Inside Atrios

Peter Kysela: The shine and misery of the developer’s life

I am a developer

This word resonates in society often and usually arouses negative emotions, anger, worries, sometimes insults. However, it is a job like any other and I must say that I found myself in it. I enjoy creating space, helping to create a city, helping people. Why did I choose this job and how did I get there? As a graduate economist, I once got around to founding an architectural studio, and for many years we created visions of other investors with my architects. However, I consider myself a visionary and so I have always been tempted to create something according to my ideas. No wonder that the company has moved over time thanks to my partners in the company towards its own development.

So what am I actually doing?

My 6-year-old son keeps asking me that and I just laugh when he tells others that he is working on a computer and meeting people. Well, in principle, he’s right. My job is about communicating with people. We made this commitment at the beginning of our development work. Although it is challenging, I enjoy changing people’s views on development in discussions, in meetings. I want to prove that doing development means working just like developers, thinking like lawyers, and communicating exactly as everyone who cares about others does.

Each of us lives in an apartment or house built by a developer. Whether it was a state or a private entity. Without development (we can also call it city development) there would be no places we visit every day where we spend most of our time. Development also brings quality improvements to the environment, if done sensitively.

It is an activity that is perceived subjectively. We all have an opinion and I never take it from anyone. However, I am very pleased. Some people like our projects, others do not. But I want to do projects for which I will not be ashamed. Especially in the area where I live, which I know and where I also understand its needs. I want to focus on projects that will bring quality public space, the nice architecture of buildings and always something extra for people from the area. To make everyone happy with the project.

Make money with pleasure

That is our motto. Someone will surely say that the developer will just “pack up” and leave. Well, if anyone has such an opinion, I would like to show them how difficult it is today to do a project that will bring at least such numbers that are interesting for financial investors, for banks, so that the project can arise at all. There are sectors that are much more profitable, perhaps less demanding, less risky and do not last that long. After all, a standard project in Bratislava today rarely lasts less than 5 years. Land acquisition, permits, construction. And the risk is huge. What if a crisis comes and we don’t sell apartments? How are loans repaid if something happens? What if the construction gets complicated? The process of obtaining a permit today carries enormous risks, if at all.

No, it’s not easy at all. But I enjoy it. Why? Because it is collective work. It is the result of working with more people, and for people. If she didn’t enjoy me and make me happy, even the people around me, I wouldn’t do it.

Baví ma hľadať riešenia aj tam, kde sa zdá že sa nedajú nájsť. Baví ma keď ľudia pochopia naše dobré úmysly a podarí za mi zmeniť ich mienku. Teší ma, keď nás klienti pochvália, že sme im vytvorili pekný nový domov alebo miesto pre ich I enjoy looking for solutions even where they don’t seem to be found. I enjoy it when people understand our good intentions and manage to change their minds for me. I am pleased when our clients praise us for creating a nice new home or place for their business. I am happy to be praised by the representatives of the municipal government, or by the citizens themselves, who see that we are doing our work honestly. These are the moments when it pays to do this work. But we still have work to do to change the general opinion of developers. And that’s one of my biggest challenges for the next few years of my life. I believe that it will succeed one day.

In the end, however, I must not forget my wonderful wife and two beautiful sons, my family. They are always with me when I succeed in something, or when I am saddened by the negative energy that is born in my work. Thanks to them and my heart, which they fill with happiness. Because, what I do, I do primarily for them. I wish everyone the same joy of life and work as I do.