MULTI OPENS THE MOST MODERN SHOPPING AND LEISURE CENTER IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC: FORUM NEW KAROLINA IN THE INNER-CITY OF OSTRAVA
Forum New Karolina Shopping and Entertainment Centre, part of an ambitious project; New Karolina, on the area of the former Karolina coking plant in Ostrava, the largest brownfield site in the region, opened to the public today. The ceremonial opening for journalists and the professional public was attended by the Deputy Mayor of the City of Ostrava, Dalibor Madej, representatives of the developer Multi Development CR, the investor Meyer Bergman, owner of the Forum New Karolina Centre, and many other guests.
The shopping center is the first completed part of phase 1 of one of largest urban development and revitalisation projects in the Czech Republic. Within the total 32 ha site; Multi Development is developing in 4 planned phases a complete extension of the inner-city. Phase 1 consists besides the shopping centre of an office building of 23.000m² which is a joint venture with Passerinvest and an apartment building of 220 apartments in a joint venture with GEMO. Multi started the project in 2006 after winning the tender issued by the city in 2005
Forum New Karolina is located in the heart of Ostrava, the third largest city in the CR with a catchment area of well over 1 million inhabitants. The unique shopping center is perfectly accessible by public transport (it is located 300m from the Ostrava-Centre Railway Station and the Central Coach Station, near tram and trolley-bus stops) and by car - via exits from roads in the Místecká, Frýdecká or 28. října Streets. Underground parking is available for 1500 hundred cars.
The design for Forum New Karolina is based on a concept of OMA. (Office of Metropolitan Architecture - Rem Koolhaas) The design was further developed by Floris Alkemade (FAA) and Heinreich Bohl and Multi’s inhouse architectural design company T+T Design.
The design is based on a combination of 15 individual cubes that are combined by a large glass roof. The last cube is the dome which extends out 12m above the building and will be used for digital and video projections. This combines to create an inner space of surprising and breath-taking spaces and vistas, where large open spaces are combined with comfortable cosy corners and piazzas, bridges over canyons and external terraces with excellent views to the old Vitkovice industrial heritage area.
Forum New Karolina Ostrava Shopping and Entertainment Centre brings, on the area of over 58,000 m², more than 240 shops (C&A, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Intersport, Lindex, New Yorker, Datart, Nike, Esprit and many others). Some brands will appear in the Moravian-Silesian region for the very first time, such as Guess, Starbucks Coffee, Sushi Point restaurant and the Pure fitness centre.
A key part of the center is the food-court with a large number of restaurants and coffee bars, a modern Albert supermarket, the Cinema City multiplex with eight cinemas and one of the largest crèches in the Czech Republic with a unique Family Centre. A large pedestrian zone and a new square are also being made accessible on the New Karolina site.
The official Forum New Karolina Ostrava face, a native of Havířov is top-model Simona Krainová, indicating that the Center aims to become the dominant fashion shopping destination of the Ostrava region.
From Thursday to Saturday, there will be fashion shows of brands represented in the Forum and professional make-up sessions. A novelty to Czech shopping centers, is the position of fashion consultants, who can be hired by anyone who would like to refresh their wardrobes. For children there is a Children’s Island, Puntanela.
Ronald Dasbach, Managing Director, Multi Development for Central & Eastern Europe Europe commented: “Five years ago, Multi took the decision to focus in secondary cities in the Czech Republic only downtown. Here, the often broken or incomplete urban network can be successfully completed, bringing people and life back into the historic centres of European towns. Forum Karolina is Multi’s third innercity project after successfully realisations of Forum Usti Nad Labem and Forum Liberec. Revitalisation of the innercity is important for the well-being of a city. Without a well-functioning innercity that city has no heart or soul. Multi is fully committed to the Central and Eastern European region and is planning further investments in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine.”
Blake Loveless, VP of Acquisitions at Meyer Bergman, said: “The opening of this monumental project represents a milestone in shopping center design and offers a very unique shopping and lifestyle experience for visitors. We are proud to provide the city of Ostrava with this welcoming and impressive new space to shop, dine, socialise, and gather.”
Luboš Kočí, CEO, Multi Development Czech Republic: “It is impressive to see what hundreds and thousands of architects, engineers, workers, and commercial people can achieve when following a strong vision. I have great respect for all of those who devoted these years of their lives to follow this vision; so enthusiastic in good times and never giving up. Nova Karolina is a great project and I believe that it will become the natural part of life for people of Ostrava and the region”.
Dagmar Vychodilova, Finance Director, Multi Development Central & Eastern Europe, commented: “This project has proved that funding for strong projects is always available in the market. We are grateful to our financial partners, namely CSOB/KBC, Ceska Sporitelna and Hypo Noe bank, who believed in Multi´s capability to develop a successful retail concept and supported Multi throughout”.
Martin Kubík, Center Manager: “We are coming to Ostrava with the latest Shopping and Entertainment Centre generation, where we combine a strong tenant mix, customer care services, location, and architecture. Our customers will benefit not only from the special offers by our tenants, but they will be facing something new in the retail market, which we call “Experience Retail”. The center will have its own FORUM TV, linked by several giant screens – for example along the inside walls of the building and a 64-m² LED screen in the food court. LCD boards will also be on each floor of the center and will serve as information panels for customers. We can screen sporting events for visitors, thematic videos and spots, on-line fashion shows and other events that take place here, supported by a team of filmmakers and a professionally equipped editing room”.