The "glass hell" is being demolished in Pilsen

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-05-07   14:46

The "glass hell" is being demolished in Pilsen, the largest unauthorised building has been there for 25 years

Plzeň, May 7 (ČTK) - In Plzeň, excavators and cranes began demolishing the main seven-storey building of the former Carimex car dealership on Rokycanská třída, the main road from Prague. It is the largest modern building in the city that has not been approved and has burdened Pilsen for almost a quarter of a century, locals nicknamed it "glass hell". The unfinished building had been decaying for years and was inhabited by homeless people and squatters. The adjacent buildings were razed in recent days and the area around the building has been cleaned up. Commercial, residential and office space will be built on the area after the car dealership, Ivan Hlaváček, Managing Director of the Czech-Bavarian development group InterCora s.r.o. Plzeň, which will build commercial units there, said today.

"With the demolition we are fulfilling the demand of the city, which we expect to sell us the land it owns in the locality. We want the area to come to life and become a sophisticated and pleasant space fit for the 21st century," he added. Thanks to this, the development companies InterCora and BC Real Plzeň will be able to merge private and municipal land and start building the complex. Demolition will be completed by May 25.

According to Mayor Roman Zarzycki (ANO), the previous year's agreement with the investors put an end to protracted court disputes. According to the agreement, the developers were supposed to demolish the torso and clean up the area by September 2024, after which the city would sell them their land. "I thank the investors for keeping their word. Now it's the city's turn," the mayor said. The council will approve the sale of the land in June.

"The building is assembled from different types of material. We have cleared the building of polystyrene and all materials will be recycled - polystyrene, aerated concrete and concrete will be sorted separately. The demolition will be gradual, not in spheres as in the films," said the co-owner of the construction company APB - PLZEŇ a.s. Petr Březina. The construction rubble will be up to 12,000 tonnes.

The investors want to build the Úslava Centre on about three hectares by the river. "The residential investment will be bigger. BC Real has plans for three apartment buildings by the river and a multifunctional building at the tip, where there will be offices, shops and maybe even apartments," said the project's head Pavel Šindelář from InterCory. According to him, the construction of a shopping centre worth hundreds of millions of crowns will start this autumn and will be completed by the end of 2025. The multifunctional building will continue and the last to be built will be apartments, which should number about 250.

"The earliest date for the completion of the entire site is 2031, but I think BC Real will finish it sooner given the demand on the market," Šindelář said.

InterCora and BC Real will have the neighbouring service and car dealership and two other buildings razed in June, and the car wash will be dismantled and taken away. Only the petrol station at the intersection with Těšínská Street will remain.

"It was a symbol of the black building that generations of politicians in the district and the city fought. There were up to 90 homeless people and a health hazard due to dumps, rats and all sorts of things. And it was a disgrace coming into the city from Prague," said Zdeněk Mádr (ODS), Deputy Mayor of the Plzeň 4 district. According to Mayor Tomáš Soukup (ANO), police officers and firefighters were on the site daily because of frequent fires. People in the neighbourhood did not feel safe.

A Pilsen businessman started building the Carimex complex in 1997. He built the three highest floors without permission. The city refused to issue an additional permit, which he applied for in 2007. Almost 15 years of litigation over the ownership of the land were only ended by InterCora, RP Letná a. s. and MS Letná a. s., which bought the site from the original owner in 2020.

Source: CTK
Photo: M. Pecuch, město Plzeň

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