Prague's landmark Máj department store targets 2024 reopening

Following two years of reconstruction, the classic Prague department store plans to reopen to the public in the first half of next year.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 18.03.2023 15:17:00 (updated on 09.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's landmark Máj department store closed down early last year for complete reconstruction, and is currently about halfway through the lengthy process. The new shopping center plans to reopen to the public in the first half of 2024, according to developer Amádeus Real Estate.

The reconstruction is being conducted the local corporation Metrostav, with excavation work already complete. By early next year, the location hopes to open with new shops, recreational and cultural facilities, and a rooftop restaurant.

"We would like to open Máj to the public in a modernized form in the first half of 2024," Amádeus Real Estate manager Václav Klán told local media. "The total costs after the complete reconstruction will reach four billion crowns."

The new look of the Máj department store will emulate its original appearance from the 1970s. Since 2006, the building has been listed as a protected national landmark by the Czech Republic's National Heritage Institute. Its reconstruction has been carried out with input from the architects of the original design.

"Considering how complicated the building is and where it is located, the reconstruction is going well beyond expectations," says Milan Mlady, the primary architect behind the renovation of Máj.

"It will get a new exterior that will be almost identical to the original one, so the average Prague resident won't know the difference."

Work on Máj's restoration began early last year after eighteen months of negotiations with preservationists. Visualizations from Amádeus Real Estate look nearly identical to those from when the building first opened in 1975.

Máj in 1975. Photo: Amadeus Real.
Máj in 1975. Photo: Amadeus Real.

That includes the popular name of the department store, which was originally named Prior but quickly changed to Máj after opening. Máj then became KMart in 1992, Tesco in 1996, and finally My Národní in 2009. When it reopens next year, it will be Máj once again.

What will the new Máj department store contain? According to Mlady, the updated version of the department store will have a total of nine floors open to the public, which will include shops, an expanded food court, an art gallery, a children's center, and a rooftop restaurant overlooking central Prague. Unlike its previous iteration, the new Máj will have more of an emphasis on culture and entertainment options.

Specific brands or shops that will open in Máj after its reopening have yet to be announced. The previous incarnation of the building long housed a Tesco supermarket in an underground floor, but that is unlikely to return after Tesco sold the property in 2019.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more