The new community centre should be up and running by 2021
Ever since Hotel Dunav in Vukovar closed down ten years ago, it has been left to go to ruin. However, things are finally looking up for the former hotel: Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava announced the City had become the legal owner of the property on January 23, having acquired it from the company EURCO from Vinkovci for 10,3 million kuna. The iconic landmark located in the city centre will soon be repurposed into a community centre, reports Lokalni.hr on February 19, 2018.
“The ruins of the former hotel have been defacing the centre of Vukovar for years now, evoking the memory of the horrors of war, so we decided to do something to resolve that problem. As there was no interest from hotel chains, we had to find a solution to the problem ourselves. In the meantime, firemen have had to intervene on several occasions when fires broke out in the hotel”, Penava said.
The City is planning to renovate the hotel and transform it into a community centre for education ‘Dunav’ that will be “the pride of all citizens of Vukovar”, according to Mayor Penava. The centre will keep all of its accommodation capacities, with a line of new features to be introduced: modern and well-equipped conference halls, classrooms, hospitality objects such as restaurants and bars, and several other features that have yet to be decided on. It’s possible the centre will house various business offices or association headquarters as well.
“We will try to secure 35 million kuna through an intervention plan for cities damaged by war. We estimate [the said amount] will suffice to renovate and furnish the hotel as to repurpose it as a centre. We’ll have all required documentation sorted out by the end of this year, and I believe we will also be able to launch a public tender for the contractor in the same time frame. I think the centre could be renovated and ready for use by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021”, Penava stated.
The Mayor added it’s not exactly typical for the local authorities to manage such an object, but that they decided to take on the job anyway, encouraged by other successful renovation and development projects they had carried out so far – construction of a new swimming pool complex and a new open market, and Vukovar water tower reconstruction.
“It is uncommon, but we had the choice to either do something about it or leave the object to deface the city. I’m happy we found a way to resolve this, but on the other hand, I’m not happy as [the project] considerably affects our capacities and resources. We have taken responsibility and we hope that once when the project gets completed and offered on the market, someone will show interest to either lease or buy it”, concluded the Mayor.