P3, the developer and manager of industrial properties, continue in their successful business expedition in the Czech Republic despite the coronavirus epidemic.
The company has great plans for Ostrava, where they are preparing to develop a modern multifunctional zone of the 21st century in a remediated brownfield in Vítkovice. We discussed the epidemic’s influence on the operation of industrial real estate and company’s future plans with Tomáš Míček, Director of the Czech branch of P3.
We cannot but ask, in current times, about the influence the coronavirus has on your business. Did the epidemic scramble the world of industrial development?
Coronavirus mainly brought changes to practically everyday site of the industrial real estate operation but those are practically standard by now – tightened up hygienic measures, regular disinfections of premises and others. We still haven’t introduced any over standard overall restrictions due to the versatility of our customers, but we rather approach each and all of them individually.
Will this situation show up somehow in the long term?
Production and storage premises have an irreplaceable role within the economic environment and demand for them will continue growing over the long term and steadily despite the current crisis. We always conclude tenancy agreements for several years and do not feel any fundamental drop in interest in leasing. On the contrary, in e-commerce sector, we monitor a slight growth. We haven’t changed our plans regarding the development of new projects much.
Do you assess the year 2020 — at least its first half – as a successful year from P3’s point of view?
Certainly. Only in the first half of the year, we leased 170,000 sq m of premises, completed 77,000 sq m and commenced construction of a further 22,000 sq m, which we consider successful due to the general insecurity that has swayed through our society. We, for instance, welcomed XLMX, PPG Deco, Müller Technik and M. Preymesser logistika amongst our tenants, and also expended our co-operation with our existing tenants such as DHL, DB Schenker, Pet Center and Sazka. The project, which I no doubt consider pivotal, even crucial, this year, is the currently prepared development of the multifunctional park in Ostrava, which is being prepared at a brownfield in Ostrava centre, next to the Vítkovice complex.
Why did you decide to build in Ostrava in particular? What business potential do you see in this location?
From a business point of view, Ostrava is ideal. Following Prague, it is the second largest agglomeration with a sufficient amount of labour force and represents a strategic logistics and industrial junction from the point of view of the Czech Republic as well as within the framework of the Baltic-Adriatic railway corridor, through which some 24 million tons of goods come every year. This decision was also supported by the highly suitable plot available for this project – I believe that tenants will demonstrate enormous interest in the industrial park situated in the centre of the industrial town.
Can you outline details of the project? What tenant structure would you consider ideal for such a park?
Developers do not just come across such an opportunity on a daily basis, so we would like to approach the park as a multifunctional zone of 21st century standards, which would be able to provide something to practically every tenant, whether it is retail, logistics or light production. Within the area of 160,000 sq m there will be 1,500 sq m to 35,000 sq m units. Those tenants specializing in the technical area such as logistics and light production will mainly appreciate its excellent connection to the D1 and D56 motorways and the I/11 A-road, high-capacity utility services within the complex and the potential to utilize the railway siding. Retail tenants will mainly find attractivity in the flexibility of the smaller units which can be utilized for storage facilities as well as a store or showroom. With regards to the location in the town centre and its good accessibility by public transportation, we can say that the retail premises will be highly sought after.
What can the locals expect from a park in this location?
The main contribution to Ostrava lies in the fact that the forty-hectare plot, which hasn’t been utilized in the long term and was left fallow will disappear from the surrounding development. The whole area was remediated and now can be revived again. The state and Vítkovice Group did a lot of work with regards to the remediation and preparation of the land for development and I would like to give them my thanks for that. In order to respect the history of this region and make the park fit the surrounding development, we co-operated on the project with local architect David Kotek, who is responsible for the design of many civic buildings within the region and prepared an ingeniously simple design that impressed us and we hope that Ostrava residents will also like it. We are at the birth of a project which is to state the direction in which the industrial development is to head in decades to come. We really do look forward to that!