3Things: Church selling Clara Futura hotel, Crestyl in Vokovice, spec office

Robert McLean

#cee, #proptech, #development a #architecture
Crestyl has reached an agreement with local officials in Vokovice – Prague 6 that will allow it to build a new residential complex in the former Aritma area. In return for permiting construction to go ahead, the developer will contribute funds for the construction of a nursery school and for smart transport solutions all over Vokovice. Crestyl’s plans include the creation of commercial units as well as clinics. “We communicated with representatives of local residents and paid attention to their views of the situation in the neighborhood,” said Prague 6’s mayor Jakub Stárek. “At the same time, we want Vokovice to develop and for its formerly industrial areas to gain a new life.” Crestyl’s director Simon Johnson says the project will see the construction of 224 flats in 18 buildings along with six family homes. With the agreement now in place after years of negotiations, Crestyl hopes to achieve planning permission in 2023.
It turns out the 65-meter Jindřišska věž was just the tip of the iceberg. The Catholic church set off media a storm in a teacup a couple weeks by announcing that the Prague landmark was for sale. A minor media scuffle ensued with malcontents inside the church claiming outrage, and the City of Prague claiming it should have had first right of refusal. But like any other organization, the church has a budget to meet and investments it wants to make. And it’s also realized that some of the properties in its portfolio are dragging it down. These include the Clara Futura hotel in Dolní Březany, part of St. George’s Basillica at the Prague castle and numerous cemeteries around the country. An official of the Prague archdiocese Jan Balik describes the Clara Futura hotel in Dolní Břežany as an overly ambitious project by the church that had proven to be unrealistic. And he defended the churchy’s decision to sell the Jindřišska věž by describing it as a classic example of the sort of property that only served to burden the organization. He says the church is looking to raise cash for some key investments, primarily flats for its employees and schools. Approval for the plan has come all the way from the top, according to Novinky.cz, which writes that the Vatican has seen and given the go-ahead on it.
Even though no new office starts were recorded in Q3, fears of office space running out in Prague are unfounded. Josef Stanko, Senior Analyst at Colliers, reports that up to 126,000 sqm of speculative office space is due to get underway in the coming months. This will boost the meager addition of 18,000 sqm of new stock to Prague’s market, which he expects to reach 4 million sqm sometime in 2024. He said in terms of gross take-up, the third quarter saw the best result (137,700 sqm) since 2019. “Despite seeing a decent share of renegotiations, an unabated demand for new offices is clearly visible and was not negatively influenced by any of the currently discussed office reductions and footprint optimizations. The Czech real estate market is traditionally more conservative when it comes to following global trends,” said Stanko. By the end of 2022, city’s total stock of modern space should climb to 3.8 million sqm. At the moment, vacancy stands at 8.1%, or roughly 308,000 sqm.

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