R2G Fund files lawsuit against rejection of modifications around the Prague Intercontinental Hotel

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2023-03-07   00:20

The R2G Fund, which owns the Prague Intercontinental Hotel, will file a lawsuit against the decision of the Prague City Hall's Building Code Department to cancel the zoning decision for planned changes to the hotel's surroundings, including the new building on Miloš Forman Square, according to Jakub Dyba, a representative of the fund. He added that the owners have no plans to remove the criticised building from the project and that the authority's decision is confusing and illegal. The Právo daily drew attention to the municipality's decision.

The magistrate's department revoked the zoning decision following a previous decision by the Ministry of Regional Development (MMR), which last June overturned a positive opinion of the magistrate's Department of Regional Development that the planned changes were in line with the zoning plan. Dyba said that after that decision, it was clear that the authority could not make a decision other than the one it has now made.

The owners of the hotel, who are billionaires Oldřich Šlemr, Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš through their fund, plan to defend themselves against the decision in court. The fund had previously filed a request for a review with Regional Development Minister Ivan Bartos (Pirates), but Dyba said he refused to look into the matter.

"We will do everything we can to complete the project and will use all legal means to do so," Dyba said. He added that the project works as a whole, including the new building on the piazzetta next to the hotel, which cannot be removed from the project. Given the state of disrepair of some infrastructure elements, he said, the reconstruction of the area named after Miloš Forman is inevitable anyway.

It was the planned building called the Brand Store that became the target of criticism, which eventually resulted in the cancellation of the project's planning permission. In addition to the new buildings, the project envisages a comprehensive redevelopment of the hotel's surroundings, including new public spaces. However, due to the opposition to the building on the square, a number of appeals were lodged by the neighbours of the planned building as well as by the capital after the final planning decision was issued. The Ministry of Regional Development (MMR) upheld the objections and changed the original positive opinion on the project's compliance with the zoning plan to a negative one, effectively preventing the final zoning decision from being issued.

The R2G Fund has owned the Intercontinental Hotel since 2019, the same year the owners presented their plans for the redevelopment resulting from an architectural competition. The Czech firm TaK Architects, headed by architect Marek Tichy, was successful. The modifications envisage the construction of an open space that will connect Bílkova Street to Dvořák Embankment. In addition to the building on the piazzetta, another building is to be built in front of the hotel in Pařížská Street. There are also plans to build an underpass to the embankment and a footbridge to Curie Square.

The owners have already started the reconstruction of the hotel itself, which was built in a brutalist style between 1968 and 1974 in the cooperation of three architectural collectives under the leadership of Karel Filsak. It was the first international five-star hotel in the former Czechoslovakia and is one of the architecturally significant new buildings in the city centre. However, the Ministry of Culture did not approve its inclusion as a listed building the year before last.

Source: R2G Fund and CTK