Development Newsletter!!!

Moravian-Silesian Region and Ostrava offer new industrial zones to investors

In most of the Czech Republic, 2019 did not bring any major changes on the industrial real estate market. The exception was the Moravian-Silesian Region, which is now offering new locations with valid building permits. In the near future, the Region’s capital Ostrava will be the location of five large-scale projects, including Ostrava Airport Multimodal Park and a new industrial zone at Ostrava-Hrušov. Work on the Ostrava-Poruba Park is also set to begin (in response to the fact that the Ostrava-Hrabová Park is now full to capacity). Besides a range of newly created logistics parks and industrial zones, Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region can also offer a well-qualified labour force at a reasonable cost.

Marek Sýkora, Senior Industrial Consultant at real estate consultants 108 AGENCY, summed up the Region’s advantages: “Today the Moravian-Silesian Region is actively supporting the development of new industrial zones. This helps to boost interest and activity in this area. Regional representatives are keen to encourage projects such as these – even though it goes against the current public mood, as many people have a negative opinion of the construction of new warehouses. Another way in which the Region is seeking to boost these activities is by offering extra public transport provision for employees.”



The Czech business service sector: 2019 in figures

The Association of Business Service Leaders in the Czech Republic (ABSL) has issued its annual report monitoring developments in the industry: Business service sector in the Czech Republic 2020. The report is available to download at the ABSL website, and it includes some interesting figures and comparisons.

According to an ABSL survey, business services employ 112 000 people in the Czech Republic, and 59% of the country’s business service centres operate on global markets. The average age of employees in the sector is 35 years. The annual report also sums up the data supplied by individual business service centres in the Czech Republic. Respondents rated their satisfaction with a range of aspects, awarding average scores of more than 8 out of 10 points to public transport, the image of the city, transport infrastructure (airports, rail services) and the availability of modern office premises. Respondents also rated cooperation with local authorities higher than in previous years.

The annual report offers detailed statistical data for the Czech Republic’s three largest cities: Prague, Brno and Ostrava. The data clearly shows that Ostrava remains the city with the lowest rental costs, as well as offering a reasonably priced labour force. Ostrava currently has 218 300 m2 of office premises, making the city the Czech Republic’s third largest office market.

Source, photo: ABSL


New Expat Centre in Ostrava will help foreign residents

Ostrava will open a brand-new centre providing assistance to foreigners coming to live in the city (or the Moravian-Silesian Region). On 2 March 2020, Ostrava will open a brand-new centre providing assistance to foreigners coming to live in the city (or the Moravian-Silesian Region). The Expat Centre will be based at Českobratrská 1888/14 in Ostrava's city centre, in the former Refill office, and it will be open from Monday to Thursday (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.). The opening hours may be changed at a later date depending on the needs of the target group.

The purpose of the new centre will be to ensure that foreigners coming to work in Ostrava have a "soft landing" here. It will offer assistance in sorting out official documentation and formalities related to life in the Czech Republic. It will also set up a "buddy system": the buddies – mostly expats who have already established themselves in Ostrava – will help new arrivals (and expats who are living here already) to integrate.

In the pilot phase, the Expat Centre will operate as a point of contact providing all its services in English. The main target group consists of qualified foreign citizens who want to work, study or do business in Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region – and of course their families too. 



Construction work has begun on two new university buildings

During January, construction work has begun on two new university buildings in Ostrava at a total cost of around CZK 1 billion. The buildings will be located near the Černá Louka (Black Meadow) site in the city centre. The City of Ostrava has offered strong practical support to the project, donating the land and building an underground parking garage.

The new complex for the University of Ostrava will be built by a consortium of two companies that won the tender – the Ostrava branch of IMOS Brno and Třinec-based Beskydské stavební. The buildings will house a new sports centre and facilities for teaching art and music.

he City of Ostrava will also carry out work to improve the area around the new university complex. The main focus will be on revitalizing the embankment of the Ostravice River, where the City will build a new zone for leisure and relaxation.

