buildings, but unfortunately many of them are neglected and in a poor state of repair. However, the City is well aware that renovating such buildings can be a costly process. In response, it has decided to renew its funding programme which helps the owners of cultural monuments and historic buildings to bear the increased costs of maintenance, repairs and restoration projects, The programme is designed to motivate owners to take good care of their buildings and apply the principles of heritage management.

Funding applications can be submitted by the owners of buildings in Ostrava containing apartments or civic amenities, structures designed for sports, leisure or cultural use, and industrial heritage sites. Applications can be submitted from 8 April to 8 June, and the City Assembly will decide on the distribution of the funding no later than the end of September. A total sum of 4 million CZK has been allocated to the programme for this year.

Source (only in Czech)


Programmes supporting entrepreneurship in the Moravian-Silesian Region are launched

Entrepreneurs in the Moravian-Silesian Region have the opportunity to access funding as part of new programmes announced by the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre (MSIC). The programmes are targeted at both startups and established companies, and they offer not only funding, but also expert consultancy services.

Applications can be submitted to three programmes:

  • Startup Voucher – to help high-quality new business ventures in the Region get off the ground
  • TechArt Voucher – for companies seeking ways of improving their products
  • InnoBooster Voucher – for companies seeking advice from experienced professionals to help them grow

Applications can be submitted from 29 March 2021 to 16 April 2021. Full details (plus application forms) are available on the website of the Moravian-Silesian Region (only in Czech).



Programme to support small businesses during COVID restrictions

March saw the deadline for applications from small businesses whose activities were restricted by the government’s anti-COVID measures. Applications were submitted via a simple, easy-to-use form and were rapidly assessed, enabling businesses to receive 20 000 CZK within just one week after the approval of their applications.

A total 1854 applicants will receive over 37 million CZK via the support programme. Although Ostrava is providing this funding merely as a supplementary measure (the main support is provided by the state, at national level), Ostrava’s business-owners have been very grateful for it.

When the application period ended, the City immediately announced a new programme offering financial support for non-profit organizations. So far, the City Council has approved quick funding totalling 500 000 CZK for 25 non-profit organizations. As in the previous programme, the funding is transferred to the recipients’ bank accounts within a maximum one week after the approval of the applications.

Source (only in Czech)


Other news


Renovation of the Poklad Cultural Centre is almost complete

The City has been involved in a project to renovate this cultural monument since 2012, and the work is finally nearing its completion. The Poklad Cultural Centre has been closed for years, but now it is possible to admire the final appearance of its brand-new facilities – a theatre auditorium, a social function room, large and small rehearsal rooms, multifunctional teaching rooms, a mini cinema and small meeting rooms.

The renovation project has been one of the flagship projects of the Poruba municipal district, and the work is set for completion ahead of schedule, in June of this year. The renovation has been designed by the Platforma Architekti studio.

Site manager Michal Sloboda gave more details: “The renovation of the cultural centre was a challenge for us. Sometimes it’s difficult when reconstructing a building of this type to ensure there are no conflicts between the interests of various parties involved – and if that’s unavoidable, it’s necessary to identify an order of priorities. Progress on the project has been helped not only by the good weather, but also by the smooth and problem-free communication with both the City and the Poklad management.”



We support sport and fitness

Despite the difficulties caused by the global pandemic and the government restrictions imposed to limit its impact, supporting sport and fitness remains a key priority for the City of Ostrava. In these challenging times, the City continues to fund sports clubs in order to ensure that young people can resume their year-round sporting activities as quickly as possible once the restrictions have been lifted.

The City’s main aim is to make sure that children and young people have places to enjoy sport together. As part of this aim, Ostrava has approved subsidies for young people between the ages of 4 and 23, regardless of whether or not they are registered members of sports clubs. The City will also channel almost 130 million CZK into top-level sport.

To encourage people to continue enjoying sport during the pandemic restrictions, Ostrava’s Facebook page includes a regularly updated section called Sport in the time of COVID!!!, which shares inspirational stories about sports clubs and individuals who are not giving up even in these difficult times, but are instead seeking ways to remain active, positive and healthy.

Source (only in Czech)


The City has presented its concept for culture up to 2030

The City of Ostrava’s new cultural concept outlines how culture in the city should develop over the next decade. This strategic document has been produced with the collaboration of a large group of experts and City officials.

Among the main priorities set out in the new concept is the functional integration of both existing and planned infrastructure into the current urban fabric, as well as ensuring the closer integration of individual institutions from Ostrava’s cultural scene and improving their public communications.

The concept for culture in Ostrava was devised by over 80 representatives of Ostrava’s cultural and academic life, the City Authority and the individual municipal districts. Other contributors included secondary school and university students, who helped to conduct public opinion surveys in the community.

The shortened and full versions of the concept are available to view on the City’s website (only in Czech).

Source (only in Czech)