Retail rents expected to rise

New projects near Wenceslas Square are expected to drive rents up

Rents for shops in Wenceslas Square can reach those of Na Příkopě in the next few years if recent trends to continue.

After the completion of the Quadria shopping mall near Národní třída, rents in the immediate area have doubled, and increased are expected when projects planned for Wenceslas Square are completed.

Na Příkopě and Pařížská streets were ranked again by consultancy Cushman & Wakefield as the most expensive in Prague based on rent per square meter for retail space. They are the 22nd most expensive streets in the world, according to the consultancy. They had been in 23rd place the year before. Fifth Avenue in New York was in first.

Rents for stores in Na Příkopě are over 200 euros per square meter per month. On the Wenceslas Square, rents for prime store locations are at 160 to 180 euros.

Several real estate projects in Prague’s center of Prague may change the retail landscape. New retail projects are expected to drive up rents in “golden cross” area between náměstí Republiky, Wenceslas Square, and Národní třída. The area is frequented by both Czech and tourists.

The largest retail development in Prague’s center is Crestyl Group’s Savarin, which will connect Wenceslas Square with the Na Příkopě, Panská and Jindřišská streets.

Crestyl Group acquired the project in 2015. It involves joining seven properties together and restoring the Baroque-era Savarin Palace and gardens, which will be accessible to the public. It will have shops, offices, cafes, and restaurants. The project was designed by architect Jakub Cigler.

“Savarin will be the catalyst for the transformation of Wenceslas Square, which will be at least as attractive as the Na Příkopě within five to 10 years,” Jan Kotrbáček, head of the international retail department at Cushman & Wakefield, said according to new server E15.

The bottom part of Wenceslas Square will also soon undergo extensive revitalization following a design of architect Jakub Cigler. The plan to create a pedestrian-friendly area had been stalled for years, but finally has received the needed permits to begin.

The revitalization of the top part of the square is not yet scheduled, but the National Museum will reopen in October 2018 after being closed for most of the decade for renovations. This will make that part of the square at least visually more attractive.

The new multi-use Flower House on the corner of Wenceslas Square and Opletalova Street will start construction soon. After delays due to protests, the previous building on the lot has been demolished after it was decided that it did not qualify for landmark status. Developer Flow East said the original 19th-century building had structural problems, and that a poor renovation in the early part of the 20th century had stripped it of any historical significance.

The investment in the new energy efficient glass building is to exceed Kč 2 billion. Developer Flow East says it already has inquiries from both Czech and international companies concerning rental of space.

At Jugmannovo náměstí, the Art Nouveau-style Mottlův dům is being renovated by Generali Real Estate Fund. It is between Národní třída and 28. října, which connects with Wenceslas Square. Retail space on the ground floor and on the first floor rented quickly. Work should be finished by the end of 2018. The renovation work is being done by Metrostav, and should preserve the historical details.

Buildings around náměstí Republiky are also awaiting redevelopment, including a former monastery next to the Hybernia Theater. The monastery was bought in 2015 by Slovak billionaire Milan Filo. Full details have not yet been announced.

Kotva shopping mall is also awaiting redevelopment. Kotva opened in 1975 and was an example of modern architecture based on a hexagonal pattern. It has since been overshadowed by other malls such as Palladium, which opened in 2007. The expansion of new restaurants and businesses around it has made it attractive once again.

As the buildings and spaces on Na Příkopě and Wenceslas Square are all getting filled, attention is turning to Revoluční Street. The Prague 1 district has announced plans to build a modern art gallery shaped like a golden egg at the end of the street next to the waterfront. This will draw attention to Revoluční, which extends from the end of Na Příkopě to Štefánikův most (Štefánik Bridge).

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