Prague to Disengage from Joint Venture for the Reconstruction of Holešovice Station


The city of Prague is planning to withdraw from a joint venture with developers for the “Nové Holešovice” project, which focuses on the construction and development of the metro station and its vicinity. This decision was reached after prolonged and several-hour-long negotiations among Prague councilors on a Thursday night.

The city initiated the project with the owners of the surrounding land, initially with Karlín Group’s Serge Borenstein and later with CPI Group’s Radovan Vítek in 2018. By 2021, a joint venture, a joint-stock company, “Nové Holešovice,” was established. However, complications arose when Michal Redl’s group entered the fray with a request for a bribe from Borenstein and a subsequent criminal complaint from Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě), which sparked the Dozimetr case.

The project structure assumed that the city transport company in Holešovice would sell its land to the joint venture while still having a say in its utilization and receiving a portion of the profit. The Dozimetr case complicated things, extending the deadlines for concluding so-called transaction contracts to the land until the end of February this year. However, no contracts were concluded, with the transport company not receiving instructions from the city council to do so, according to its head, Petr Witowski.

The Deputy Mayor of Prague, Hřib, suggests the transport company back out of the deal and choose an exit option. Hřib has instructed that materials be prepared for such a decision. “Now it’s up to me to present it to the city council in the role of the general meeting of the transport company,” Hřib stated on Thursday.

Opposition parties have criticized the move as a complete U-turn in opinion, with Hřib having supported the project for three years. Entrepreneur Borenstein has signaled that he will sue the city if the transport company leaves Nové Holešovice. “By withdrawing, they will lose a lot of money, and so will we. We will want compensation from whoever caused it – it’s the city that puts the subsidiary company in a position where it can’t fulfill its obligations,” Borenstein told Hospodářské noviny.