There is growing interest in mixed-use projects in the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, construction of such spaces still lags behind in comparison to neighbouring countries.
Colliers states that the main reason for this is very long building permitting processes. In Poland, for example, it takes only a few months to get a building permit, whereas in Czech Republic it usually takes years.
Mixed-use projects are still rare in our country. These are absolutely unique, progressive projects that can combine, for example, offices, shops, housing or space for various forms of social activities. Although we are currently seeing larger developments on the market, functions often remain separate or the projects are too fragmented. They do not form one attractive whole that connects entertainment, living space and work areas for users. There are opportunities in terms of suitable locations in Prague. A strong investor with a clear vision, considerable experience and adequate capital must acquire land or a brownfield site for this purpose from the outset. Josef Stanko, senior analyst at Colliers
Typical mixed-use complexes usually range between 30,000 and 90,000 sqm in size and are located mostly in inner or more heavily urbanised parts of cities. The most popular combination within mixed-use developments is to combine offices, residential, retail and services with cultural facilities such as a cinema. Within services, gastronomy plays a significant role; contributing to a lively and pleasant atmosphere. A full 90 pct of spaces in this category are usually made up of unique concepts or small local chains that enrich the shopping and experiential potential. This attracts customers and boosts visitor numbers.
Due to their wide scope of functionality, mixed-use complexes are an ideal part of the so-called 15-minute city concept. The main idea behind this trend, which is gaining ground in cities across Europe, is to offer residents work and all necessary services such as healthcare, education, shopping, dining and entertainment within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from where they live. The result is that residential areas are not separated from areas for commerce, public services, retail and entertainment. The reduced need for cars then improves not only neighbourhoods’ look and feel, but also quality of life for residents. Unfortunately, in the Czech Republic, the creation of these complexes is hampered by the very slow approval processes for these buildings. It can drag on for several years. Of the minimum number of projects that could be included in this class, Slovanský dům in the heart of the capital is probably the best-known. Two other projects, Prague’s Savarin and Brno’s Dornych, are in the planning or construction phase.
This is only a fraction of what we see elsewhere in Europe. In neighbouring Poland, there are currently more than 60 mixed-use complexes in various stages of development. For office tenants it is attractive to offer their employees all the amenities they need close to the workplace, while for shops and gastronomy services it is an advantage to concentrate potential customers in one place. When culture and housing are added to the mix, it is an ideal combination for users. Josef Stanko