Could Construction of Hotel Toplice in Krapinske Toplice Begin in Winter?

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes on the 2nd of October, 2020, the bankruptcy of the management of the Krass Hotel and the closure of Hotel Toplice in Krapinske Toplice in this day and age could actually end up being a good way to accelerate the announced investment of Chinese investors who bought this hotel from ACM two years ago. So far no concrete progress with the announced investments in the modern 4 star Hotel Toplice has occurred.

However, if the investors who paid 4.3 million euros for the facility back in 2018, having invested more in paperwork, don’t start the works this winter, another season will fail and thus the profitability of the investment will become questionable.

The building is in a great location, it has great potential but is very neglected and dilapidated. It’s worth mentioning that the Chinese investor is the Hong Kong company Zhongya Holding, which, although it boasts a very similar name, has nothing to do with the company Zhongya Nekretnine, which expressed its intention to buy the former political school in Kumrovec from the state in 2019, but never paid the requested money.

”There were two options with Hotel Toplice, reconstruction that is possible with the existing permits, but the facility no longer meets the standards in the hotel industry, and it wouldn’t pay off, so instead we’d see the demolition of the entire facility and the building of a new one, in dimensions that will suit the local community. The demolition could start this autumn, after the end of the bankruptcy proceedings, which has already been agreed in principle with the company Tehnika. If the weather conditions allow for it, and if the project is approved, the works on the construction of the new Toplice hotel could start in the winter,” explained Mario Rendulic, president of the CSEBA association, which connects investors from China with the countries of Southeastern Europe. CSEBA and Zhongya Holding are the founders of the company Spring Spa Hotel, which should realise this multimillion investment in Krapinske Toplice.

Rendulic explained that the investment didn’t start being realised until the company Krass Hotel, owned by Autocentar Merkur (ACM), concluded a pre-bankruptcy settlement, which was approved back in 2016 according to the Court Register. The pre-bankruptcy, however, hasn’t yet been signed, and the current coronavirus crisis has ruled out the already weak business of the company, which decided to file for bankruptcy on October the 1st, 2020 and totally close the hotel.

In the meantime, from the purchase of the building until today, the Chinese presented the first idea of ​​the building designed in China to the local community, but the building in the style of “Wuhan” didn’t fit the views of the place and the proposal was of course rejected. Rendulic claims that the new project, designed by local designers, is in line with the spatial plan, although the mayor Ernest Svazic claims that he hasn’t actually seen it in person yet.

”The investor is certainly familiar in detail with what can be built, and we’re looking forward to a new project in order to start the realisation as soon as possible. The municipality doesn’t enter into relations between two private companies, it’s up to us to provide them with the right conditions for investment, which we are, but I believe that bankruptcy could speed up the investment process, which would be useful,” said Mayor Svazic of the future Toplice Hotel.

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