July 2020

Development Newsletter!!!

Ostrava seeks an investment partner for the Nové Lauby development

We are seeking an investment partner for the project to build the Nové Lauby residential complex in Ostrava’s historic city centre. The complex will include apartments, underground parking and retail units, and it will be located directly adjacent to Ostrava’s main square (Masaryk Square). This is a highly attractive location offering excellent civic amenities and easy access to public transport as well as a range of vibrant cultural and community venues.

Among the major benefits of the project are the fact that the City owns the land, the City’s guarantee to buy back part of the completed complex, and the high architectural quality of the development. 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 be in municipal ownership.

The tendering procedure is organized in three phases. In the first phase, potential private investors will need 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. Construction will begin in the spring of 2021.

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 the project is being offered to the investor as a complete, ready-made package. 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, detailed specifications of the interiors will be provided.

More information is available at the City’s website www.land.ostrava.cz.



Deadline for land bids is approaching

We would like to remind you that three calls are currently open for bids to buy land in lucrative locations. One is a 38.57-hectare site directly next to the Mošnov Strategic Industrial Zone and Leoš Janáček International Airport. The second is a 635 m2 site in Ostrava city centre, on the corner of Smetanovo náměstí and Vojanova St., which is zoned for mixed use. The third is a set of locations for installing and operating electric vehicle charging points.

The Small Development Zone in Mošnov is owned by the City of Ostrava. It is an ideal location for commercial or office developments, a technology park or a similar complex which will create jobs with high added value. It is also suitable for industrial production, logistics, or mixed-use structures.

The second site, situated in central Ostrava, is zoned for mixed use (residential developments and civic amenities). The new development at the site should represent an appropriate addition to the urban environment at the location, creating a high-quality public space. The location is particularly attractive as it is directly next to a major public transport stop, as well as being situated in a part of the city centre offering a wide range of cultural amenities – including the Antonín Dvořák Theatre, the Puppet Theatre and the Černá Louka (Black Meadow) exhibition centre.

As part of its plans to create fully functioning electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the City has also prepared a project to install vehicle charging points at various locations in Ostrava. A total 24 locations of potential interest to investors have been identified in the first phase of the project.

The deadline for submitting bids to buy the land at the Small Development Zone and the city centre site at Smetanovo náměstí is approaching; bids must be received no later than 31 July 2020. The deadline for bids for the vehicle charging points (only in Czech languace) is 21 August 2020. The announcements of the calls for offers, including detailed specifications, can be found at the City’s website www.land.ostrava.cz.



Architect Eva Jiřičná’s studio is working for Ostrava

Ostrava has decided to undertake a complete reconstruction of the tower block in Ostrčilova St. known locally as “the skyscraper”. The building has been empty since 2013 due to technical problems. The proposed reconstruction project – covering technical, functional and architectural aspects – will be designed by the AI-Design studio of world-renowned Czech architect Eva Jiřičná. The proposal should be complete by January of next year.

The skyscraper in Ostrčilova Street is one of Ostrava’s main architectural landmarks, but the 22-storey building is currently in very poor technical and structural condition. Nevertheless, experts hold the opinion that these problems can be overcome by a thorough reconstruction, and that it is not necessary to demolish the building (an option that has been under consideration for many years).

The aim of the project is to preserve this important landmark, highlighting its historic value while also introducing a modern, attractive element featuring high-quality architecture that is worthy of the building’s location in the city centre. The solution should also be functional and economically effective, as well as being sustainable not only from the economic perspective but also in terms of its environmental impacts.

We’re already looking forward to the studio’s proposals!



Architects will design a new parking garage near Ostrava’s cathedral

Ostrava has announced its tenth architectural competition in the past four years – this time to find a design for a new parking garage near the city’s cathedral. The garage will offer 300 parking spaces plus a charging station for electric vehicles. The ground floor will contain units for retail, services and restaurants. The terms and conditions of the competition reflect the need to respect the heritage values already embodied in the vicinity of this historic city centre site. The exterior of the garage must be appropriate for its city centre location, and it must take into consideration the quality of the existing buildings which will be its neighbours.

The new parking garage will free up public space in the surrounding streets and squares, as cars will no longer need to clutter the spaces outside some of Ostrava’s finest buildings. The area in front of the cathedral will be restored to its original function as an open public space (see the project Transformation of the cathedral square - in Czech only). The garage will also provide parking for future structures which will be built on Masaryk Square.

The architectural competition (organized in a single phase) is being coordinated by Ostrava’s Municipal Studio for Urban Planning and Architecture (MAPPA). More information about the project can be found in Czech on the City’s website.

