Category Archives: Prague

Orco selling Bubny plot to JV with Unibail Rodamco

Unibail Rodamco is to take a 60% share in a new JV with Orco Property Group whose purpose is to develop a shopping center on 3.7 ha of land on Orco’s enormous Bubny plot in Prague 7. Orco has agreed to sell the land to the new joint venture, with the transaction expected to close in 2012. The shopping center is to be built by 2017.

Invesco buys from UBM in Prague

Invesco Real Estate has purchased a 4,200 sqm building in Andel City from UBM Realitätenentwicklung. The building, located in the popular Smichov district of Prague 5, was reportedly acquired for the German fund NAEV. UBM managing director Margund Schuh says the transactions is further evidence of the level of interest investors have for quality assets in Smichov. The building is fully-rented, with tenants including Maersk, UBS and Boston Scientific.

PwC to City Green Court

Skanska Property will be pleased by its pre-lease deal to PwC for City Green Court, the first building in Prague to get the LEED pre-certified Platimum building. The company is famously quite picky about its HQ buildings around the world, so it’s a real feather in the cap for the developer. It’s also a nail in the coffin to the argument that taking sustainability seriously doesn’t pay. PwC is scheduled to move its 800 employees into the 12,000 sqm of space it’s reserved in the building by the beginning of 2013.

“The move to the City Green Court will support the PwC strategy to grow in the Czech market and to lead by example as a responsible business,” said Jiří Moser, Managing Partner, PwC Czech Republic.

HN: UniCredit re-auctioning Na Prikope building

Hospodarske noviny is running with a story about UniCredit bank cancellation of a tender it held to find a buyer for its historic  (and gorgeous) building on Na Prikope in downtown Prague. The paper’s headline reads Tender winner finds out he didn’t win

The “winner” in this case was James Woolf of Flow East, who told the paper “We won the auction…with an offer of €30m” and he says he was told the bank was satisfied with the bid. UniCredit bank isn’t commenting on the matter at the moment, but HN cites “previous media reports” that it was looking to cash in €60m.  It says Flow East isn’t taking part in the current auction for the building, but writes that CPI Group is.

Kind of a strange article, really. Filled with vague winks and nudges from anonymous property experts (who weren’t used in the transaction) implying that the process is legally sound, but odd. It does get Bent Walde-Jensen, head of real estate at KPMG, on record saying “It’s unusual. When you go through a long process, the goal is usually to get cash, and not the initiation of another process.”

Palac Andel update

Some little birds (not involved in the deal) have been whispering in our ears, suggesting that the price (€52m) paid for Palac Andel is likely to reflect a yield in the neighborhood of 6.2 – 6.3, though this is most definitely not confirmed. “It means Prague’s already back in 2005!” says our source. And it supposedly demonstrates that there’s still interest in prime buildings in the city.

Or does it? We’re also hearing that the buyer is actually an insurance fund managed by Aberdeen. So, not a strictly third-party deal. What to make of the price then, which would otherwise dismay some people currently looking to buy in Prague? We’ll be looking for confirmation on all of this, but our sources have a history of being reliable.

The context of the story is that Aberdeen is selling properties to bolster some of its other Degi funds that it plans to re-open. So if a bunch of investors take the opportunity to cash out immediately (as inevitably some will), there should be some reserves in the kitty to cover it.

Why Prague’s stock exchange is so lame

Interesting article in the FT that pretends to be about how the Viennese owners of the Prague stock are planning, someday, to try to make it less of a loser compared with Warsaw’s booming bourse. The reality is that Warsaw is CEE’s financial center, of course. But the article’s a must-read because of the background info about how Czech politicians and regulators botched their chance to provide a local alternative for raising capital (as opposed to just borrowing from banks). Continue reading

Avestus says Jupiter full

Over 1,000 sqm of recent deals means that Avestus Real Estate has fully leased Jupiter, the first phase of Explora Business Center in Prague 11. Along with GE International, which expanded its space by 615 sqm, and Knauf Installation, which has signed up for an additional 200 sqm, Intermec has taken 208 sqm. This opens the door to construction of the 5,400 sqm Saturn building and the 17,000 sqm Neptun in Phase II. As soon as Avestus secures sufficient pre-leases, that is.

Strike stories

From the looks of it so far, most people were so afraid of the chaos that had been predicted, that the roads are virtually clear this morning. Lots of bikers on the roads, even a couple trams are running. The metro isn’t moving, as promised, and the trains are stopped. But Prague and most of the bigger cities haven’t been engulfed by hordes of people in cars. A demonstration is supposed to start around 8 a.m. with crowds then marching through the streets, so there could still be some complications. So far, though, it’s been very unexpectedly calm.

Get on your bike

People in Prague hoping  to get to work on time  on Monday may want to make sure their bikes are in working order over the weekend. Tram, bus and metro drivers are making angry noises again and warning they could go on strike just after midnight. They usually chicken out at the last minute, of course, but you never know. Decision expected later today (will update).

Update: (12:40) It’s not looking good. They’re talking about shutting down trains as well…

UniCredit takes 26,000 sqm in PasserInvest’s Filadelfie scheme

UniCredit has finally given the go-ahead to make public what’s been common knowledge for some time: it’s moving into the Filadelfie building in Prague 4. The only spec building we know of to have been completed last year in Prague, it was a poorly kept secret that UniCredit would be taking the space. Worth the wait, though — not every day you get a 26,700 sqm lease. The developer, PasserInvest, is obviously pleased with the outcome. DTZ should be too, since it acted for UniCredit during the transaction.

Media watch: On Galerie Stromovka

Last week, the Czech daily Tyden took aim at Galerie Stromovka, a Tesco-anchored shopping center that would offer 12,000 sqm of retail, and 6,800 sqm of offices (Prague 7′s town hall is one of the target tenants for this space…)

Tyden took a shotgun approach to its attack, using an impressive mix of hyperbole along with some decent points as ammunition.

They pretend to be politicians, our representatives. But it seems more like someone’s sent them out to do his business. We see this in big and local politics. One example of this is the approach of Prague 7 to the construction of the huge shopping center in Holesovice. ..

And he’s just getting going…       Continue reading

Facebook vs. Developers

In the era of social media, controlling your PR becomes a much different task. Sometimes transparency can be enforced on developers who would otherwise have preferred to stay quiet for a few more months. All it takes, though, is a couple of people with a lot of friends or followers on Facebook or Twitter and it’s out of their hands.

It will be interesting now to watch how Galerie Stromovka, a proposed project in Prague 7, responds to a recent petition that’s now doing the rounds via Facebook. Careful: Letna’s a pretty popular place amongst the roller blading, frisbee-chucking crowd, and they’re pretty tech savvy as well. Do they need a place to go shopping after an afternoon in the beer garden? Guess we’ll find out soon enough.