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International Property News



Prague's city within a city


15th October 2008

Albertov Rental Apartments raises the bar on living standards

In the past several years, Prague property hunters have become an exceptionally jaded bunch. From state-of-the-art flats to restored villas and luxury townhouses, theres little this citys residents havent seen in the way of exceptional residences.

But CTR Albertov is set to raise the bar for a previously ignored group of residents: those seeking a sophisticated new home but are not yet ready to take on a personal mortgage. The new Albertov Rental Apartments will offer cosmopolitan standards of living on par with those in London and Paris, available for either short or long-term stays.

Developers are touting the new 500 million Kc ($27.7 million) development with additional features including a wellness and fitness center, a supermarket and shopping arcade, a bank, a gourmet Continental restaurant and 24-hour security services as a city within a city. The project is akin to the new Central Park Praha development in ikov but geared toward residents who might not be ready to put down permanent roots. The Albertov apartments are comprised of single-room studios to larger, multiroom residences, all to reflect the varying demand of their core demographic those who are often on the go or are moving to Prague from abroad for the first time.

Were trying to introduce a new concept of living that will offer an individual approach to our clients, says Tom Kapar, director of CTR Albertov, noting, for example, that American and Asian standards for apartments vary greatly. A lot of our clients will be foreign students and businessmen from abroad, and these are groups that are often difficult to satisfy because of their varying demands. But well be striving to do so.

With prices of property rising throughout Prague and beyond, developers say the Albertov Rental Apartments offer a good alternative. Monthly prices for the developments 269 residences range from 12,000 Kc for furnished studios up to 50,000 Kc for the larger, unfurnished apartments, averaging 400 Kc per square meter. Each apartment also includes a terrace, which offers sweeping views of Vyehrad and, in the case of the topmost penthouse suites, Hradcany and Prague Castle.

While the concept may be familiar to West Europeans, officials say the project is a pioneer development in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of its standards. And it certainly seems that developers are off to a good start, with nearly half of the apartments already leased. Those remaining are expected to be completed and available for rental by the end of the year.

In the West, weve seen similar projects like this, so we know they can be successful, Kapar says. As far as we know, were not aware of another local project thats similar to what were doing here. So we think of ourselves as the pioneers. Well see if we were thinking the right thing.

Developers say they spared no expense in ensuring a personalized approach for their tenants. Special care was taken to ensure low energy costs, including the installation of modern heating systems designed to keep utilities at a reasonable level. The furnished apartments were decorated by the Albertov Rental firms personal interior design team. Tenants who opt for an unfurnished apartment will be given the opportunity to consult with the design team to furnish their residences according to their own tastes, Kapar says.

We carefully analyze each project in terms of future goals, and keeping energy costs at a reasonable level was definitely on our development agenda, he says. And we were careful in choosing the right location, too. We didnt want to get too far outside of Prague, as we know most of our clients like to be close to the center.

Developers hope to have the apartments filled to 80 percent capacity within the coming year. With state-regulated rent soon to be eliminated, the costs of Prague-based apartments will soon be on the rise, which developers say should increase the number of residents on the search for new homes.

Featuring an extensive wine list and grill, the onsite restaurant also promises to be something special, catering mostly to Albertov residents but will likely attract other visitors as well. Set to open in early fall, the new eaterys menu will include French, Japanese and Italian cuisine prepared by head chef Mikul Gottwald, a self-proclaimed gastronomic expert whose culinary background includes stints at four-star establishments in London and Linz, Austria.

Our aim is to be at the top, not only in Prague but also in Europe, Gottwald says We want to have only the best quality international cuisine with the freshest local ingredients.

Kapar doesnt want to get ahead of himself but says that the pilot projects success could inspire future developments throughout Prague as well as the rest of Bohemia. But, so far, he isnt concerned.

Weve had to constantly remind people that these flats arent for sale, he says. Its going to be a brand new concept of living.

Source: Prague Post
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