Passerinvest Group, a.s. and ECE Projektmanagement Praha s.r.o. entered their joint project known as Nová Karolina in a development competition organised by the City of Ostrava and announced their signature of an exclusive agreement with Ostrava University, the aim being to utilise the Karolina site and possibly construct a university campus in mutual co-operation.
“The exclusivity of the agreement means that the University will give relevant information to none of the other developers, but to us,” says Zbyněk Passer, Member of the Board, Passerinvest Group, a.s. “This applies especially to any information concerning the capacity, requirements, visions, consultation, co-operation with architects and so on. The exclusivity extends till the end of the competition and will continue further on, if our companies win.”
The competition rules also govern the treatment of the southern part of Karolina. Situated behind the railway siding (the so-called mining railway track), this piece of land in not the subject of the prospective sale based on the development competition. Our aim is to form independent functional entities there, those that are not harmless to the green areas and the bio-corridor. As a result, a brand new urbanised part of the city would be created in the vicinity. Ideally, it is envisaged that a university campus, along with a botany garden and sports facilities would be developed there. The mentioned university campus is located on a “plateau” and bordered by the botany garden. The campus should be self-contained, satisfying the staff and students’ demand for everything, including large lecture halls, a library, buildings of particular faculties, students’ canteen, hall of residence, teachers’ flats and so on. The campus axis is an extended axis of the main boulevard from 28. října Street toward the industrial buildings of the so-called Twin-Hall complex. In view of this, it would be not far for the students to get to the centre, which offers entertainment, shopping and, last but not least, some job opportunities in the business part of the city. Located in the north-western part of the site, the sports centre with various facilities is adjacent to the interchange junction of the bus terminal, railway station, trolleybus loop and tram stop. The green belt that leads across the sloping site from the south-west to the north-east is used for the main road, whose section goes through a tunnel. In addition, it facilitates construction of a walkway and a tram route, along with a link between the campus and the area around the old industrial halls through a forest park and a park (the latter is situated in the lower part of the site).
The proposed treatment has the potential for further growth of the area towards the south. There are links and logical interconnections between particular functional zones which are spread over the areas leading from the existing city centre to the new developments in Karolina. In addition, the site is linked to the listed buildings of Vítkovice, which are hoped to be a public industrial park. As a result of all of these factors, an exceptional set of areas is in prospect, with a very attractive environment of the whole “southern protrusion” of the core of the city.
Josef Tobek, Executive Director of ECE Projektmanagement Praha s.r.o. says: “We have brought two display models of Karolina to Ostrava. One of them, the competition entrant, has no campus and can be seen at the exhibition organised by the City of Ostrava. The other – with the campus – will be shown to the public on a number of occasions.”
Passerinvest Group, a. s., is a Czech developer who has been operating on the Czech market for fifteen years. Established in 1991, the company has gained a wealth of experience in the area of development of residential, commercial and office buildings and complexes. With their multi-purpose BB Centrum at Prague 4 – Michle, Passerinvest Group ranked among the leading Czech developers, acquiring a good international reputation too.
BB Centrum is one of the largest and most successful development projects in the Czech Republic. Under development since 1997, the multi-purpose complex has all the makings of a city district, with a wide range of purposes: office, housing, retail, restaurants and services, as well as sports and relaxation. In addition, the project includes parks, a church/community centre, tennis courts and modern sports facilities offering an extensive range of services. Ample parking facilities and easy traffic access are guaranteed too. The high quality project has appealed to renowned companies (Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Eurotel, Microsoft, General Electric, Strom telecom and so on) which have chosen the site for their headquarters. On completion of the whole project, whose eight phases out of the fifteen have been crowned with success, BB Centrum will provide over a 300,000-sqm usable area and approximately 6,000 parking spaces (with most of them in the underground car park). The total costs associated with the BB Centrum project are estimated at over CZK 15 billion.
ECE Projektmanagement (ECE) is the European market leader in the sector of inner-city shopping centres. Having more than forty year’s experience in the field, they have been conducting their operations in the Czech Republic since 1995. The company is currently involved in management of over 80 shopping centres in Germany, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Greece, the Czech Republic and Qatar, whose total square area is some 2,400,000 sq m, another 13 centres are under development/construction, and their completed projects are valued at about CZK 270 billion.
As the ECE shopping facilities are usually integrated into city centres, the company closely co-operates with city authorities and prepares individual plans tailored to particular qualities of every site. The ECE centres are not only many different shops under one roof – on the contrary, they are bustling, impressive and architecturally significant shopping arcades which attract inhabitants like magnets, breathing some life into the city centres. On no account can they be mistaken for ordinary supermarkets and hypermarkets that can be frequently seen in suburban districts.
In March 2005, ECE launched their recent project, Galerie Vaňkovka in Brno. The scheme was developed on a former factory site (known as Vaňkova), which, thanks to its brick façades, had been seen as a symbol of the industrial growth in 19th century Brno. The Galerie Vaňkovka is very easily accessible as it is located between the general railway station and the central bus terminal, lying within a few minutes’ walking distance of the pedestrian precinct in the centre of the city and in proximity to the ring road. The Galerie offers about 1,000 parking places and has been popular with inhabitants of Brno and visitors alike since its inauguration. Its unique architecture and mix of services was appreciated by the panel of experts who chose the Galerie Vaňkova for the winner of the Shopping Centres category of the Best of Realty 2005.