Municipal Pražská developerská společnost organization starts operating in June
A new municipal organization of Pražská developerská společnost will take care of city land, its development and construction of apartment buildings. The organization will be established on June 1 of this year and the Prague City Council will make a non-investment contribution of CZK 13 million. The councillors made this decision within their meeting, which ran long from Thursday of May 21 until the Friday morning hours. It will be headed by a managing director appointed by the city council and it will also include an expert committee consisting of three members, which will be an advisory committee of the managing director.
The organization will deal with land-development, which is preparation of municipal land and territory for the construction of apartment buildings up to the stage of zoning permit. Simultaneously, the management of the City of Prague will decide whether the specific housing will be constructed by the city itself or in cooperation with a private investor. The tasks that a municipal developer will undertake will have to always be approved by the city management.
The Prague City Council has identified about 40 municipal lands for housing construction. They include Palmovka in Prague 8 or Nové Dvory in Prague 4.
Besides the Prague City Council and the city management PDS will have to collaborate with the individual municipal districts, Dopravní podnik hlavního města Prahy, the Technical Road Administration and other administrators of the city infrastructure.
The organization should employ 10 to 12 people by the end of 2020, 12-16 during next year and 20 to 25 employees by the end of 2022. It will be headed by a managing director and an investment expert committee, the members of which will be appointed for three years by the director on the basis of a proposal of the Councillor for territorial development and the urban development plan. Nomination of the committee members will be subject to approval by the city council. The city management will launch a recruitment procedure for the position of a managing director.
The intention was criticized by some opposition councillors. Ondřej Martan (ODS) said that the intention had not been supported by the municipal housing committee. According to Martan, the city management would authorise non-elected people to handle municipal land worth hundreds of millions of crowns. He thinks that the project is not well prepared and that it is vague. Martin Sedeke (ODS) and David Vodrážka, opposition councillors, said that similar experiments had happened in the past and they had failed. Patrik Nacher, chairman of the councillors, pointed out mistakes in materials and confusion. He also mentioned why the municipal organization of the Institute of Planning and Development was not in charge of such an activity.
Petr Hlaváček (TP 09), deputy mayor, who submitted the material to the councillors, did not agree with the reproaches. “These are standard procedures of Western European cities,” he said. Pavel Zelenka (Praha Sobě), coalition councillor, supported establishment of the organization.
The city has been facing a housing crisis and rising housing prices in recent years. The city management wants to cope with it by accelerated permission of construction and other measures involving ceasing the privatisation of municipal flats or support of cooperative construction.