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International Property News



Prague's very own Central Park


16th April 2008

Touted by developers as the citys most ambitious residential complex of our time, Central Park Praha is set to welcome residents this spring, when the first of its two phases will be complete.

A total of 180 residences will be finished and ready for tenants by the end of May. The projects second phase, which includes 340 additional terraced townhouses, two-story duplexes as well as studio apartments and eagles nest penthouse suites, is scheduled to wrap up by the end of the year.

With a total investment of 4.5 billion Kc ($281.6 million), Central Park Praha is the countrys largest and most luxurious residential development to date. And with prices of its residences ranging from 4 million to 20 million Kc, the project has attracted the most affluent of Czech property buyers. So far, 60 percent of the complexs 520 total residences, which range in size from 45 square meters (484 square feet) to 300 square meters, have been snatched up.

Developers say Central Park Praha has attracted a wide spectrum of buyers: from Czech entrepreneurs, large families, expats and Prague newcomers hoping to establish a name for themselves in the capital.

Residences are being bought by families with children, managers, foreigners, older people, young couples. Central Park Praha offers a wide variety of housing types, allowing everyone to find their dream home, said Milan Ganik, managing director of Central Park Praha Development, in a statement.

In addition, officials say the project which is located in Prague 3 at the junction of ikov and Vinohrady is unique in that it brings a new hybrid concept to the Czech capital. According to Tom Zykn, the developments brand and marketing director, its a format that combines the features of apartments and family houses with services that will rival five-star hotels. This state-of-the-art development concept has proven to be wildly successful on an international level, particularly in the United States and Scandinavia but breaks fresh ground in the Czech Republic, according to Zykn.

Central Park Praha is trying to re-create the standard of living in Prague for the 21st century, he says. Basically, we think it will be the ideal place for people to have a home thats close to the center of town. It will create a community where people live and spend their leisure time, rather than just a series of individual units.

Residents can also enjoy a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the Central Park Club, which includes a fitness center, sports facilities and a wellness and relaxation center. The onsite businesses will offer cleaning, maintenance and home repair services, technical assistance for computers and Internet as well as a moving company. There will also be a catering company and a DVD rental shop. If that wasnt enough, tenants will have access to onsite childcare, translation and interpretation services, dog walking, food and pharmacy delivery and valet parking. Onsite security will also help to protect against trespassers and burglary.

Central Park Praha will be accessible. It will be cosmopolitan, and it will have the full urban infrastructure public transit, entertainment, schools, restaurants, shopping and, of course, it will have a lot of character, Zykn says. Its going to basically rewrite the whole property area of ikov. The whole area is expected to change dramatically in the next 20 years.

Not only are the onsite services extensive, but the residences themselves will also offer a wide variety of comforts. All units will include central air conditioning and fitted kitchens with state-of-the-art equipment. Each bedroom includes a walk-in closet as well as a personal bathroom. In addition, the wraparound terraces of the tower residences will offer a stunning panorama of the citys multispired skyline.

In keeping with the projects moniker, which evokes New York Citys Central Park, officials placed a strong emphasis on maintaining a good amount of green space within the development. Thus, another highlight for residents will be Central Park Prahas private recreational area, which is adjacent to Parukrka Park in ikov. The park will feature landscaped gardens in addition to biking and walking trails. This will work to create the oasis-style effect of its iconic Manhattan namesake, Zykn says. Surrounded by lush greenery, residents may feel as though theyve been transported into the countryside all within a 10-minute walk from their front doors.

The Central Park Praha development was originally Ganiks brainchild. A former lawyer and venture capital fund manager, Ganik says he was inspired by the livelihood of New York, where he lived for more than a decade.

Once Ganik had confirmed his idea, A69 Architects won out over 26 international firms to design the project. Officials say the firm sought a timeless design quality that would seamlessly tie together the developments residential, retail and leisure facilities. The open-air designs of Los Angeles were especially influential, the developers say.

With the early success of Central Park Praha nearly confirmed, the development team says it is already considering similar residential projects, not only in Prague but also in Brno, Ostrava and Marinsk Lzne.

While it may seem ambitious, Ganik hopes that Central Park Praha will boost the living standards of Prague citizens to a new level on par with that of the Big Apple.

In the center of New York, a city which may appear very anonymous due to its enormous size, [Central Park] is a bit like a village where several hundred people know each other. This is the lifestyle that I want to bring to Prague, he says. Central Park Praha is New Yorks Central Park, just 100 years younger.

Source: Prague Post
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