MPI Group Inc., Prazska Trznice, Prague, Czech Republic.
Prazska Trznice (Prague Market) consists of approximately 40 buildings on an approximately 27 acre site overlooking the Vltava River in the Holesovicich District of Prague. The property was originally built as stockyards in the 1850s but ceased operation as such approximately 10 years ago. After the fall of communism the property was taken over by the City of Prague which recently sold it to a local developer who, in turn, brought in a Canadian development firm as a partner. In 1999 Talbot Consultants International Inc. was retained by the Czech/Canadian consortium as the overall development consultants for the redevelopment of the Prazska Trznice property. Phase 1 of our tasking was to prepare a preliminary land-use and market feasibility study to determine the optimum positioning, merchandising and sizing of the redevelopment. This was clearly a task for our leading-edge Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques but unfortunately no GIS based demographic or mapping data was readily available for Prague. As a result we retained a Czech consumer research firm to conduct intercept & telephone surveys and geocode the results to provide a demographic database. We also contacted various commercial real estate companies and planning firms and, with their assistance, developed our own GIS mapping database. This database provided us with both market potential (i.e. demand) and competitive inventories (i.e. supply) for all the relevant development categories under consideration. Then, utilising our in-house GIS, we were able to generate a series of redevelopment options which in turn were reduced to a short list of three viable options through a series of interactive workshops.
Phase 2 of our mandate was to interview and recommend a short list of international architectural and design firms who had the required vision and sensitivity to translate our study recommendations into a modern mixed-use development that would comply with the strict heritage architectural guidelines imposed by The City of Prague. At the conclusion of this process Development Design Group of Baltimore was selected. Our next task was to co-ordinate a thorough site and trade area tour and briefing for the Design Group and then set up a series of interactive workshops and charrettes, in both Prague and Baltimore, to translate our market driven recommendations into macro and micro design concepts. This process eventually resulted in the combined development team unanimously agreeing upon a +/- 500,000 sq. ft redevelopment programme that includes roughly 200,000 sq. ft of retail & food & beverage, 100,000 sq. ft. of offices, 100,000 sq. ft of entertainment, a 200 room hotel and parking for 3,500 cars.
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