3Things: Skanska’s Port7, CTP’s green steel, interest rates to fall?

Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture

Skanska’s Port7 project is now 50% leased, following the signing of a lease with international auditing and tax consultancy Mazars. The company signed up for 2,900 sqm of space on the top floor of the project, along with 16 parking space. It plans to move into its new offices at the beginning of 2024. Skanska completed the 36,000 sqm project at the beginning of April. Other tenants include co-workspace operator Scott Weber,  the financial group Direct, and Manta Tools. Port7’s development opens up a new area around the Holešovice train station in Prague 7 that was previously abandoned and littered with defunct buildings. Public space includes a new passage leading from the station to the river along with a 17,000 sqm park that borders the Vltava. According to the Prague Research Forum, no new office construction has gotten underway in the last nine months and just 145,000 sqm is currently under construction. Vacancy in the city fell 75 basis points to 7.5% in Q1 2023.

Upping the stakes in the continual push towards real sustainability, CTP revealed that it used “green steel” by Arcelor Mittal for the entire roof area of a 32,000 sqm warehouse in CTPark Prague North. The developer used trapezoidal sheets made of Xcarb steel, a decarbonized, low-carbon product whose production uses primarily renewable resources. CTP claims reduces the embedded carbon by 835 tons of CO2, which it likens to 348 people living without a car for an entire year. Arcelor Mittal is aiming to using renewable sources only to produce its Xcarb green steel. “We address sustainability holistically and strive for carbon neutrality over the long term, thus we choose our suppliers based on their environmental responsibility and ask for the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) on materials to verify provenance,” says Gabriela Povýšilová, CTP’s ESG manager in the Czech Republic.

We’re finally getting hints that the era of rising interest rates could be over, as the Czech National Bank has hinted it could actually reduce them in September. Vice governor Eva Zamrazilová said that the first drop in rates could take place in September. At least that’s what die-hard optimists are going to focus on as they make their plans for the rest of the year. But what did she really say? That the bank could only consider reducing interst rates if inflation falls into single-digit territory and looks to be headed towards its 1-3% target range. The Czech National Bank has raised them in fits and starts from 0.25% all the way up to 7%, where they’ve sat since last year. “There will be a lot more data in September, so if everything is going in the right direction and I’ll be sufficiently confident that it will continue in the coming months, then [reducing rates] is possible,” said Zamrazilová.

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