Prague 8 wants to sell the torso of the new town hall in Palmovka. Completion would cost too much, he says
Eight and a half years after the approval of the project, it seems that Prague 8 has definitely said goodbye to the idea of a new town hall building in Palmovka. The city district is asking the municipality for permission to sell the buildings. “There are not many other solutions at the moment. If this were to happen, the town hall would be financially exhausted and the construction would cost three times the originally planned budget,” agrees Jan Chabr, the councilor’s councilor for property.
It was supposed to be a town hall connected to a shopping center. A project worth a billion crowns. However, the site of the construction, which was approved by the representatives of Prague 8 about nine years ago, has only been a torso of the building under construction in Palmovka for years. The construction stopped five years ago due to disputes between the town hall and the construction company Metrostav.
Now the management of Prague 8 is proposing that the land not be completed and sold by the building. Aktuálně.cz was confirmed by the new mayor Ondřej Gros (ODS). “It is not yet clear how many crowns it should be sold for and to whom. We are just beginning to negotiate this proposal with the capital,” said Gros, who met with city officials on Tuesday.
Prague 8 needs the consent of the municipality for the sale, as it recently received a subsidy of 300 million crowns from the metropolitan management to create a new seat for Prague rescuers from the torso in Palmovka. However, the municipal councilor for Jan Chabr’s property (United Forces for Prague / TOP 09) admits that the city will look for a seat for the rescue service elsewhere, because Palmovka will not be completed quickly enough.
Although the municipality’s management will still discuss the proposal for Prague 8, Chabr supports the sale of land and the building. “There are not many other solutions at the moment. If this were to happen, the town hall would be financially exhausted and the construction would cost three times the originally planned budget,” Chabr told Aktuálně.cz.
Let’s not prolong it anymore
When Prague 8 approved the project of a new town hall with a shopping center in September 2010, investments of 1.1 billion crowns were expected. Metrostav started working on the construction, but after the municipal elections in 2014, the new management of the city district stopped the whole thing and stopped paying for construction work.
According to the then coalition, it was built on the land of the capital and Prague 8, on which it was not to build. The case culminated in a dispute between a construction company and the city district, when all construction stopped. Last November, the company withdrew from the contract.
“The specific reason for the premature termination of the construction contract is the failure to prepare all expert opinions for the so-called preparatory work, which was to be prepared by October 31, 2018. Therefore, we decided to terminate the contract on November 1,” said company spokesman Vojtech Kostiha.
The city district does not agree with the termination of the contract and believes that it is still valid at least until the end of November this year. Nevertheless, he does not expect the building to be completed this year, so he proposes to sell everything.
“Given these facts and the necessity, the city district seems to be the solution to the sale of land and buildings,” in a letter from last week, which Prague 8 addressed to the management of the metropolis and the editorial office Aktuálně.cz is available.
“Failure to address the situation means damage to the capital’s property, where further prolongation may mean lower revenue from the future sale of real estate and an increase in direct costs on the part of the city district,” the letter said.
The end is decided by the party that launched the project
“No decision will be good at the moment,” says opposition councilor Vladislava Vojtíšková (8 lives), adding that the whole story of the Palmovka Center was problematic. The approval of the billion-dollar project fell shortly before the municipal elections and passed by a majority of one vote.
At that time, she led the ODS district, which is still at its head. After the elections in 2010, she ruled with TOP 09 and decided to build the project. “If they had stopped then, we would not have been in such a situation today,” says Vojtíšková.
According to her, however, it was also a mistake to stop construction after 2014 with a new coalition of the CSSD, ANO, and the Green-backed Communists. Several years of cessation of construction work and insufficient conservation of the building led to the building falling into disrepair.
“That’s why even a possible sale will be complicated even now. Who would want something like that? And besides, it can’t be assumed that someone will pay as much for the land with the building as it has cost so far,” adds Vojtíšková. So far, almost 800 million crowns have been invested in the construction at Palmovka, while the authorities of the Prague 8 district remain fragmented in several buildings.
The opposition will live and the pirates, with regard to the possible sale, will want more information from the leadership about how much the completion of the building on Palmovka would cost and in what condition it is now. They want to discuss the topic at a meeting of district representatives next week.