Reconstruction of housing blocks has a perspective

Milorad Miško Miškovič has been operating in Prague’s real estate market for more than 20 years and for the last seven years has been working at Karlin Port Real Estate (hereafter referred to as Karlin Port), which he founded.

10. 09. 2018
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We were talking with Milorad Miškovič about his current work.

What projects do you currently attend to at Karlin Port?

We are working on the project Mánesova 78 in Vinohrady, which is the reconstruction of an extensive historical corner housing block which we purchased this May. It is an excellent residential location situated on the corner of Mánesova and U Kanálky Streets. The building is atypical for its size having an area of 3,200 sq m. Following reconstruction, which will be completed by the end of 2019, there will be 32 residential units of a high standard and two non-residential. As for quality, the construction will meet the maximum of that which people expect from a reconstructed historical building in Prague’s centre. The size of the apartments will range from 35 to 150 sq m. We are starting sales in September 2018.

Will you offer parking places with the apartments?

As we bought the Mánesova 78 project with a building per-mit and with regards to the lengthy processes associated with building proceedings in Prague, creation of parking places is technicaly impossible, therefore we decided not to lose any time with changes and an application for a new building permit. That would involve a six-month or perhaps even a one year delay. And who knows what Prague’s market with apartments will be like two and a half years on. Not even experienced developers such as ourselves can answer that.

Is this project somehow really interesting?

For myself, I see the Mánesova 78 project as a ground-breaker as it is, after 23 years of my working in the real estate market in Prague, for the very first time that we decided to reconstruct a housing block. It is basically a result of what is happening with the Metropolitan Plan. All other projects that we take part in or own – whether they are industrial buildings or land – have basically been put to rest as the time that is necessary for dealing with all necessary permits is much longer that it was before 2008 and 2014. We would certainly prefer constructing new buildings whereby we could utilize new materials, processes and architectural solutions. When it comes to reconstruction, we are restricted from the point of view of volume as well as from the architecture and mainly by the herritage department requirements. Nevertheless, we are happy to have work before dealing with permits for larger projects for brownfields and greenfields. I think that the reconstruction of old housing blocks is becoming an interesting segment for medium and larger size development companies even though they offer relatively small volumes.

Does it mean you consider the reconstruction of housing blocks to be perspective?

Certainly. We have even found a co-investor for that pur-pose and founded the company The Prague Collection. The aim is to reconstruct the building and sell the residential units and at certain selected locations to lease them. It is a new segment of the market we are entering as an experienced developer. We are currently in negotiations relat-ing to the further acquisitions of two or three housing blocks in Prague 2. I would be pleased to be able to say at the end of the year that we had purchased at least one or two more.

What other projects are you working on?

We have managed to arrange funding for the first residential stage of The Oaks Prague project, which is a project by Russian investors and is situated outside the capital, in the location of Nebřenice. We are not participating in this project as a partner but as a consultant. It is the only project whereby we are currently operating in such a role. Our task is to secure funding for a relatively high volume of over EUR 80 million, which we, experienced developers, are able to do due to our experience from the development of Karlín. We proved that we can sell a project to the banks by a different developer who doesn’t have such experience and standing within our market. I should also say that it is a unique project which has no parallel in continental Europe – something similar may only be found in the USA and Russia. The first residential stage will be commenced this October so I suggest there will be further discussions relating to this project then.

What is this first stage to involve?

It will involve 71 family houses and apartments, which will be divided into two phases. The aim of the Russian investor and Czech-British management is to complete the project in seven years, which will depend on how the relatively conservative Prague market accepts such a specific and not exactly cheap project.

It is well-known that you also co-operate with YIT…

Yes, we do. In January 2017, we purchased the Cibulka project together. It is now called Aalto Cibulka and construction was commenced last September. The first stage comprises 252 apartments and the second will have ap-proximately 152 loft apartments.

You have so far mentioned three projects. Are there any others?

As an individual, I am participating in two large develop-ments – Rohanské Embankment and Smíchov Station (Rohan City a Smíchov City). The Sekyra Group team is cur-rently arranging all necessary permits. We presume that construction of Smíchov City, that is the location of Smíchov Station, will commence at the turn of the year. It will be a big step and also an important stage within the development of the central area of the capital. As for the project of Rohan City, I hope that the permit process might become finalized and construction of the first residential as well as commercial buildings commenced at the begin-ning of 2020. Both projects are, due to their extent, exceptionally significant for the city of Prague and are being monitored from all sides. Apart from the stated projects, we are also working on the acquisition of housing blocks, as I have mentioned, as well as on the acquisition of three large projects in Prague 6, 7 and 8. Moreover, with my partner in Karlin Port, Mr. Goldshtein, we co-operate very closely with the Chinese conglomerate CITIC, formerly known as CEFC, and are currently negotiating entering yet another large development area. It It will not be at the end a real estate fund, but ad hoc investments in other segments, for instance energy projects and production facilities.

– Development News