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Spotlight on Roman Suchomel

From supermarkets, to luxury villas--Roman Suchomel masters them all as the head of design and construction at Exclusive Properties. Roman’s incomparable expertise in the field of property development encapsulates the multifaceted nature of EP in the Czech real estate industry. We had the opportunity to highlight Suchomel’s professional history and insights on property development. 

How did you get started in property development and construction?

I have a relatively long history in property development. After graduating from Prague Technical University, I worked in a design office in Northern Bohemia, and after the Velvet Revolution in early 1990, I had the opportunity to work on my own for the first time and began property development through my own design firm. In 1992, I joined the construction department at Plus Discount, which is part of the German retail chain Tengelmann. In my five years at Plus Discount, I developed 55 discount supermarkets throughout the Czech Republic in the form of reconstructions and new buildings. My biggest developments began in 1998 at Portland Trust. There, the opportunities of buildings of various scales arose, from small shopping centers to Prague’s Metropole Shopping Center Zlicin, the Karlovarska Business Park logistics complex near the Prague Airport, the Oregon House Zlicin office project, and four other major office complexes in Bucharest. In my career I have had the opportunity to develop over 700,000 m2.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on in your career?

I don’t really have a specific favorite. Each project had its specifics and was another new challenge for me.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?

I am a materialist by nature, so the greatest fulfillment for me is the ability to leave behind something material that one can return to and physically touch. I start to get restless when I don’t have an active project. Colleagues always tease me by saying, “Do you need to touch another building brick again?”. At the same time, I always try to perceive every project from other points of view, including feasibility and financial return, and trying to maintain the highest possible quality. My larger projects involved investments ranging from hundreds of millions to 1.5 billion Czech crowns. It is always important to maintain high levels of responsibility for the invested capital, the timely completion of the project, and for the quality of the final execution. There is one basic rule in development: “On time and on budget,” and I always stick to that.

What brought you to EP?

I’m always looking for new challenges, and from a retrospective point of view, my mosaic lacked a certain stone-a residential project. I had always imagined that I would work on residential buildings in my career, but before joining EP, I was focused solely on commercial real estate. EP allowed me to fill this gap in my portfolio, and since joining the team I’ve worked on projects including the reconstruction of the beautiful functionalist villa of Josef Fuchs in Prague-Liben, the functionalist apartment building Nad Rokoskou, the reconstruction of a historic apartment building on the corner of Jilska, and the Skorepka Renaissance manor home, with six reconstructed buildings from the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods and seven modern, new buildings.

What do you look for in a potential development project? What are the typical challenges?

Each new project in my scope requires me to assess the buildability of the new land and the feasibility of reconstruction of existing constructions, estimate the investment into the project, assign and coordinate the design plan, secure the necessary permits for implementation, select a suitable contractor for construction, and supervise the technicalities and finances of the performed work. At the same time, each project comes with its own specific issues. Building technologies used in construction are constantly evolving, which forces people to keep improving. So, the typical challenge in property development is staying up-to-date.

19. october 2019

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