Liberec is located in the far north of Bohemia and is one of the smallest Czech regions. However, it is also one of the regions that is attractive to local and foreign CBRE clients.The Liberec Region is mainly renowned for its location near the border with Germany and Poland. It is also easily accessible from Prague, as the journey by car takes less than an hour and a half. The quality and educated workforce there is also a plus.
The industrial zones are full
There is interest mainly in Liberec, the largest regional town and Nový Bor, which has a long tradition of the glass industry. Česká Lípa is also very popular, where a number of large companies are located, mainly from the automotive industry. “The fully-fledged and functioning industrial zones with world-class manufacturing and logistics companies are evidence of the interest in this location,” said Jarmila Bartonová, a Consultant at CBRE.
There are many companies operating in the Liberec Region, such as: Benteler, an automotive supplier; Knorr-Bremse (braking systems); Gruppo Antolin (car interiors); Johnson Controls (innovative products, building services and solutions, automotive technology); IAC (the automotive industry); DENSO (a manufacturer of air conditioning units for the automotive industry); ACL Coating (the automotive industry) and DB SCHENKER (a transport and logistics company) among others.
This region also attracts start-ups, which can grow through cooperating with established companies. “Thanks to the scope of these companies and their long-term plans in the region, the Liberec Region can become an important center for Research & Development Centers or emerging companies, for instance” added Jarmila Bartonová. Therefore, CBRE keeps track of the interest of foreign investors who are looking for areas in the Liberec Region.
Waiting for a new zoning plan
However, there are some problems that are hampering development. This is primarily the lack of land for industrial construction, namely in Liberec, which is in high demand by clients. The elevation difference of the terrain also complicates construction.
Another reason is the outdated zoning plan and a new one is not in sight. The negative consequence is that it is now impossible to build or expand industrial zones in Liberec or to create new zones. “Newly-arriving investors are looking for suitable land for production and warehousing,” further explained Jarmila Bartonová. However, she added that the situation could change soon so that the Liberec Region could benefit especially from the interest of manufacturing companies. Those here want to stay for a long time.
Brownfields – one of the solutions
A possible solution to the lack of land for construction is utilizing existing brownfields. However, it is a lengthy process that requires real estate owners to make really big investments compared to a greenfield.
“Investors often seek solutions over the six to nine months period, and the time to prepare brownfields for construction can take much longer,” explained Jarmila Bartonová. In addition, she added that ecological issues may arise when preparing the building site, which then prolongs and raises the cost of the entire building. However, according to her, there is a total area of up to 120,000 m2 of known brownfields currently available in Liberec, which presents the only option for building in Liberec at this time.