Source (in Czech only)


Concert hall ranked in world top 10 architectural projects

The design of Ostrava’s planned new concert hall has won acclaim not only in the Czech Republic, but also on the global stage. Online magazine Architizer has drawn up a list of the ten most interesting architectural projects designed by world-renowned studios – and the list includes the Ostrava concert hall, designed by New York-based studio Steven Holl Architects. The project is ranked alongside other gems of modern architecture such as the Museum of Humankind in Kenya, the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation in New York City, and the Unicorn Island Masterplan exhibition and conference centre in Chengdu, China.

Author of the rankings Eric Baldwin explained his choices, stating that “the projects represent how modern architecture is being made today. Showcasing a wide range of scales and different construction techniques, they are exploring what it means to design and build today”.

The winning design was selected in August 2019 in one of the most important architectural competitions in Ostrava’s history. Despite the current problems caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City plans to complete all phases of the preparatory documentation in 2021, to launch construction in 2022, and to complete construction and open the hall to the public in 2024. You can keep up-to-date with the current situation on the Facebook page Ostrava Concert Hall (in Czech only).



Ostrava continues to support businesses with rent reductions

Ostrava was one of the first Czech cities to introduce a series of steps aimed at eliminating the negative impacts on businesses caused by the government’s restrictive measures in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March of this year, businesses have applied to the City for rapid financial contributions – initially for sums up to 20 000 CZK, and later also for up to 100 000 CZK.

The City has continued to support its business community by halving rent levels for April to June 2020 for businesses renting premises owned by the City Authority that have been negatively affected by the preventive measures introduced to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. On Tuesday 14 July, the City Council approved 13 applications worth around 500 000 CZK.

The most frequent form of rent relief currently in use is the 30:50:20 system. That means the landlord (in this case the City of Ostrava) reduces the level of the rent by 30 percent, the state contributes 50 percent, and the business contributes the remaining 20 percent.

The City has also introduced a special measure to support the two worst-affected sectors – tourism and hospitality – by waiving the fees paid for overnight stays and for using public space (such as outdoor café terraces in streets and squares) until the end of this year.

Source (in Czech only)


Other news


OSTRAVA CARD will support local tourism

Following its decision to provide over 80 million CZK in assistance to small businesses and NGOs in Ostrava that have been negatively affected by the government restrictions introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19, the City of Ostrava is now introducing a new form of support focusing on the two sectors that have been worst affected by the restrictions – tourism and hospitality.

The City is introducing the OSTRAVA CARD, which will provide discounts for visitors at selected tourist attractions and restaurants or cafés. The card has been available since 3 July. It is given to every hotel guest who stays at least two nights in the city. The card lasts throughout the duration of the guest’s stay.

Holders of the OSTRAVA CARD receive discounts on tickets to visit selected attractions, including certain exhibitions at the Lower Vítkovice complex, Landek Park, the city’s zoo and botanical park, sports facilities run by the City’s Sareza company, the Gallery of Fine Arts, the City Museum, the viewing tower at the city hall, the Silesian Ostrava castle, the Planetarium, Dinopark Ostrava, the Museum of Agriculture, and some restaurants and cafés. The list of participating venues will be gradually expanded.

Source (in Czech only)


Ekova Electric has been acquired by Škoda Transportation

Ekova Electric, which emerged ten years ago as an offshoot of Ostrava’s city public transport corporation, now has a strong partner, having been acquired by the Škoda Transportation group. The acquisition will ensure Ekova’s future development and prosperity, and its employees will be able to make full use of their potential for the city and the wider region.

On 7 July, Škoda Transportation signed a contract to buy a 100-percent stake in Ekova Electric. The transfer of ownership will come into effect in 2021. Ekova Electric is now under the wing of a strong partner that will help guarantee a sustainable and prosperous future for the company – which has always been the City’s key priority in the rapidly developing world of mobility technologies.

The Vice-President of Škoda Transportation Tomáš Ignačák explained the group’s decision: “We want to make full use of the experience and know-how of Ekova’s employees. We plan to expand production and create new jobs in Ostrava for a range of professions – from manual positions to high-end development staff.”

Source (in Czech only)


Work on the MUSEUM+ project has entered its next phase

One of Ostrava’s strategic projects is the creation of a new state-funded organization called MUSEUM+, which will be based in Lower Vítkovice. In October of last year, a memorandum of cooperation was signed by the key stakeholders in the project – the City of Ostrava, the Moravian-Silesian Region, the Czech Ministry of Culture and Lower Vítkovice.

The key step in the creation of the new organization is a conceptual feasibility study which has been produced for the Moravian-Silesian Region by its service company Moravian-Silesian Investment and Development (MSID). The document received input from an international team of experts including Professor Peter Weibl, a globally respected authority on museums and modern art.

MUSEUM+ will display collection items that are currently held in museum depositories and are not generally accessible to the public. The new organization will also provide added value for other institutions under the control of the Ministry of Culture. Besides acting as a platform for sharing collections, it will also work on educational concepts and research. A further major benefit will be its modern centre for digitalizing, conserving and restoring collection items.

Source (in Czech only)