Panattoni Park Stříbro on the Czech D5 highway connecting western Bohemia and Bavaria has been named Best Industrial Zone of the year of the Czech Republic. Last year alone, the park attracted two major investments namely, Ideal Automotive and Steelcase, creating nearly a thousand new jobs. To accommodate new investors, the park has lately been enlarged by Panattoni Europe Czech Republic in cooperation with Accolade, a new Czech industrial development group. In total, the zone currently hosts six companies employing over 2,000 people. The award is held annually by the CzechInvest Investment and Business Development Agency of the Czech Republic and the Association for Foreign Investments - AFI.
"Panattoni Park Stříbro has almost doubled in size over last year and it is one of our most successful industrial parks not only in the Czech Republic," says Klára Fritsch, Commercial Director at Panattoni Europe Czech Republic. "Our main advantage is that we can guarantee investors a really fast start of production within six to eight months after signing an agreement with us, and this speed is often the reason why manufacturing or logistics companies choose us," emphasises Fritsch, and adds that this is the second time the Park has won the award: The first award received from the Czech Invest for Panattoni Park Stříbro took place in the year 2008.
According to Milan Kratina, the Accolade Group's Board Chairman, investors choose the park primarily because of its excellent location on the D5 motorway and its close vicinity to Germany, which is in many cases their main target market. "The whole area of western Bohemia is again becoming very popular among new investors, and I can confirm that the demand for our locations along the border with Germany is indeed increasing," says Kratina. "I am convinced that the success of the Panattoni Park Stříbro in attracting new investors will soon be followed by locations such as Aš and Cheb on the north-western Czech border with Germany."
What impressed the jury the most was that the zone attracted two major investment projects over the last few months. Ideal Automotive enlarged its production area in the zone by 16,000 square metres, creating 400 new jobs in the manufacture of textile parts for car trunks. Steelcase, the world's largest office furniture manufacturer, has announced that it will invest 24 million euros in the zone and Panattoni and Accolade will provide the company with 27,000 square metres of floor space, the size of four football pitches, which is more than five times the average for a single contract in the Czech property market. In addition, the development will create more than 300 new jobs.
Helping with unemployment
One of the founding fathers of the zone is Miroslav Nenutil, former Mayor of Stříbro and currently Senator for the Tachov and Cheb districts. "I consider the award partly an appreciation of my work for the zone. However, the most important point is the number of jobs the zone offers to people living nearby. The development of the industrial park is not over yet, and I believe that the award will help to attract more investors and more jobs, "adds Nenutil.
The Plzeň (Pilsen) region, where the park is located, is actively involved in resolving the issue of long-term unemployment within the Tachov district, and its officials welcome new job opportunities the zone creates. "The successful development of the industrial park brings much-needed new jobs, so the park enjoys our full support," stresses Václav Šlajs, governor of the Plzeň Region.
"Unemployment is generally a problem in many border regions and the government aims to support these regions. It need not be just direct cash subsidies for new job creation; it is also important to create a conducive environment for businesses, to invest in infrastructure, to support education. The decisions to invest in the Czech Republic made by several large investors in recent months show that we are heading the right way," says Václav Votava, Chairman of the House Budget Committee and Member of the Parliament elected for the Plzeň region.
Panattoni Park Stříbro is situated within the administrative area of the town of Kostelec. Its Mayor František Trhlík highly values/appreciates the collaboration with investors, stressing that the ten years of joint efforts has brought a great success, including jobs for the people and a sustainable development for the future of the wider region. "Companies operating in the zone contributed to the refurbishment of our municipal cultural centre. A few days ago a new roundabout was opened to replace an old intersection, which was far from meeting the current safety standards; its construction was paid for by Panattoni. I am convinced that the new companies in the zone will guarantee future development of Kostelec and the area around the town," says Trhlík.
"We have been witnessing an increased interest in investing in the Czech Republic in recent months. Investors need well-prepared business properties where to locate their production in the Czech Republic. Panattoni Park Stříbro deserves the award not only for its excellent location and the associated transport infrastructure, but also for the professional approach of its management and their ability to quickly deliver what investors are looking for," says Ondřej Votruba, acting as CEO for CzechInvest.
Panattoni Park Stříbro won the award in competition with tens of other business properties CzechInvest collaborates with. The decision on the award was made by an expert committee consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Finance and CzechInvest and experts from leading private companies operating in the commercial real estate market in the Czech Republic, represented by AFI.
Panattoni Park Stříbro
Panattoni Park Stříbro is situated on the most sought-after road in Central and Eastern Europe, the D5 motorway, which connects Bavaria and Prague. The German border is only 20 minutes away; Plzeň, the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, is about a 15 minutes ride. Among the major tenants in the park are Lear, Assa Abloy, Leoni, Ideal Automotive, Gea or Steelcase. For further information: www.panattoni.cz/panattoni-d5-logistics-park,42/
Panattoni Europe is part of the Panattoni Development Company, one of the largest industrial developers in the world comprising of 26 offices in North America and Europe. Panattoni has been present in Central Europe since 2005. In the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia the company offers more than two million square metres of modern industrial space. Panattoni specialises in build-to-suit (BTS) investments - developed at the request of individual clients. Its key clients include companies such as Tesco, H & M, ND Logistics, Still, Schenker, Hartmann, Time Out and more. For further information: www.panattoni.cz
The Accolade Group began operations about six months ago. In cooperation with Panattoni Europe, the group has managed to prepare 15 industrial parks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and others are under way. In six of them - Aš, Cheb, Stříbro, Mladá Boleslav, Rychnov and Krásno nad Kysucou - the company offers its own land. More at www.accolade.cz