No blasting or explosions, but the gradual and careful “chopping down” of the structure using a special technique. That's how the demolition of the chimney on the premises of the former Škoda Ostrov factory in the Karlovy Vary region, which started the construction of the new Panattoni Park Ostrov North, looked. The careful demolition seemed to symbolise the approach taken by the industrial zone builder, Panattoni Europe, which specialises in revitalising brownfields and returning industry to traditional sites.
The investments in demolition and redevelopment work amount to around CZK 65 million and must be made without any subsidies. Panattoni Park Ostrov North offers investors 120,000 m2 of rentable industrial space and up to 1,000 new jobs in Karlovy Vary and the surrounding area.
“Within our parent company in America, there is a department specialising in brownfields and their transformation into modern industrial premises. We decided to use its long-term know-how in the Czech Republic and it turns out that this is the right way. Clients appreciate that we have revived areas for them that seemed to be unusable, and we remove environmental burdens from communities and create opportunities for further development. After Týniště nad Orlicí and Cheb, we embarked upon the industrial restart of Ostrov and we believe that it will benefit not only the local economy but also the whole region, which despite its huge potential is a structurally affected region,” says Pavel Sovička, Managing Director of Panattoni Europe for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Part of the demolition of the factory chimney, which was attended by representatives of the region, the city, the Kajima Properties (Europe) Limited investment company and other guests, included remembering the famous past of the Škoda Ostrov trolleybus factory. Škoda Transportation in Plzeň lent a Škoda 9 Tr No. 323, which was produced in Ostrov in 1979, and the Plzeň ŠKODA-BUS Club contributed by lending a Škoda 21Ab trolleybus, which dates from 2001.
“Only memories and the typical brownfield remain from the famous Škoda Ostrov trolleybus factory. I am delighted that Panattoni Europe has decided to make such a significant investment here and has chosen a sensitive approach, taking into consideration local specifics and the historical development of the area. Last but not least, I appreciate the accompanying investments such as building public lighting, pavements and a cycle path,” says Josef Želený, the mayor of Ostrov.
Panattoni Europe’s investment follows on from the extensive redevelopment work carried out in this area by the state. It will now continue with the demolition of dilapidated buildings and the ecological disposal of hazardous substances. While the concrete and brick debris will be crushed and used as a base material for planned construction, the contaminated waste will be stored in a special landfill.
The industrial zone lies at the exit from highway 13/E442 which connects Karlovy Vary, Chomutov, Most and Teplice and provides a convenient connection to the D6 motorway and above all to the German motorway network. The site has a huge potential to become an industrial base for the German automobile or e-commerce industry, while also contributing significantly to the development of the entire region and Ostrov, its second largest town.