BUILDING WORLD magazine:

City Park Jihlava
Shopping and entertainment centre in Vysočina

Jihlava lies in the heart of the Vysočina (Highlands) Region which, oddly enough, is almost untouched by the development of modern shopping malls. As a result, Jihlava’s City Park has a catchment area of over 500 thousand people. This also includes larger towns such as Třebíč, Velké Meziříčí, Havlíčkův Brod, Humpolec, Pelhřimov and Žďár nad Sázavou.

With the arrival of several major investors (e.g. Bosch), which have established themselves in the region in the long term, unemployment on the whole has decreased and the population’s purchasing power has increased; in fact, this is now actually above the Czech average.

City Park 
Development firm PSJ Invest is implementing the development and lease of City Park Jihlava on behalf of Luxembourg investor CEI SA which started with the planning stages of the project back in December 2004. Work on the finalisation of the new concept continued during 2005, and in the middle of the same year PSJ Invest signed a purchase agreement with the statutory town of Jihlava and the other owners for the sale of the sites (21,500 m2) and buildings in the dilapidated industrial complex not far from the historic centre of town. The original buildings were demolished at the end of 2005 and a new modern shopping and entertainment centre has been under development in their place since May of this year.

City Park is located in an attractive location under Znojemský Bridge, a mere 150 m south of Jihlava’s historic square. The centre is situated in the valley along the Koželužský stream in front of the town walls and is naturally incorporated into the existing developments in accordance with the urban concept of the territory and listed building restrictions; the surrounding land is higher than the centre by one storey which means that it in no way interferes with the town’s visual panorama. The shopping centre building is to become a sort of opposite to the historic walls; through the use of three irregularly alternating materials on its façade and the large-scale incorporation of greenery creeping up the walls of the building and its visually exposed roof, the architect breaks up the solid mass and incorporates it into the surrounding environment. Only three glass towers and part of the multiplex cinema rise above roof level.

The developer has also paid particular attention to the area surrounding the project – along the Koželužský stream which the investor will open up and set apart from the construction; a pleasant green bio-corridor with a cycling path and footbridge will be created there.

Shops and entertainment in City Park According to Martin Jaroš, director of PSJ Invest, City Park will primarily bring a new concept of modern shopping and entertainment to Jihlava which the town lacks to date. Up to now all the town has had to offer in the line of shopping is the Hypernova, Albert, Lidl and Tesco supermarkets and small malls, large-format stores Kaufland, Baumax etc., along with Prior department store and the relatively popular Pohanka grocery store; entertainment options in Jihlava and its surrounding area are also relatively limited. “Today the inhabitants of Jihlava have to go all the way to Brno to visit a multiplex cinema,” added Martin Jaroš, “therefore, they are sure to welcome a new cinema just 5 minutes from the centre, and City Park will become an all-encompassing integral part of the town.”

City Park boasts an excellent location just a stone’s throw away from the historic centre, and therefore the developer expects a large number of visitors to walk there or use public transport. Stops will be located in front of the building. However, thanks to its location at the junction of the main roads to Znojmo, Brno and Prague, the centre will also be extremely accessible to motorists for whom parking will be provided in an 800-space car park located on the two basement floors.

City Park’s retail space is located in two storeys along a classic straight, transparentlydesigned mall. The first underground floor is dominated by a 5,500 m2 fully-stocked Interspar hypermarket which is complemented by a wide range of shops with consumer goods and services. Here customers will mainly find a large electronics store (on 1,250 m2) and sports and sports accessories store (1,100 m2). 
By contrast, the first aboveground floor is devoted to fashion and fashion accessories, with a food court in the centre – and oasis of relaxation where visitors can sit down and take in the open view of the historic centre of town with its well-known St. Jacob’s Church (kostel Svatého Jakuba). Customers can take the escalator from the first floor to the CineStar multiplex cinema for 501 spectators (1,800 m2); this is located one storey up, in one of the four towers on the roof of the complex. The developer has earmarked the second tower for a cosy café and restaurant where, in addition to culinary delights, visitors can once again take pleasure in a view of the town. Incidentally, there are cafés on both storeys; however, retail is dominant.

According to Martin Jaroš, director of PSJ Invest, tenants from the ranks of fashion chains and other international operators have taken a great deal of interest in space in City Park; he went on to say that the centre is currently 60% leased. Well-known names such as Datart (1,250 m2), New Yorker (1,100 m2), Baťa, Tchibo, Orsay, EXE, O2, dm drogerie, A3 sport, Pompo, NordBlanc, Alpine pro will stand out, as well as, apparently, C&A (1,250 m2) and Hervis sports store. 
The official opening of the centre is planned for the end of October/beginning of November of next year.

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