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Nové Butovice: Attracting overdue attention
Written by: Tim Gosling
Not so long ago, there was little reason to come to Nové
Butovice, save a wander through the greenery of the Prokopské
Valley. Development has been rapid in this corner earmarked as
one of several city centers under the "Strategic Plan for
THE NOVÉ BUTOVICE housing estate, built in the 1980s, was the last
residential project in the Southwestern City area now known as Prague
13. It was not until the late '90s that the new generation of property
developers began buying plots clustered around the metro station,
9 km from the city centre. With projects pushing skywards, over 18,000
commuters now disembark daily from the metro six stops from the end
of the yellow line, according to ING Real Estate, owner of the recently
unveiled Galerie Butovice retail park. More than 12,000 people work
in offices in the vicinity.
Both Renata Kodadová of ING and David Lawn, development director
with Central Resource, the development and asset management arm of
Doughty Hansen, maintain that catchment for their tenants increases
to over 1 million when taking a journey of up to 30 minutes into
account. They agree with Richard Curran of CB Richard Ellis that
the 10 minutes extra traveling time to a spot like Zličín makes all
the difference, and as Curran also notes, there's very few residents
For office projects the short hop to the airport is another important
feature. However, the root of the rise of Nové Butovice is found
in the proximity of the D5 highway towards Germany. A few hundred
meters from the metro station, Pekařská and Šafránkova streets has
hosted German companies such as SAP, Philips and BASF for some time,
helping to signal the area's potential to developers.
The first to make a move were Central Resource, who unveiled Building
A of Office Park Nové Butovice in 2000; Building D came online
two years later. Having attracted tenants such as Allianz and Accenture,
a further 9,000 m2 is now open, with more to come. Some might consider
committing such volume on spec to a spot like Nové Butovice a fairly
bold move. Lawn says that the company's "expertise allows
[them] to recognize areas with long-term potential", whilst
Doughty Hansen's financial muscle allows for developmental risk.
Now from his office, Lawn can see a Galerie Butovice's 46,000 m2
retail and office park across the main road, and beyond, the Avenir
Business Park from Immorent. In the opposite direction is a new
German International School at the center of residential development
by Skanska. Office Park's success has helped the confidence of
others, yet it's not all one way traffic. Galerie Butovice will
aid the marketing of Building B at Office Park, offering tenants
facilities for their employees.
There are differing opinions on the ease of working with the Prague
13 municipality from developers. One suggests that because district
authorities in the Czech capital don't see direct financial benefits,
they are not as interested as they could be. However, Tomáš Cirus,
head of Prague 13 building department suggests a great volume of
development is still needed. "In the first stage of the south-western
city construction, residential houses with the most urgent public
utilities were built; later on, these public utilities turned out
to be insufficient" he explains.
Despite so much new office space, he notes "a lack of buildings
to provide more job opportunities for local residents" as
well as recreational and retail facilities. Further development
should help here, especially once the D5 highway comes barging
through the center of Nové Butovice on its way to link up with
other trunk routes at Zlíchov.
BUILDING OF THE MONTH
Retailer Carrefour celebrated the opening of Shopping
Center Eden in Prague's Vršovice district in March. Construction
on the center, the company's third in Prague following a
similar theme, cost CZK 2 billion.
The SHOPPING CENTER, comprising 16,500 m2 over
three floors, virtually all of which has been leased, offers
110 shops including fashion boutiques, services, and a food court,
as well as a children's playground of 500 m2. The Carrefour hypermarket
offers 10,000 m2 of shopping on two levels. The building also
boasts 6,000 m2 of office space, as well as a parking lot with
a capacity of 850.
The property, which Carrefour bought from the City of Prague
10, is situated in a residential district of approximately 200,000
people. Thanks to good accessibility by car and public transportation,
and a naturally high level of pedestrian circulation, which Carrefour
has enhanced with a free shuttle bus from the metro station Strašnická,
the retail chain estimates that five million people a year will
visit. "Eden is going to become the real center of Vršovice,
which has been missing in this part of Prague," says Carrefour's
spokeswoman, Jana Havlíčková.
Finishing touches remain, including the planting of trees and
bushes and the construction of a large fountain surrounded by
Photo: archive |
Partner and co-chairman of Global Real Estate Group, Salans
What was your first job?
»At the age of six I started selling
scrap cloth that I found on the floor of my grandfather's factory.
How did you decide to make the move to the real estate sector?
»When I started working as a lawyer in 1988 in Philadelphia,
the firm I worked at had six departments, but the people and
the work was the most fun in the real estate department.
How and why did you pick Prague as a place to do business?
»In 1993 I decided that I wanted to work in Paris or Milan,
but I got a great offer to work in Prague.
Will you still be doing business in Prague in 10 years?
am not sure that I will still be living here, but I am sure
that Prague will still be an important part of my life.
What do you most like in the real estate business?
that is a party to the transaction walks away happy. So at
the end of the day, I spend my time helping people be happy.
What do you dislike in the real estate business?
What is the most difficult project you have worked on in Prague?
»The biggest challenge was acquiring all the land, from 28
sellers, for the American school.
What do you think will be the next place/area/segment to
develop in Prague?
»Residential is the current big sector for
international investment, and two- and three-star hotels.
What is your favorite restaurant in Prague?
»Rhapsody for a
nice evening...for a more casual evening, I really like Dinitz.
Which is the Czech word you tell your employees never to