Jan Šulc (EBM): Rail link to make Kladno a Prague suburb

Published: 05. 06. 2023

“If you buy a flat at the end of the metro out in Zličín, you’re in the middle of the fields,” says Jan Šulc. “In Kladno, you’re in the middle of the biggest city in Central Bohemia that has 70,000 people, schools and shops.”

You don’t usually think of Kladno as a suburb of Prague. But Jan Šulc of EBM claims the new airport express train will change everything since the other spur of the line will offer express service to Masaryk station. It’s also a good comparison, because the travel time from Zličín to Masaryk station by metro is 22 minutes. Which is almost exactly the time the new Kladno express will take.

This explains one of the reasons why in 2021, EBM bought 60,000 sqm of land right next to the Kladno train station. Its new project Stromovka Kladno is a brownfield scheme that will eventually result in the construction of 620 new apartments, to be built in a series of phases. Železniční stavby is currently reconstructing the Kladno station, including an underpass that will give pedestrians direct access to the city. If rails are on one side of EBM’s plot, the large forest it indirectly named the project after is on the other. “Indirectly” in the sense that it evokes images of Prague’s most famous in-city park.

Šulc even references Prague when asked about the prices, saying that CZK 100,000 they are 20% cheaper than in the capital. He’s intentionally referring to non-central locations like Prosek and Zlicin in order to attract the attention of people for whom the capital is simply too expensive. Unit sizes are on the smaller size as well: Mostly 1kk and 2kk units with a few 3kk. EBM is open to make some of the buildings in later phases rental ones.

None of this is accidental, of course. EBM has another project in Kladno, but this one is two train station further up the same line in Kladno. Due for completion in 2025, Rezidence Engerth is a smaller project of 82 flats. Whereas Stromovka Kladno is likely to attract clients who are looking for a Prague alternative, Engerth will target people who are more committed to establishing themselves in Kladno. Accordingly, the unit sizes will include a few 1kk and 2kk, but mostly larger ones.

EBM’s Rezidence Engerth project

Although it’s named after a long-abandoned coal mine, Rezidence Engerth sits directly on the edge of forest. This is less surprising than it might seem, because Kladno is actually surrounded by wooded areas. It’s really the paradox of Kladno, which could end up making it quite value: the city is known for its industrial past (especially Poldi Kladno). But once it’s as easy to get into Prague as it is to get on the metro, the way we perceive it will change.

As a native of the city, this is something Šulc has been waiting for since the “fast rail” connection first started being talked about 30 years ago. As it became clear that the rail project was becoming a major priority for the state, EBM got serious about the city. This resulted not just in buying land there, but also in hiring Šulc, who was working at Skanska Property until around two years ago. “I know the market well there,” he says.

He’s clearly also a patriot.

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