New digital innovation centre in Ostrava

On 30 January 2020, the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre Ostrava (MSIC) signed a memorandum of cooperation with the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre – a leading research centre based at the VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava. The two institutions will combine their efforts and know-how to create the Digital Innovation Hub Ostrava (DIH).

The DIH will help the Region’s companies to develop processes related to digitalization – which is currently one of the most important factors contributing to a company’s competitiveness. The new hub will offer a range of services including digital auditing or designing change projects.

Project coordinator Martin Duda gave more details: “DIH Ostrava will integrate knowledge and expertise from two highly respected partners. MSIC will draw on its existing collaborative structures, working alongside companies with strong innovative potential to provide tailor-made support solutions. IT4Innovations is then able to implement these solutions in specific areas of digitalization – such as high-performance computing, big data analysis and artificial intelligence.”

Source, photo: VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava


Ostrava Airport Multimodal Park has a new tenant for its recently opened hall

Ostrava Airport Multimodal Park has successfully completed the second phase of construction by completing a new hall with a total area of 48 864 m2 (the first hall, with 57 133 m2, was opened in June 2019). Completion of phase three is planned for 2020; this will make Ostrava Airport Multimodal Park officially the largest logistics centre in Central Europe. Investors have already displayed strong interest in the new premises.

Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura attended the opening ceremony for the first hall, where he outlined the City’s approach to investment: “I’m delighted that the dynamic growth of the Ostrava Airport Multimodal Park project has added a further element to the infrastructure that’s so essential for attracting successful companies to the region. We have a long-term policy for investment support, and we work closely alongside both existing investors and new arrivals. We assist them in all phases of the investment – purchase, planning and implementation – and we are making every effort to ensure that the Mošnov Strategic Industrial Zone fully meets their requirements for capacity and infrastructure. This helps support the expansion of manufacturing and other commercial activities.”

On 1 April 2020 a new tenant will arrive at the Ostrava Airport Multimodal Park – GEIS CZ, a leading provider of comprehensive transport and logistics services. The company is part of the Geis Group, a global logistics player based in the German town of Bad Neustadt, which has operated in the Czech Republic since 1991. The company will rent a total 7185 m2 at the park.

Source, photo: Ostrava Airport Multimodal Park


New JOB AIR Technic hangar opened

On 6 February 2020 the opening ceremony for a new aircraft repair hangar was held at JOB AIR Technic in Mošnov. The new hangar was officially approved for use in the autumn of 2019, enabling the company to expand its repair service capacity to handle two Airbus A320s or Boeing 737s. The opening ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Marian Piecha, the Deputy Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region with responsibility for investments Jaroslav Kania, the owner of the Czechoslovak Group industrial holding Michal Strnad, and the CEO of JOB AIR Technic Vladimír Stulančák.

Deputy Minister Marian Piecha commented on the new hangar: “This is my home region, so I’m delighted that this outstanding company is operating successfully at Ostrava’s airport, offering well-paid work to highly qualified staff. Thanks to companies like JOB AIR Technic we’re succeeding in stopping the ‘drain’ of people away from the region – which is one of the most pressing problems facing us here. That’s why I wish JOB AIR Technic every success in the future.”

Source, photo: JOB AIR Technic, a.s.


Reconstruction of Ostrava’s historic slaughterhouse will begin this spring

On Tuesday 18 February Ostrava’s City Council chose the contractor to reconstruct the historic slaughterhouse complex in Ostrava’s city centre. The winner of the public tender was Zlínstav, with a bid of 170 million CZK (around 206 million including VAT). Work on the ambitious conversion project will be able to begin in March, as soon as the contract is signed.

Deputy Mayor with responsibility for investments Zuzana Bajgarová gave more details: “Five construction companies and one consortium submitted bids for the tender. We chose the company with the most competitive bid price – though it was not excessively low compared to the other bids, which is very important. Moreover, it’s a company that we’ve worked with before, and we’ve had good experiences with them. So now we have around a month to sort out the formalities, including the signature of the contract and the handover of the construction site, so building work could begin as early as March.”

