Horizon Holding has big plans in Prague

The subsidiary of the leading Israeli development and construction company Shikun & Binui (Housing & Construction) – Horizon Holding – has been operating in Prague for 22 years. 

Shikun & Binui (Housing & Construction) was founded in 1924. It is traded on the Israeli Stock Exchange and has numerous activities in the field of residential construction, energy infrastructure and transport constructions all over the world, including Africa, and North and South America. “Here, in the Czech Republic, we mainly focus on residential buildings, and over the past 21 years, we have managed to complete around 2,000 apartments. We have similar activities in Warsaw, Bucharest and Belgrade,” says the company’s CEO, Yishay Furman. We asked him more questions.

Can you tell us more about the projects you have completed recently or that are under construction? 

We have two projects in Modřany – last year, we completed the Modřanka project with 355 apartments, and we are currently about halfway through the Zahálka project, which is located in the immediate vicinity to the golf course in Hodkovičky and near the Vltava River, in a beautiful location with very nice architecture. There will be 800 apartments, where 500 have already been completed and handed over, and other 300 are under construction and on sale. In Čimice, we have the Čámovka project with a total of 700 apartments, of which around 300 have been completed, and we want to start building the other 400 from the next year. Three years ago, we completed a project in Horoměřice, Prague-West, with 200 apartments. We finished two projects in Karlín, the first of which was Rezidence Vltava with 105 apartments (completed in 2016) and the second was the boutique project Kay River Lofts on the Rohanské Embankment. It has, so far, probably been our best project in Prague.  

And what about the planned ones?

One of our largest projects is located in Statenice. First phase of Aura Statenice comprises of 79 spacious villas (around 300 sq m) with plots of around 1,000 sq m is now on sale. We are waiting for a building permit for the second stage with approximately 600 apartments, which should be launched sometime in early 2025. Recently, we started sale of our new project in Karlín called Blízká. We currently have hundreds of people interested in reservations, with some already being signed. It is an example of a good location, a good standard and a reasonable price, so there is a satisfactory interest even in these uncertain times. We are planning another project in Bohdalec, where we have requested a change in the zoning plan for the construction of 1,500 apartments, which should be one of the largest housing projects in Prague. If everything goes smoothly, we might be able to apply for planning permission in 2026. Then we have a very large plot of land in Chuchle, where we plan around 1,500 apartments, but we are waiting for a change in the zoning plan. The Urbanika project with 170 apartments is located near Strakonická Street and the development area near Smíchov Station. We hope to be able to start building by the middle of 2024. And the last project with 100 apartments, is in Záběhlice, and I assume that we will start building at the beginning of next year. 

So, how many apartments do you want to put onto the market in the coming years?  

Next year, we will have 1,200 units in preparation in five projects and in the near future, we will have total of 3,870 units in preparation. In the last two years of the crisis, we have been trying to prepare projects in such a way that – as soon as the crisis passes, the banks lower the interest rate and mortgages become more available – we can put them onto the market. So, if everything goes smoothly, we should start the mentioned projects in 2024. 

Sustainability and certification are a very current topic for developers and construction companies. How are you doing?  

All of our planned projects, which I talked about in the previous answer, will undergo BREEAM sustainable construction certification, which is more common for residential construction. The point is not for the projects to be only ‘green’, but also to be connected to the community. So, it is also about their surroundings in order to make living more pleasant not only for our residents and tenants, but for neighbours and other people as well by, soft landscaping, for instance. In Aura Statenice, every villa includes a heat pump. It is a fairly high initial investment, but we believe that it is an investment in the future and that it will pay off for homeowners. I assume that within 10–15 years, all residential projects will be sustainable. It will be like offices, where it became part of the standard; 20 years ago, we considered it unnecessary. And it will go the same for apartments.  

Arnošt Wagner

Photo: Horizon Holding archive 

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