Successful companies are based where their employees like it. Modern offices cannot do without comprehensive civic amenities and a pleasant surrounding environment.
We discussed the situation in the Prague office market, future projects, news and social responsibility with Lenka Preslova, Sales Director at Passerinvest Group, a. s.
What is the current situation in terms of renting your office premises in existing buildings in Brumlovka and Nové Roztyly, Prague?
We see that the interest in office premises continues, and companies are trying to motivate their employees to return to the offices. However, it is clear that the covid period has brought fundamental changes to the way of work and many companies use the combination of physical presence in the office and home office. This also entails a change in the layout of the premises, sometimes even in their size. As the owner of most of the buildings in Brumlovka, we are able to accommodate the tenants as much as possible and find a suitable solution for their current needs, including a possible combination with a flexible solution in our own FLEKSI serviced office concept. Today, we already encounter cases where the client compares the alternatives of standard rent and serviced offices. The fact that we manage to deal with renegotiations of existing contracts successfully and that the tenants are satisfied there only proves that the energy and finances we invest in the continuous development of the area make sense. With regard to our other location in Nové Roztyly, in particular the administrative building Roztyly Plaza, which is currently under construction and will be available in the first quarter of 2024, we managed to secure a pre-lease of almost half of the building, which will be occupied by the successful Czech IT company SCS Software. With the construction of the Roztyly Plaza building, we are starting a development of an entire location in the neighbourhood of the Roztyly underground station, where there will be a new urban district in the territory of a former brownfield and is to combine offices, residences and civic amenities.
What do customers want most? What do they prioritize when making decisions?
Apart from financial parameters, which are of course still very important for clients, there are other non-financial aspects that also play an increasingly important role. It is primarily about civic amenities within the building and the immediate vicinity, whether in the form of a shop, services, or an opportunity for sports and relaxation. One of the examples are roof terraces on buildings that are used for informal work or relaxation as well as for tenants’ corporate events. Another aspect that is gaining importance is the lessor himself. In the last two years, there has been a greater need for flexibility on the part of the tenants, both in terms of the size of the premises and the duration of the contract. Tenants often look for a partner who will be ready to deal with their requirements flexibly even in times of unexpected changes and meet them, perhaps even beyond the scope of concluded contracts, and assist them in looking for solutions that will help them keep their business as efficient as possible.
You have recently added shared offices to your portfolio of services. How is this project going and what do you currently offer?
We currently have a branch in Budova B building in Brumlovka, Prague 4, which is 100% occupied by Microsoft. This November, we are opening a second branch in the Beta building, and we already have many clients in negotiations and have even signed contracts with some of them. In the second quarter of next year, we will complement this with a third branch in the Philadelphie building. In total, Brumlovka will offer 10,000 sq m of serviced offices. We are convinced that this concept belongs in a complex like Brumlovka. Thanks to that, we can offer more of flexible alternatives in addition to the standard rent or attract new clients, who may eventually become our direct tenants.
What new projects are you planning, what would you personally recommend to a new client?
Next year, we are planning another construction in Brumlovka in Prague 4, specifically the HILA building. It will be unique thanks to the combination of offices, retail and rental housing all in one building. This project is a challenge for us especially from the point of view of future operation – we will manage not only the commercial part, but also the residential part. We believe that it is a project which combines multiple functions that has its future and follows the principles of the so-called city of short-distances. These are especially important from the point of view of long-term sustainability and reducing the traffic load in cities. As for the Nové Roztyly locality, we are planning a construction of the second Sequoia administrative building, which will be unique in its visibility thanks to its location in the neighbourhood of two important Prague traffic arteries – the arterial road and the South Connecting Road. In the meantime, we are also continuing preparations for the residential part of the project, which will offer a total of 600 residential units.
How do you see the frequently discussed topic of ESG in the real estate world? And how does it specifically affect your corporate projects?
ESG is a topic that resonates increasingly through all disciplines. In the real estate world, they often talk about the environmental component, because the construction of buildings as well as their operation contributes significantly to the volume of emissions produced. However, as a developer and long-term investor of multifunctional premises, we see the equally important role of other parts of the agenda – social area and governance. LEED and/or BREEAM certifications are already the standard in our emerging and upcoming projects, and the entire outdoor area of Brumlovka is currently undergoing an assessment process as part of the Fitwel certification. A sustainable approach to development has been embedded in our company’s DNA for many years, which means that the ESG does not, in many ways, mean a fundamental change to our strategy. However, we perceive the tenants, banks and investors’ current requirements and implement them in our projects. Our main topics in the environmental area are, without a doubt, the reduction of the amount of emissions produced and the maximum efficiency of building operations, careful water and waste management, and the support of biodiversity in the areas where we build our projects. As for the social part of the agenda, we are dedicated to cooperation with local communities and above-standard care for our clients. Last but not least, an ethical approach to business and consideration of the ESG criteria when choosing our suppliers is also important to us.