There will be no public skating in Prague 11, says the town hall after withdrawing from the ALS project. However, the company continues to rely on the public
photo: Jakub Mračno, PrahaIN.cz/The ice sports area is nearing completion. Due to problems, however, construction stopped at the beginning of July.
The long-running case surrounding the Ice Sports Complex in Jižní Město has reached its finale. The management of the Prague 11 town hall, after repeated unsuccessful attempts, managed to push through the sale of its share in the company AR Delta, despite criticism from the opposition, and thus definitively loses its influence on the future of the sports and leisure project.
The ALS case, i.e. disputes regarding the completion of the Ice Sports Complex on the outskirts of the South City, is over. At yesterday’s council meeting, the management of Prague 11 managed to push through a solution in the form of the sale of a half share in AR Delta to the second shareholder, ALS Investors.
The best possible solution
“At the moment, this is the best possible solution, where the city district will get back the funds it invested in the project and, on the contrary, prevent a situation where it would go into debt,” summed up the reasons for the sale by the mayor of Prague 11, Jiří Dohnal (Piráti), who repeatedly submitted the proposal to sell the shares . “This step will allow the second shareholder to build the complex, but it will no longer be a public sports field under the control of the city district, but a private enterprise,” added the mayor.
According to him, the problems with the project started in September of last year, when representatives of the South City contested a document of the local council, which expressed support for the project. “This support was a condition for the bank (PPF) to pay off the contracted loan. It has been going on with us for a long time, and from this state we are now trying to sharpen our legs so that the smallest possible districts are created,” remarked the mayor, according to whom the opposition, led by the Movement for Prague 11, “undercut” it.
Criticism right from the start
However, it strictly refused responsibility for the current situation through the mouth of its representatives. “Right from the start we said it was poorly supported, that we pointed out that the 50 percent share model smacked of trouble, but you went for it and now time has shown us that the truth was on our side,” she said in response to the mayor’s statement by representative Šárka Zdeňková (HPP11).
The opposition also sees a problem in the progress of the town hall in recent months, when the problems surrounding the ALS project were already “on the table”. “The moment the problems started, the construction should have stopped and the city hall should have started solving the problem instead of doing nothing and going into debt in the meantime,” she noted.
This is what the campus should look like when completed. Visualization: archive of the City of Prague 11
Although in the hour-long debate on the subject of ALS, or rather the sale of AR Delta shares, a number of other criticisms of the municipal district were also heard, the majority of the representatives finally agreed that at this time it was impossible to proceed other than according to the proposed resolution. However, HPP 11 representatives did not vote on the matter due to reservations.
Zero from zero will go
Approved yesterday, the district council orders the provider to sell its fifty-percent stake in AR Delta to the second shareholder, ALS Investors, for the offered 41 million crowns. At the same time, the amount is supposed to reflect a pair of assessments, which set the price of the district’s share in the company at approximately 34 and 37 million crowns. The town hall itself entered the company in the past with an amount of 40 million crowns, which consisted of a five million crown subsidy from the capital and the rest an interest-free loan also from Prague.
We count on the public
However, according to the chief manager of ALS Investors, Karel Kubeška, the end of the ALS project is still the same. “It was never supposed to be a sports field purely managed by the municipality. It was always half the project of a private investor. However, it is still true that the bulk of the traffic is directed towards the public, youth and school facilities in Prague 11. After all, the business plan also mentions that it will be a municipal public sports complex, we also have an agreement with the city district and, for example, with the neighboring Ke Kateřinkám school . Currently, I also have a request for several hours for other schools on the table, which I told privrán.cz in response to PrahaIN’s inquiry.
Already at the council meeting, he explained to the editors the company’s next procedure and all the problems. “At the moment when the council questioned the support of the project, we got into a situation where, although we have a loan agreement, it was not released due to non-fulfillment of the conditions of the support. Unfortunately, the district was not able to continue to function within the project and, frankly, it rather further damaged it,” Kubeška told PrahaIN.cz.
Will try to regain credit
According to him, ALS Investors, as the sole owner of AR Delta, will once again have a pre-approved loan, but it will deal with worse conditions. “For example, interest has increased dramatically and other loan parameters will probably change as well, but of course we will now discuss its release,” he confirmed, adding that one of the parameters had changed from “one whole thing” to about seven percent.
He also noted that the price for which the company, whose background includes, for example, the Kaprain development company, is willing to buy a share of Prague 11 is advantageous for the city. “However, it is about a price above expert opinions, but it is also about the fact that the market value of the share would rather be further reduced by the progress of the city district in recent times,” added Kubeška.
Done by the end of the year?
When asked by PrahaIN.cz, he also stated that he will currently negotiate with the construction company Syner, which stopped construction at the beginning of July due to the aforementioned problems. “Within a week or ten days, work could be resumed. I believe that an agreement will be reached and we would like to complete the complex by the end of this year,” explained the manager. If it succeeds, according to him, the company will also fulfill its promise that children’s clubs will be able to take place here from the second half of the next school year.