CANNES-A subsidiary of Italian state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Group has won the tender from Czech railway company Ceské Drahy to refurbish and manage three of its railway stations, including Prague Central Station. Grandi Stazione will plough €26 million ($26 million) into the projects in various phases and, in return, will manage the stations for the next 30 years. Details of the scheme have not been released but works will take 36 months and will be complete in 2006.

The first phase of the tender saw GS design and prepare a commercial plan for the stations. The second six-month phase involved negotiations over the price.

Some 80,000 people use Prague Central every day. GS plans significantly to up the retail offer in the historic ‘Fanta’ building.

GS already has 13 main stations in Italy. Rome is the first to be completed. ‘We expect to be able to offer retailers deals allowing them to open in all of our 16 stations by 2005,’ says GS commercial director Giuseppe l’Abbate. ‘Demand has already been ten times retail space supply in Rome station.’

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