Accolade Group, an investor in modern industrial real estate, has announced an investment of over CZK 6 billion in the Karlovy Vary Region. Accolade’s portfolio currently includes two industrial parks near Cheb with a total of five buildings and thirteen tenants. Three more buildings are in preparation or under construction in Cheb. So far, the group has financed the development of approximately 250,000 sqm of industrial and logistics space in the area, the value of which exceeds CZK 5 billion.
“Besides building modern, functional and sustainable buildings, an industrial real estate investor should always strive to care for the immediate neighbourhood of their projects and the wider community. When I look at all the years during which we have been operating in the Karlovy Vary Region, I am pleased to see a long track record of activities that have contributed to the economic growth of the region, added value and, I dare say, to some extent made the whole region a more attractive place,” said Milan Kratina, CEO of Accolade.
Accolade Group launched its activities in the Karlovy Vary Region in 2013. Back then, the region was heavily impacted by its historical legacy. “The area of the former Sudetenland had long been neglected by politicians and investors alike, and suffered one of the highest unemployment rates and the lowest salaries in the Czech Republic,” commented Kratina, adding that Accolade managed to create more than 3,500 jobs in the area.
Accolade was the first major investor in industrial and logistics facilities to come to the region. The newly built infrastructure attracted a number of companies, who brought new jobs to the region as they signed their lease contracts with Accolade. “The region has changed beyond recognition recently. The standard of living has risen, and salaries have increased. Local residents have the opportunity to work in top management here and do not have to look to other parts of the country for jobs matching their qualifications,” said Martina Životová, deputy director of the development department, who herself comes from the Karlovy Vary area.
Cheb as a sought-after industrial area
These days, the Karlovy Vary Region is perceived by investors and businesses as a region full of opportunities with great development potential, also thanks to its industrial tradition and good transport connections to Prague and Germany.
Accolade’s largest investment in the Karlovy Vary Region so far is the industrial park near Cheb, worth CZK 4.3 billion. In 2017, the park was named as the best industrial park in Central Europe. It also received the BREEAM Very Good and Excellent sustainability ratings, making it one of the highest-rated sustainable industrial parks in the Czech Republic and the whole of Central Europe. The proximity of the D5 highway and several connections to Germany make it conveniently accessible, as does the European railway line from Prague to Nuremberg, which passes through the city. The container terminal in the German city of Hof is only 54 kilometres away. The park’s tenants include multinational companies such as Tchibo, DHL, BWI, TFS and Nexans.
Under the joint leadership of Accolade and Panattoni, a second industrial park was built on the site of a former engineering plant in Cheb proper. At the time of its completion in 2020, one of the buildings there was awarded as the most environmentally friendly warehouse of its type in the world. Cheb South received the BREEAM Outstanding sustainability rating with a record score of 90.98 percent. The building boasts rainwater flushing, roller shutters for better insulation, an insect hotel and an outdoor gym for employees.
Accolade Group plans to expand its portfolio in the region by almost 260,000 sqm of industrial space. Currently, three buildings with a total area of 145,000 sqm are already under construction. Their combined worth will exceed CZK 6 billion. More new projects will be developed in existing parks near Cheb as well as in the town of Karlovy Vary and other locations.
“I remember the time when the Karlovy Vary Region was low on the list of priorities of investors and tenants. Today, the opposite is true and I am glad that we have managed to reverse this mindset and kickstart a new industrial era for the region. In addition to investments in projects currently under construction, other industrial parks are in the planning and permitting process,” Kratina said.
Be a good neighbour
Accolade’s activities go beyond the economic development of places where it does business. The group also makes sure to be a responsible member of society. That is why, for the fifth time in a row, Accolade is a proud partner of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. “We are honoured to be a partner of the Karlovy Vary IFF, one of the most important cultural events in Central and Eastern Europe. We can’t wait to once again be part of this traditional highlight of the year in western Bohemia, where we have our most successful parks,” concludes Milan Kratina.
In addition to the festival, Accolade has long supported the region in various ways throughout the year. The group has already paid approximately CZK 205 million to the city of Cheb for the land alone. It has been a long-term partner of the Cheb theatre, St. George’s Hospice and Joker social services, for instance. Accolade has also contributed to the installation of Havel’s Place in Cheb as part of a series of park installations in the country and abroad commemorating the famous first president of the Czech Republic. Last but not least, the group contributes to the construction of cycling paths and supports a number of cultural and social events in the Karlovy Vary Region.