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…      

Now, in the middle of Holesovice an 11-storey shopping center will be growing, changing the character of this area which is still lively and relaxed. The monstrous hypermarket, with its code name Galerie Stromovka will almost certain liquidate a lot of small shops and restaurants in the vicinity.

We admit to knowing of no 11-storey hypermarkets. In this case, from what we know, there are to be three levels of retail, (including  a Tesco store) plus another four with offices. But perhaps we’re just quibbling here.

The new center will bring more cars to the streets of Holesovice, even though politicians promised that the construction of the Banka tunnel would reduce traffic.

This, on the other hand, seems more than a fair point. You can kind of imagine politicians telling residents during the campaign that the massive tunnel (with the cute name of Blanka) will finally unclog their streets, while assuring the developers of new shopping centers what great car access the tunnel will offer to the whole city.

Critics point out that this valuable space, that could be a park or apartments, will be swallowed up by another cement monster that will probably meet the same fate as other over-sized shrines to consumerism in Prague (like Arkady in Pankrac) that are virtually empty.

Hint: when using the tired, Leninist “shrine to consmerism” cliche, back it up with examples of shopping malls that are actually doing badly. They’re not so hard to find.

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