After decades of speculations, one of the most popular Belgrade urban stories, the Belgrade on water project, should finally see the implementation stage.
This is at least what the creators of the finalized preliminary design, which differs from all mentioned so far and which is in line with all the plans of the city, claim, As Srdjan Rupar, a designer and a team manager of 20 people who worked on it, confirmed for eKapija, all ownership relations have been defined, ownership lists for more than 400 real estate lots have been obtained and terms for all 19 public, republic and city companies for existing infrastructure relocation have been obtained as well.
Lots and their purpose have been obtained and the development of the Special purpose area plan is in progress.
According to Rupar, the Government of Serbia and the state support the project. The development started upon the order of the Serbian Progressive Party during the pre-election campaign, when Rupar, as non-party-oriented person, through European institutions, was hired upon the order of Aleksandar Vucic.
Belgrade on water will occupy 90 ha – from Old Railway bridge to Brankov bridge, bounded by the Sava on the one side and Savska street on the other.
The complex will be divided into a few units: a part for luxurious hotels, business zone, residential zone, sports-recreational area, cultural and arts zone… One of the terms which will be defined in the Special purpose plan implies that lots should under no condition be 100% constructed so Belgrade on water will be abundant with green areas.
Due to high exclusivity of location and rich content, the total investment was estimated at EUR 8 billion.
The first lots should be ready for investors as of September 2014 and Belgrade on water should start functioning in the next eight years.
As Rupar says, the objective is that Serbia does not loan a single euro during this project implementation.
- This is the first project with respect to this story which can be implemented. When we started working, I told my associates: We do not want to make something which is only nice to see. We want something attainable. We should, with our own assets, generate conditions when foreign investors will “fight” for the location and build here on their own expense. In the Danube region countries, there is no similar location. Therefore, Belgrade must catch the train and attract foreign investors.
The collocutor of eKapija says that already a couple of foreign companies are interested in building their head offices on these locations but he did not want to reveal details.
- It is more important that this project will employ 200.000 our citizens especially Serbian construction workers in the implementation stage and later on hotel and restaurant staff, etc.
The final stage implies the set up of a special company, Belgrade on water, which would deal with preparation for implementation of this job.
New identity of Belgrade
This project will, according to Rupar, be without flawless, upstream the Black Sea. The construction of the new city on the coast will completely change the current look of this part of the capital which means the existing facilities will be relocated. The railway and bus station, among other things.
- Despite the fact that relocation of the Old railway station is a hard job, over 60% of current railway infrastructure will be relocated by mid 2014 and the rest by mid 2015 when the Prokop station should be completed.
The most exclusive part of the complex – luxury zone, should be constructed at the bank, along the channel called Mala Sava. The channel will form an artificial island where the construction of luxurious hotels is planned. They will be connected by a pedestrian bridge with the rest of the complex. The hotel which should be located at the right bank of the Sava, at Old railway bridge, should be the new symbol of Belgrade while business center will be located at the left bank of the Novi Beograd side.
There should be six new hotels at the coast.
The Old railway bridge will be in the function of the pedestrian traffic turned into a number of cafes and restaurants.
Belgrade on water will have its marine with rent-a- boat principle and all hotels will be allowed to have their own marines.
The business zone and commercial facilities should be along the main Savska street.
Residential part of the complex will occupy the area along the channel and it was estimated that these two zones will expand on some 2 million square meters.
Apart from Gazela, there should be a sports-recreation part and free artists of Belgrade will have a special space within the whole complex.
Rupar says that during the project implementation, it was insisted on green areas which would intertwine the whole complex while eco train would cruise the Belgrade at water. Apart from that, for the first time the citizens of Belgrade will be able to pass the Kalemegdan-Banovo Brdo section on foot.
Implementation in eight years
We could enjoy a cup of coffee at the Old railway bridge, new Sava island or take a walk along the right coast of the Sava in 2020, Rupar announces.
- The project should end in 6-8 years latest but everything depends on the investor’s speed and readiness.
**** You can read about all trouble spots and challenges in the project implementation in the text 25 years to Serbian Manhattan - Destiny of Belgrade on Water, the Sava Amphitheatre, City on Water, Europolis.