The City of Ostrava launched its project to rescue this historic site from destruction and convert it to an art gallery almost five years ago, when it began negotiations to purchase the former municipal slaughterhouse complex from its owner at the time, the Bauhaus retail chain. The purchase was completed in November 2016 for 80 million CZK (including not only the slaughterhouse, but also the former Bauhaus store). In early 2017 the City announced an international architectural competition; five architectural studios were approached directly and invited to participate in the competition, and a further five studios were selected from the nine applicants in the open part of the competition (which included studios from Amsterdam, Dublin, Bratislava and the Czech Republic).



Work on a new sports hall in Nová Bělá set to begin in March

At the beginning of March, work will begin on a new multifunctional sports hall in Nová Bělá. The new hall should be completed by the end of November 2020. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will contribute funding to cover half the construction cost.

The hall will offer professional-standard facilities for basketball, badminton, volleyball and table tennis, as well as recreational-standard facilities for tennis, handball, floorball, futsal and other sports. It will be built by Bystroň Group, the winner of the public tender, to a design by the Chválek Ateliér architectural studio. The hall will include a universal playing area plus seating, storage facilities, club rooms and sanitary facilities. The Nová Bělá municipal district will contribute 20 million CZK, the City of Ostrava will provide subsidy pre-financing (as well as around 4 million CZK from its own budget), and the Ministry will provide around 26 million CZK. The municipal district has also paid around 2.1 million CZK from its own budget for the planning documentation.

Deputy Mayor of Ostrava with responsibility for education and sport Andrea Hoffmannová commented: “The City is gradually expanding its sports infrastructure to provide excellent conditions for the development of sport (including sports clubs) in all municipal districts. The new hall will have a catchment area from all the southern districts of Ostrava – including Výškovice, Nová Bělá, Stará Bělá, Hrabová and Proskovice. Although it has over 100 000 inhabitants, this area currently lacks proper sports facilities, and local sports clubs have nowhere to train in the winter months. That’s why we decided to offer our strong support for the municipal district’s plans to build a hall at this location. The location in Nová Bělá is also right next to a public transport stop, making it easily accessible to people from the vicinity.”



Subsidy programme for modernizing shop signage and advertising

Ostrava is taking an active approach to improving public spaces, and the city has now begun to tackle the problem known as advertising smog – the excessive use of inappropriate and ugly shop signage and advertising in public spaces. The aim is to protect public spaces from signage and advertising which is of poor aesthetic quality and is too large (or otherwise unsuitable) for its environment.

The issue is addressed on the official level in the City’s Ordinance on the Regulation of Advertising Smog in Ostrava. The new rules came into force in January of this year. Their main aim is not to ban advertising, but to cultivate public spaces throughout the city. Unfortunately, Ostrava has large numbers of shop signs and similar features that are of poor quality and thus degrade public spaces. In order to improve the situation, the City has announced a subsidy programme supporting the modernization of shop signage and advertising. The programme will provide a financial motivation to business-owners to replace their current inappropriate signage and install new signage of a quality that is suitable for display in public spaces. Businesses can access subsidies of up to 30 000 CZK to modernize their signage.

Information on the calls for projects is available at the city´s website (in CZ only)


City set to support new projects for aesthetic improvements in public spaces

Five projects implementing aesthetic improvements in public spaces will receive subsidy funding of 1.598 million CZK from the City of Ostrava. Other applicants can submit their ideas up to the end of March; 3.4 million CZK is still available as subsidies.

The City has made available a total 5 million CZK via its public space subsidy programme, which enables members of the public to submit their own ideas for improving the appearance of streets, squares, parks and other public spaces throughout Ostrava. The programme has been operating since 2017; during that time, the City has funded 31 projects with a total sum of 8.5 million CZK.

Deputy Mayor Kateřina Šebestová, whose area of responsibility includes the environment, gave more details: “Our public space subsidy programme has given life to over 30 great ideas from members of the public. Fifteen projects were submitted in the third year of the programme, and the jury selected eight of them for implementation. In the end, the City will fund five projects, because two applicants withdrew their projects and one did not meet the formal criteria. The added value of these public space-focused projects lies in the fact that active communities of neighbours can get directly involved in driving improvements to the public spaces around them. That means that people can make a real investment in their surroundings – they will help keep public spaces well-maintained and use them in a constructive way.”

