A Billion-Dollar Question: The Future of Nové Holešovice in Prague

Jan Handrejch

Prague awaits a crucial decision concerning the future of the Nové Holešovice project, with the potential for significant financial consequences. This project, initiated by the city’s public transport company (DPP) in collaboration with Karlín Group and CPI Property Group, aimed to redevelop the Nádraží Holešovice metro station and its surroundings. However, a pre-litigation notice from the developers threatens the city with damages of up to 1.3 billion CZK if the project is halted.

Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, from the Pirate Party, advocates for exiting the project. Ondřej Prokop, the Prague head of the opposition ANO party, has criticized his stance and warned that the city risks a lawsuit for damages. If Prague decides to terminate its collaboration with developers, according to former deputy mayor Adam Scheinherr, it could cost the city’s public transport company up to 600 million CZK in lost profits.

Yet, some city officials, including Deputy Mayor Jana Komrsková and Senator Hana Kordová Marvanová, support the proposed exit. Their support comes in light of the Dozimetr scandal, in which an accused party allegedly received a portion of the demanded 50-million bribe. The case is connected to CPI Property Group, though the company denies the allegations.

Hřib defends the proposed exit with legal advice, stating that the sale of city lands to the joint venture for at least 173 million CZK, approved by the DPP’s supervisory board earlier this year, was not confirmed by its owner, the city council. He argues that the joint venture agreement suggests there should be no sanctions for not selling the lands, thus ending the project.

However, lawyer Roman Šťastný, whose office collaborates with the Karlín Group, views the situation differently. He argues that a valid contract is in place, and deliberately violating obligations without reason cannot go without responsibility. After several years of preparations, in 2021, the DPP established a joint venture with the Karlín Group. Later on, CPI Property Group also entered the venture after acquiring lands near the metro station.

Stay tuned for updates on this billion-dollar question that could shape the future of Prague’s Nové Holešovice district.