RSBC transforming Rozkvět building in central Brno

Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture

One of the many financially powerful Czech groups that’s been quietly building up its property holdings in recent years is RSBC. As its activities and know-how in the sector grew, the need to structure its activities began to become clear. So, just over a year ago, RSBC leapt into the the world of real estate funds by setting up Schönfeld & Co Nemovitosti SICAV along with its first podfond Premiové nemovitosti (in translation The Premium Properties Subfund).

The most recent asset to be divested by the group into Premiové nemovitosti was its 7,500 sqm production and warehouse complex, which includes expansion space for the tenant REDA. RSBC’s asset manager Denisa Velanová says there are other group assets likely to go this way in the future. It could be another Brno property, the Platinium office building which RSBC group acquired from REICO in June, 2021 which lists Gardner Denver, KPMG, Cyrrus, ČSOB and Commerzbank among its tenants.

Other holdings like the Conwert portfolio, acquired back in 2016, were sold off to business partners, while others were sold to ČSOB’s Patria Residenční fond (property managed by RSBC) and another batch went to Generali realitní fond (opened in cooperation with RSBC Group). However, RSBC held on to one of the major assets in the Conwert portfolio, the Rozkvět building in central Brno.

Velanová herself has taken on the redevelopment of this multifunctional property, whose reputation and technical status were both in a bad way. Today, a brand-new Lidl grocery store has replaced an Albert grocery store in Rozkvět, overlooking a ground floor shopping passage. The property’s retail tenant list includes Max Mara, Dermacol, Yves Rocher along with a Papilonia butterfly house. In all, Rozkvět offers 3,800 sqm of leasable retail space. On the nám. Svobody side of the property Student Agency occupies the entire office 1,200 sqm space and the three buildings from the Panská street includes 43 flats, most of which have recently been reconstructed. Velanová is hoping to do still more with the asset by bringing more life to its atrium, possibly with a street food component along the lines of Manifesto.

Lately, RSBC has been reviewing its real estate priorities. “We have been monitoring the real estate market during the Covid crises and its impact on our activities very carefully. Before Covid crises we focused more on residential and sometimes office buildings. At the moment, we are looking more for offices, logistics parks or retail parks,” says Velanová. What’s clear is that RSBC isn’t interested in acquiring new development projects on its own, though it’s open to acting as a financial partner in new projects with other developers. The company is currently seeking a construction permit for a residential project it owns in Kolin.

RSBC is the investment vehicle set up by the businessman Robert Schönfeld. Running in tandem with the group’s real estate agenda is a private equity business, which takes stakes in promising companies in the Czech Republic and CEE in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.


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