Monthly Archives: February 2012

Brno’s train station saga goes on

Moving Brno’s train station — it’s the story that never dies. More ink has been spilled on this transport hub than any station in the country’s history. At its heart, though, it’s probably a development story driven by a power struggle between a whole cast of competing interests: city politicians and bureaucrats, state politicians and bureaucrats, Czech Railways, and well-place land owners. The list must go on and on. If the station was actually moved 400 meters the way some city planners want, some land owners would suddenly be sitting on a fortune, while presumably, other fortunes would be lost.

In the latest instalment, HN writes that Czech Railways will be selling four hectares of land around the main train station to a company called Brno New Station Development (BNSD). Local agencies put the value of the land at around CZK 400m, but it’s unclear if that’s how much will be paid in the end (like, totally unlikely).

It’s one of those standard stories. No one really knows who owns BNSD, the company doesn’t file annual reports, and according to HN, a member of its top management is the deputy chairman of Brno’s ODS chapter. To help matters, BNSD has a 40 year lease on the land that the railways now wants to sell. Oh, and it also has the right of first refusal in the case of a sale of the land. That of course probably means there will be little to no competition if the land actually goes to sale, which must be pretty convenient for someone.

Transport Ministry officials claimed a few years ago this purchase option would not be part of the rental contract, but now, mysteriously it is. Czech Railways isn’t interested in showing the contract and there doesn’t seem to be anyone with the necessary muscle or willpower to make them.

The signs of a mature democracy really are everywhere, aren’t they?


Rude awakening for Czech nuclear dreams

Czech dreams of becoming a nuclear powerhouse appear to have been put to rest, following a sobering decision of the current Minister of Industry, Martin Kuba. The construction industry may have been clinging to the hope that the 18 new reactors the previous minister  envisioned would get built, but Kuba has thrown cold water on the idea. “Producing 80 percent of our electricity in the Czech Republic isn’t economically realistic,” he said. “There isn’t even anywhere to build new plants. What’s realistic is building two more blocks at Temelin and extending operations at Dukovany until 2035.”

Galeria Neptun’s construction permit in place

Galeria Neptun, located in Stargard Gdanski, has secured the building permit it needs to move forward, meaning construction should begin in April. Completion of the 25,000 sqm GLA project is expected by spring of 2014. Cushman & Wakefield will be the exclusive leasing agency for the project. It’s also been retained to prepare needed zoning planning changes and the completion of a comprehensive building permit design.

UniCredit to finance AFI Business Park Cotroceni

AFI Europe has picked up €13.4m in financing from UniCredit Bank Austria, which it needed to get construction going on AFI Business Park Cotroceni in Bucharest. AFI Business 1 is the first of five class A office buildings the developer hopes to build that would add 70,000 sqm to Bucharest’s office stock. “We are impressed with the bank´s responsiveness and their ability to deliver the financing under the current tough market conditions,” said AFI’s CEO David Hay.

Hegedus named CBRE MD in Slovakia

Joerg Kreindl

CBRE has named Tomas Hegedus the new managing director of its Slovak office, after Joerg Kreindl was made  Head of Office Agency and Tenant Representation for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Tomas has served as the general director of PHVH Solutions since 2004. Joerg Kreindl will now be based in Warsaw, having served in the Bratislava office for six years.