Radovan Sukup: We prioritise safety and “anti-COVID” solutions at Lakeside Park 02
The Lakeside Park 02 office building, by Kuchajda Lake, is already midway through construction. We spoke to WOOD & Company’s Radovan Sukup, who is leading the project.
Lakeside Park 02 will deliver over 14,300m2 of leasable area to this sought-after location. The 13-floor building will have a typical floor area of over 1,200m2.
In addition to contemporary offices, the project will also boost outside public space, with a green park and extensive facilities for cyclists. Lakeside Park 02 will also include 310 parking spaces on three underground floors, as well as new outdoor parking spaces.
Rado, we’re at Bratislava’s Kuchajda Lake, where Lakeside Park 02 – the continuation of the renowned Lakeside Park building – is taking shape. How is the project progressing?
We are currently midway through the shell construction. Specifically, the ninth above-ground floor, out of the total of 13, is being completed. I am delighted that our work is going according to plan, without any complications or unexpected setbacks.
How will the “second” Lakeside Park compare to the original? Will they work in symbiosis?
The second will match up to the first, meeting the latest “A” building standards and LEED Gold certification requirements. We emphasise the latest technologies, and are implementing various measures for a post COVID-19 safe building. The original Lakeside Park and the project extension will have connected ground floor receptions. And clients can also connect respective floors between the first and second buildings, if they so wish. It will also be possible to interconnect two floors with an interior staircase.
What will this modern project bring to the area? What are its main benefits?
I will be very pleased when the second building opens, as it will mean even more services available for the tenants of both buildings. It will also enhance the first building’s operational efficiency, and a welcoming, larger public space will be created in front of both buildings. This will stylishly complete the locality. As practical finishing touches, the pedestrian walkway to the adjacent train station and tram stop will also be improved. These are just the main benefits, but there are many more, of course.
You have indicated that Lakeside Park 02 is an anti-COVID-19 building. How do you envision this?
Technology has been selected to avoid the potential spread of the virus to the maximum level possible. In terms of employees’ health and safety, air quality is the underlying issue currently. Therefore, we have also modified the building’s facade and increased the number of openable windows. Other specific solutions include focusing on air conditioning and air recovery, where our selected technologies keep exhaust and supply air separate. We have also implemented appliances to ensure the disinfection of air flow, as well as surfaces. We have also focused on air exchange, where most people come together – in the meeting rooms. Such rooms will be equipped with CO2 sensors to ensure ample fresh air and the removal of expended air. Finally, we have focused on eliminating the virus’ spread via touch points. We have implemented several measures to reduce the need to contact frequently-touched points. For example, the elevators will be contactless: just attach a card and the system will send the elevator to your floor automatically. The air in the elevators will also be disinfected. All the toilets will have non-contact taps, and there will be even more similar enhancements.
Are tenants now paying much more attention to health and hygiene? What are their main requirements for workspace design?
Tenants are currently assessing the issue of returning to their offices. So, of course, they are enquiring as to whether we have implemented any measures in the communal areas or undertaken any technological steps so their employees can feel safe at work. Of equal importance are the requirements for workspaces and their efficiency. We can also support tenants with this, by giving informed advice in creating the ideal working environment. We have an experienced team.
When might Lakeside Park 02 be completed? Is space still available?
Project completion is planned for 2Q 2022. One of the building’s first tenants will be Plzeňský Prazdroj Slovensko. We are also completing other contracts and filling the building gradually, a trend that is related to companies’ continuing demand for well-located quality offices of the highest standard. Those interested in our portfolio’s office space can contact us. As we have several office buildings in Bratislava, we always strive to find the best solution that meets clients’ requirements fully.
How do you evaluate the current office market in Bratislava? Several projects have been launched, but it is unlikely that anyone anticipated a pandemic. Will the capital suffer from the significant oversupply of office space?
We are already seeing a recovery in the office market. Tenants are starting to think about employees returning to their workplaces. Personally, I think that those companies that downsized their premises during the pandemic will come to realise the need for more office space and, subsequently, expand. Also, developers are holding firm to their ambitious plans, so new projects are being added and building owners will continue to compete for tenants. Important factors will naturally continue to include good building management, and a professional, flexible approach.
Rather than declining during the pandemic, the occupancy of WOOD & Company’s Real Estate buildings actually remains near capacity. How do you explain this? We entered the COVID-19 pandemic with a long WAULT (note: the average duration of the remaining length of building leases), and most of our tenants’ business activities were not affected negatively by the pandemic. This enabled us to retain the same high level of building occupancy as pre-pandemic. We also successfully extended rents that had been coming to an end during this period. This shows that tenants are satisfied with our buildings, and that they will appreciate the need for quality space even after the pandemic.