Pankrác: Rapid development on all fronts

The area extending roughly one metro stop on either side of Pankrác was a relatively peaceful district in the early ’90s. Within a few years it became one of the most important business districts in the country.

MUCH OF THE CREDIT for what is today a bustling business locale and address to many world-renowned firms goes to Passerinvest, which bought 30 hectares of land near Baarova street in the early nineties with a vision to develop it. Today, their BB Centrum scheme is a growing office park with eight buildings and over 100,000 m2 completed. The most recently inaugurated Building Beta had reached a letting of 60% by completion, and Gamma, after a short break, continues to rise. “In autumn of this year, E starts construction,” says marketing director Zbyněk Passer. “It seems we have very serious interest in E and expect that Beta should be full by November. That’s quite a success with this situation in the market,” he adds.
Despite an overall office take-up rate in the city that is lackluster, the area remains successful compared to other districts, as monthly and quarterly letting tables have shown. “Prague 4 as a whole has secured the largest share of the take-up with 41,171 m2 leased, representing almost 32% of the total take-up,” says Tewfik Sabongui, head of office leasing at JLL. Two of the three largest deals were in the Pankrác area: the lease renewal of GE Capital at BB Centrum B (12,783 m2) and IT company ICZ at City Point (2,850 m2).
The area sparked the interest of Skanska in 1999, and by 2000 the company had secured an enviable plot of land next to Budějovická metro station. “It’s not a coincidence that we started on speculative basis in Prague 4, because the take-up here has always been strong, and the vacancy rate is several points lower,” says Bjorn Mattsson, managing director of Skanska. The company’s recently opened Budějovická Alley was a sound 50% leased upon completion.

 CityTower

But isn’t enough, enough? “It could be seen that offices here are already in quite a high amount but banks and insurance companies continue to move to this district,” says Petr Styler of ECM, which is developing its City scheme near the Pankrác metro. “I strongly believe that Prague 4 has the best future and that the office aspect in this district will continue to develop highly.”
While it’s less obvious, the Pankrác area is no exception to the move towards residential development which is mushrooming in other districts. The reason for the interest, claims Styler, is that at its heart, the area has always been, at least partly, residential. “Around the Pankrác plain, near the City project, there are many older apartment blocks, and in the minds of the people it’s a residential district,” he says. “To the east, there is much more office development, but to the west, next to the municipal park, and towards the Vltava, it’s quiet, with more trees.” As a good example, Styler points out a large plot of land between the City scheme and Kavčí hory. Many of the existing apartments in the immediate area are paneláks, so from here residential can only go upmarket, in land ripe for development at all levels. “With our scheme, we will be targeting higher incomes,” Styler adds.
While a cluster of shops and services exists at the Budějovická metro station, the area at large lacks interesting retail. It’s something Passerinvest is addressing with projects like the multifunctional sports hall called New Brumlovka, now under construction. Over near Pankrác station, part of the City scheme also focuses on adding a retail component to the area. “We have handed this part of our project over to ECE, who are experts in that area,” says Styler. Known as Arkády Pankrác, the project is, according to Styler, already receiving interest.

Developer / Project
Size
Schedule
Passerinvest
Gamma
30,000 m2
complete 4Q 2006
Building E
13,000 m2
complete 4Q 2006
Nová Brumlovka (recreation)
5,000 m2
complete 1Q 2007
ECM
City Tower
44,000 m2
complete 4Q 2007
City Arena (retail, mixed)
13,200 m2
begin 2005
City Epoque (residential)
150 apts
begin 1Q 2006
City Forum/Deco/Element (mixed)
22,000 m2
begin 2005
ECE
Arkády Pankrác
38,000 m2
complete 4Q 2007
Lordship
Pankrác House
18,000 m2
completed 4Q 2004
Skanska
Budějovická Alley
11,589 m2
completed 2Q 2005
Immorent
Office Centre Pankrác (working name)
34,000 m2
completed 1Q 2007
Hochtief
Office building Na Strži (working name)
17,000 m2
begin 2006
Ama Development
South Point
6,447 m2
N/A

 

BUILDING OF THE MONTH

The lush slopes of the hill beneath Strahov have long been seen as a beautiful place to have a home.

SOUTH-FACING and close to the center, its winding streets have attracted a select handful of developers. Noteworthy among them of late is Pod lipami, developer of luxury apartment complex Na Hřebenkách. The first building of the project, XY, opened at the end of May.
The dramatic glassy facade fronts 53 high-style apartments, all of which, from studio to maisonette, have a panoramic view to the south. The design by Radan Hubička also includes winter garden and swimming pool in maisonette penthouses. Apartments run the range of 80-300 m2, and quality is almost unparalleled. Kitchens include under-floor heating, granite counters, and Miele appliances. Luxury bathrooms feature colored granite. A two-level garage for 101 cars, 24-hour security, a gym, squash court, and 13-meter pool boost the service element. “We made it to cater to families, so we included a furnished children’s playroom on the ground level,” says Monika Brichtová of real estate agency Rubicon Invest, who are marketing the project.
Prices range from CZK 65,000 to CZK 95,000 per m2 – figures that tenants seem to find attractive. “It is selling successfully; we only have six apartments available at this time,” says Brichtová.

 


Photo: Tomáš Kubeš

10 questions Milorad Miškovič Miško
sales and marketing director, REKG

What was your first job?
»My first job was sales and distribution of crude oil back in Belgrade in 1990.
How did you come upon a career in real estate?
»I was account manager in charge of selling advertising at Webb/Wright advertising firm, which was publishing Realty Guide Prague, a trilingual real estate magazine.
Why did you come to Prague?
»I arrived to Prague in September 1993 in order to finish my studies.
What do you like most in the real estate business?
»When dealing in real estate you are indeed doing a bit of everything, from architecture, construction, financing, marketing, PR, and sales to taxation and accounting issues.
What do you like least in the real estate business?
»People’s egos…and mine as well.
What was your most challenging deal or accomplishment?
»I think it is our last project, River Diamond. I am marketing/selling the first real luxury waterfront residential project in a completely new residential location.
What is your favourite restaurant in Prague?
»I would say Kogo’s at Slovanský dům, because it is a mixture of good food, great service, even better location – and I can order in my native language.
Do you follow any philosophy in your daily work?
»My philosophy is to work and act like there is no tomorrow.
Will you still be doing business in Prague in 10 years?
»I hope I will be doing business between Prague, Belgrade (home), and Montenegro (country of origin). If I succeed in doing that, I would reach a balance in my life.


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