Savudrija: 600 Million Kuna Investment for Istrian Resort

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

Copyright Romulic and Stojcic
Savudrija, Istria, Croatia
Savudrija, Istria, Croatia

As Novac/Barbara Ban writes on the 15th of November, 2020, while most investors in the Croatian tourism sector have put the brakes on a bit due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the levels of uncertainty surrounding the development of the situation regarding public health and, consequently, the economic crisis, a new Istrian resort with a hotel worth about 80 million euros is emerging in Savudrija.

This new Istrian resort’s construction began back in mid-October. The company Cista voda projekt (Clear water project) from Savudrija is formally investing in the project, and the co-investor is Vojislav Gajic, who is the head of the company that deals with the construction and sale of real estate in Novi Sad called Aleksandar Gradnja. His company has been known for the construction of residential and business premises over on the Serbian market for more than 25 years now. Vojislav Gajić says that this new Istrian resort will be ready for the 2022 tourist season.

”This is an investment of about 80 million euros, and we managed to solve deal with all of the documentation with building permits in just 10 months, without any problems. We completely changed the project that was supposed to be realised there. Regardless of the overall situation with the pandemic, we haven’t been having any problems with our investments, including this one in Savudrija. All aspects of possible problems on the market have been taken into account and the investment has been covered,” Gajic explained in a telephone conversation.

The land on which the project financed with Serbian capital will be realised, was bought at a public auction two years ago, and was sold in the bankruptcy process of Vila Savudrija at a starting price of one kuna. Cista voda projekt bought the land for 17.2 million kuna.

This is construction land that was owned by the Slovenian company Imos Holding from Ljubljana, which went bankrupt, and its biggest creditors are Nova ljubljanska banka, the Croatian Ministry of Finance and HEP. A large tourist project, Hotel & Resort Villa Savudrija, was planned on the land back in 2010. It would have consisted of as many as two five-star hotels with numerous villas with a total of 400 rooms, a casino, villas with swimming pools, a shopping area, swimming pools and more. Everything failed because the company, whose founder was the Slovenian builder Milan Kepic, ended up in bankruptcy after not being able to find an investor to invest for this project, which was eventually completely changed.

When the land was purchased, the public speculated that the Serbian ”king of sugar”, Miodrag Kostic, who owns real estate in the immediate vicinity, was behind everything. This regards the Kempinski Hotel and the Skiper Residence, as well as the local golf course managed by the MK Group company, owned by Kostic. He bought the Kempinski Hotel and the airport in nearby Portoroz.

When the land was purchased, the public was informed that behind the company stood the formal owner who is the founder of Vinemont Ventures, which is, in turn, registered in the British Virgin Islands. She owned companies that connected with Kostic himself, the media then wrote.

According to the court register, Cista voda projekt was divided and a new company, Beater Limited, was formed, which became the founder of the company that formally manages the project. When asked if Kostic is a partner in the project, the company denied it.

According to this project, an apart-hotel with 179 accommodation units, 55 luxury villas and three residential buildings with 18 apartments will be built on the land. In total, the new Istrian resort will have just under a thousand beds.

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