Information on the calls for projects is available at the programme website (in CZ only)


Other news

A prestigious sporting event in Ostrava 

On Saturday 15 February Ostrava’s Lower Vítkovice area played host to the popular traditional ČEZ City Cross Sprint race. The event regularly attracts some big-name sprinters from the Czech Republic and abroad, and this year was no exception. The race patron was Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura, and the event was also sponsored by the City.

The starting lineup included 2017 winner Phillip Bellingham from Australia and Even Northug, the younger brother of phenomenal Norwegian runner Petter Northug – twice Olympic gold medallist and thirteen-times world champion.

Deputy Mayor with responsibility for sport and education Andrea Hoffmannová commented: “City Cross Spring is a traditional Ostrava event – this year it is being held for the eighth year in a row – and I’m delighted that our city can host proper sporting events during the winter months. It’s also very pleasing that the race routes are open to the general public, including school-age children.”



Credit ticket machines now accept Euros and bank cards

Ostrava’s public transport corporation stopped selling paper tickets in December last year. The old ticket machines have been replaced by brand-new ones selling pre-paid cards – credit tickets – with a minimum value of 100 CZK. A month after installing the new machines, the corporation introduced another change which will make the system even more user-friendly: the machines now accept Euros or bank cards to buy (or charge up) credit tickets as well as for other types of purchase.

As of 1 February 2020, the machines accept Czech banknotes (100, 200, 500 and 100 CZK) as well as Euros (5, 10, 20 and 50 EUR), bank cards (either physical cards or virtual cards such as Apple/Google Pay), and payments via the corporation’s “ODISka” electronic wallet system.

Director of Ostrava’s public transport corporation Daniel Morys commented: “I am delighted that we have been able to expand our machines’ functionality within their first month of operation. As of today, we have issued over 20 000 credit tickets, and I am confident that our customers will now use the machines even more.”



Ostrava’s waste management company is supporting environmental projects

For the fourth year running, the City’s waste management company OZO has announced an annual set of subsidy programmes to support environmental projects as well as projects improving quality of life for seniors. The subsidy programme Green Light for Ostrava again supports projects focusing on cleaning, tidying and beautifying public spaces in Ostrava, and a new programme – New Life to Old Things – will provide funding to support creative, practical ideas for repurposing and reusing waste materials.

Karel Belda from OZO gave more details: “We support public awareness and educational projects, workshops, artworks made from waste materials to be installed in public spaces, and projects to renovate waste materials so that waste can be repurposed or waste production can be prevented.”

“The primary aims of our subsidy programmes are to reduce waste production, increase the reuse of waste materials and make environmental improvements in Ostrava’s public spaces, so we’re now announcing a new programme called We’re Thinking of You! This programme will enable us to target specific groups within the community and help improve their quality of life. The first target group we’re focusing on is senior citizens. We want to support cultural, educational, leisure-focused and other projects which will help improve quality of life for seniors in Ostrava. The projects may seek to bring long-term benefits to seniors, or they may focus on interesting one-off events.”

Information on the calls for projects is available at the OZO website (in CZ only)

Photo: OZO Ostrava


Invitation to the ABSL conference in Ostrava

The Association of Business Service Leaders in the Czech Republic (ABSL) is organizing its annual conference, which this year will be held in Ostrava. It is the largest event of its type in the country, attended every year by over 500 participants. Last year’s ABSL conference (held in Brno) featured presentations by 60 speakers, plus 8 workshops and visits to 6 inspirational Brno-based companies. The topics of the presentations included HR development, digital transformation, innovation and smart automation of business operations.

The 8th edition of this prestigious conference will take place in Ostrava on 10–11 November 2020. The main venue will be the Gong arena in Lower Vítkovice.

The detailed conference programme will be specified by the organizers nearer to the time. Last year’s programme is available to view at the ABSL website.