The popular department store in Pula recently closed for good. Negotiations are underway to transform the former shopping mecca into a city hotel
After the last item was sold in the main department store in Pula and the doors of the establishment owned by the company Istra d.d. closed one last time, the local population grieved the loss of the former popular shopping destination. Just like Nama in Zagreb, it was known as the place where you could buy everything you could think of: food, clothes, toys, furniture, appliances… Now, the building remains empty, standing as witness to past times of glory.
However, there’s a plan in the works that aims to revitalise the location. The CSS company, a majority owner of Istra d.d., wants to repurpose the building as soon as possible. The most recent information say they intend to transform the former mall into a unique city hotel that would dispose of 100 rooms, while the undeground section would be used as a garage.
Ivana Legin, the executive director of Istra d.d., said the initial project is already finished. “We don’t want to go public with the entire project yet, as it will certainly get modified along the way. We’re currently talking to interested corporations and hotel groups, who will then select the architects and make a project for the hotel according to their own ideas”, said Legin.
She also explained that Istra d.d. doesn’t intend to branch into the tourism industry, but plans only to remain on board as an investor, and leave the hotel management to a strategic partner. We’re not talking about a small amount here, as they plan to invest up to 8 million euro.
Without disclosing names of potential partners, Legin stated the negotiations should be over before the end of this year, meaning the project development might begin as early as spring of 2018.
The plan is to open a 4-star hotel in the centre of Pula, along with an underground garage. As Pula currently doesn’t dispose of a hotel in the city centre, such an investment would certainly prove to be a valuable addition to the tourist offer. According to Legin, the hotel would have around a hundred rooms and would remain open throughout the year.
Translation of excerpts from Glas Istre.
Photo credit: Tibor Dinka