After four years of building family homes and small residential developments in villages around Prague, the NIDO group is expanding into the capital itself. Having acquired a site in Hostivař, says partner Lukáš Tvrdý, the company has secured a construction permit allowing it to erect a 14-unit apartment building on it. This new project won’t prevent the company from continuing its ongoing program of developing individual sites, as Tvrdý claims his team has the capacity to increase the pace of construction still further. But it will make it necessary to expand its financial base.
Over the past three years, NIDO has completed developments worth around CZK 400 million through a combination of equity, bank loans, as well as bonds it issues in CZK 100,000 denominations. It’s these bond emissions which NIDO is now looking to expand, though the company is open to any number of forms of cooperation. “We’re not against other forms of financing and cooperation with investors, who we’re always looking for,” says Tvrdý’s other partner Petr Susík. “We have a whole range of interesting business opportunities and good ideas that we believe will attract investors.”
Specifically, they’re interested in investors who are willing to remain on the financing side of the fence, without getting involved in project strategy and realization. “If there were a single strong investor who would allow us to do what we’re capable of doing, the way we want to do it, we’d prefer that over bonds,” says Susík, who looks after financial matters for the group. “We just don’t someone to control us, or push us into a solution we don’t feel comfortable with or that looks risky. Because we’re responsible for the investment…We want to do what we believe in and what we’re good at and what we’ve already proven that works.”
Along with the Prague Hostivař project called Villa Organic, NIDO has other projects north of Prague, such as a series of 19 homes in the Lobkovice neighborhood of Neratovice. The first stage of the project is made up of 7 pairs of townhouses, where each of the 14 units comes with a 200 sqm garden. It’s a solution that works for families who want a home of their own, but who don’t want (or can’t afford) a large garden. NIDO Group is also working on a project of larger family homes in Předboj near a golf resort. In all, the company has CZK 360 million worth of projects underway or in planning.
Tvrdý admits that rising prices are making it increasingly difficult to find land to sites anywhere in the vicinity of Prague. The fact that NIDO Group is only interested in doing high quality schemes doesn’t make securing land any easier. “We bet on quality, but we don’t buy land for more money than the average builder,” he says. “We’re not more expensive than the market. Our problem if anything is the opposite: other developers sell the same size homes at below NIDO’s price, but they’re of far lower quality. They’re betting customers won’t mind how the project looks, or that it has small windows, or that all the materials are bought cheaply. There are clients who simply don’t have a feeling for these things.”
Along with apartment projects, NIDO Group builds individual wooden homes for clients. They only “discovered” wood about four years ago thanks to an acquaintance in the materials business who convinced them to try it. While it doesn’t make sense to use wood for multi-building projects, single home projects can be built far more quickly than with bricks and concrete. “For us wood is attractive because people just like it when they see it,” says Tvrdý. “Concrete is interesting but it’s not as nice.”
Susík and Tvrdý are also partners in a separate retail delicatessen business selling cured meats and sausages. After taking over the businesses, based in Bylany and in the town of Seč, they opened a flagship store along the main road in Kličany. This was followed by the opening of a new store in the OC Signal shopping center in Jižní Město – Prague 11 and a planned Q3 opening at the Šestka shopping mall. This growing retail chain, however, is completely separate from NIDO Group’s real estate development activities.
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