3Things: AFI City tops out, Microsoft data center, REICO sells Office Box

Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture

AFI Europe has topped out the second apartment building in AFI City, a brownfield project on Kolbenova street in Prague 9 – Vysočany. Metrostav is in charge of construction of the 327-unit building which the developer will rent out once completed. Work on the first apartment building in AFI City was completed at the end of last year, but tenants won’t begin moving in until this spring. All tenants will have access to a parking spot and the units will come complete with furniture and appliances. Sales and marketing manager Elena Pisotchi says the deficit of apartments in Prague is more profound than originally thought. “While Prague has around 1.28 million people according to the statistics office, there are another 300,000 people living here without permanent residency. The number of missing apartments has risen to 60,000 to 70,000,” she says.

Microsoft is moving forward with its CZK 5.5 billion data center project in Prague – Letňany on land it acquired from CPI. The daily E15 reports that the ongoing energy crisis had caused Microsoft to put the project on hold in the fall until it got a handle on what running the facility would cost it. In the meantime, the company has completed plans for the project, which will be run through an Irish-based SPV. E15 writes that the project, which Microsoft discussed at the highest political levels, will target state-based cloud services among others. Google and AWS (Amazon) have also set up companies in the Czech Republic which are expected to target the public sphere. Data can be stored for instant retrieval anywhere in the world, but some clients (i.e. state-based ones) require that their data never leave the country.

REICO has sold Office Box in Bratislava, one of the longest held assets in its portfolio. The buyer was MOVYS Invest, part of the MOVYS group that specializes in telecommunications. It reportedly intends to use at least some part of the building itself. Less than 4,300 sqm, Office Box was one of the smallest in the retail property fund’s portfolio. It’s located in the Bratislava Ruzinov commercial zone along the D61  motorway that leads to Žilina. “The sale of the building Office Box is another visible step in the qualitative transformation of our real estate fund and an improvement of its liquidity position for potential acquisitions,” said Tomáš Jandík, chairman of the board at REICO IS ČS. The fund has no immediate plans on how to put the new inflow of cash to work, but its targets are higher quality and more ESG friendly assets.

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