The total costs for new offices, apartment buildings, a hotel, an elementary school, as well as the modernization of the railway station and the construction of a transport terminal, including a large-capacity parking garage, will be estimated at 50 billion crowns.

The greater part of the amount, roughly 35 billion crowns, will go to private investors. In particular, it concerns the developer Sekyra Group, which controls the twenty-hectare area. "Smíchov City is the largest urbanization in central Prague since Vinohrady was founded at the end of the 19th century," says Luděk Sekyra, chairman of the board of Sekyra Group.

The developer has already completed the first office building and apartment buildings near today's Na Knížecí bus station. The construction machines then moved to the opposite end of the territory to the Smíchov railway terminal. Out of a total of four stages, this is the second and at the same time the largest – the investor calls it Smíchov City South.

Its dominant feature will be the new head office of Česká spořitelna, the construction of which is sponsored by the company Strabag. At the same time, three more office buildings of approximately 45,000 square meters and a hotel are being built next to it. So far, Sekyra Group is building them so-called speculatively, but it is betting that the ČEZ energy group will settle in them. The second stage of the Smíchov City project is to be completed in 2027 or 2028.

The area will be passable

The headquarters of Česká spořitelna will consist of four buildings, and a public passage will lead between them, which will connect to the main boulevard of the new district. "We want to be a good neighbor and open the campus as much as possible to the residents of Smíchov as a friendly meeting place that offers a cultural program 365 days a year," commented Tomáš Salomon, CEO of Česká spořitelna. The program will include exhibitions, concerts, film and theater performances and other events.

Not only the canteen of the bank, but also the multifunctional auditorium for 380 people will be accessible to the public. Two of the office buildings will be connected by the so-called Spanish Steps - an outdoor tribune that will also be open to the general public. The bank will also build a multimedia Financial Education Center for children and seniors at its new headquarters.

Česká spořitelna is interested in its campus not being an administrative dead zone. After all, even the developer Sekyra carefully devised the concept so that the new district was still alive. Its representatives went abroad for inspiration. The main thing is to get as many people as possible to the new, nearly kilometer long pedestrian boulevard named after Smích native Madeleine Albright.

From the point of view of the movement of people in Prague today, Nový Smíchov is one of the busiest districts. This is due to the intersection of tram lines, a busy subway station, a shopping center, several large office buildings, but also the nearby town hall.

"We think that Smíchov City has exactly the same potential," says Leoš Anderle, executive director of Sekyra Group. According to forecasts, 90,000 to 100,000 people will move through the new district every day. "The intention is for the kilometer-long pedestrian zone that crosses the entire project to create a corso culture, a pedestrian boulevard culture as a communication axis, but also a community meeting place and civic activities," states Luděk Sekyra.

Market, school and hotel

To motivate people to move between the new houses, there are various shops and services on the ground floors of the new class houses. The goal is for them to get off the train or park in a parking garage for a thousand cars and then walk all the way to Anděl, or at least have a reason to spend some time in the area.

The reason for the stop may be a covered market, a popular concept in Western or Southern European cities. In addition to farm products and various delicacies, Smíchov Market will also offer seating at the central bar with a wide selection of beers on tap. It is to be open 10 months a year and will also attract a cultural program.

Sekyra Group plans to rent part of the retail spaces on the ground floors of the houses, not to sell them to interested parties. "For the time being, we will retain ownership of the important business units so that we can influence their operations and provide people with the service they need," says Anderle.

The fifth district wants to build a primary school for 600 children in the new district in cooperation with the capital city of Prague. It will grow in the middle of the territory of Smíchov City at the crossing of the pedestrian zone and parks.

In addition to the already mentioned administrative buildings, a hotel is also under construction. Sekyra Group has not yet selected an operator for it. According to Anderle, the investor would like to acquire a lifestyle brand between three and four stars. "The hotel will primarily be about accommodation, we want the hotel guests to go to the market and its surroundings," said Anderle, adding that the hotel therefore does not expect a large restaurant.

Other apartments

In addition to the construction of office buildings and a hotel in the southern part of the territory, Sekyra Group wants to start building other apartment buildings in parallel in the northern part of the area. Over 300 apartments are to go on sale after the summer holidays. They will be part of the third stage following the first, already completed, which also includes one office building and residential blocks.

The shape of the planned apartment buildings that will complete Nádražní Street was created by 10 architectural studios. As in the first stage, they should resemble traditional apartment buildings that people know from Vinohrady or Žižkov. What's the entrance, what's hers