On June 6, 2008 ground was broken for phase I of the major mixed-use project New Karolina in Ostrava. Once completed the €400 million scheme will be the Czech Republic's largest inner-city regeneration project (240.000 m²) on a site of 32 ha. Ostrava's Karolina district, only 500 m from the city center, was once a heavy industrial sector dominated by a huge coking plant. It then fell into disuse. Developer Multi Development Czech Republic will transform the Karolina zone into a huge mixed-use development and an integral part of the city center. The total project comprises 97.000 m² of retail, 67.000 m² of offices, 78.000 m² residential, 3,500 parking spaces and space for leisure, sports and other functions.
Spectacular public event
To mark the start of the construction Multi Development Czech Republic organised a spectacular outdoor festival for the city that was open to the public and attended by approximately 20.000 spectators. The programme included performances of top artists, an aerobatics show by the Flying Red Bulls air squadron, a rock concert and fireworks. Also present was Ostrava's Mayor Ing. Petr Kajnar together with many other local politicians and VIPs.
The new project is designed to seamlessly fit into the fabric of the city and to connect the old and the new. There are four phases of the development and the first phase that starts now includes a state of the art shopping and leisure centre of 56.000m2, 23.000 m2 of offices, 200 apartments, underground parking under the main square, the reconstruction of two historic buildings of the former Elektrocentrala (Central Power) and Ustredna (Power Headquarters), transforming them into flexible multi-purpose buildings for cultural, sports, social and training events. The shopping centre will be connected to the Ostrava Stred Railway station and the Bus Station by means of a modern footbridge.
Key features of the project include a link with the southern part of the Ostrava city centre and the New Karolina district, the improvement of the infrastructure, the creation of an area with sustainable public space, urban parkland, pedestrian walkways and a public square. Landscaping and new public realm will be of the highest quality and be designed with wellsited trees, seating and lighting. Historic buildings will be integrated in the project.
New Karolina is designed by a team of internationally reknown architects. T+T Design (Masterplan), the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Heli