Jarun Panorama Project to Begin After 12 Years of Controversy

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Dora Koretic writes on the 24th of November, 2019, the year is 2024. Zagreb’s roundabout has long since been dealt with, and Zagreb’s businessmen are laughing as they head off to work on ”that side” of the Sava river. It’s a good thing that the “old roundabout” is now a thing of the past, especially for the two thousand people who found employment in Zagreb’s brand new city landmark – the 150 metre tall Jarun Panorama business tower from which one of the most beautiful views of Novi Zagreb is offered. Ambitious runners also spend their mornings on the banks of the popular Jarun lake.

This gorgeous 38-story illuminated building is an impressive sight indeed, it houses the offices of some of the most renowned Croatian and international companies, and it’s also the tallest building in all of Croatia, which, due to its imposing character, has quickly become one of Zagreb’s most famous architectural spots. The tower is not lonely here, however, and within its ”company”, there are six more separate buildings, among which a green park belt is arranged. Zagreb’s brand new residential and business centre is called Jarun Panorama and as has been announced by investors, upon completion of construction, three thousand citizens should gravitate towards it daily.

Five years from now might seem like it’s in the distant future, but given the fact that the investor spent almost twelve years engulfed in the “construction” of this project, it could be said that the actual construction of Jarun Panorama is almost within our sights. That is, of course, as long as good old Croatian red tape doesn’t throw a spanner in the works before that.

The investor is Rotor South Ltd. d.o.o., which is 100 percent owned by the Oslo-based Norwegian Croatian development property II AS, managed by Robert Hagen. In Croatia, they are represented by consultants from Colliers International, which, after years, finally plans to present Jarun Panorama to the public next week, more specifically on Tuesday at REXPO.

There, visitors will be able to get better acquainted with the details of the project, which extends to just under 35,000 square metres in total, and in addition to the business tower, includes residential and hotel facilities, which is set to make Jarun Panorama the largest residential and business centre in Zagreb.

According to the ideas of the Norwegian investors, about 340 apartments with an average size of over 100 square metres would be built in the area near the roundabout, and Novi Zagreb would also get new hotel content along with this project, as Jarun Panorama also envisages one hotel under the management of a well-known international brand. The category will be a minimum of four stars, it will boast 240 rooms, a conference room and additional amenities such as a restaurant, wellness facilities and the like.

If realised, Jarun Panorama will be located right in the space currently encircled by new thoroughfares built to reconstruct the Zagreb roundabout. It will be located near the Arena shopping mall and the sports hall, and investors hope that the good traffic situation can contribute to the attractiveness of the building – which will be close to major city roads leading to Zagreb’s exit, but also towards the city centre itself.

According to Vedrana Likan, director of Colliers International, which represents the Norwegians responsible for this project in Croatia, it is currently the most advanced mixed-use project in all of Croatia, for which two location permits have already been issued, and for which the Hagen-led fund has spent more their time and cash on arranging things and bringing the massive project to this stage of realisation for more than a decade now.

”For over twelve years, it was necessary to resolve the property-legal relations and to buy all the land on which Jarun Panorama would be built. According to our estimates, construction could start within a maximum of 18 months, and the completion date will depend on the pace of construction,” she says.

The reason why the Jarun Panorama megaproject will be presented at REXPO next week is because the Norwegians have decided they need to find a construction partner, and it is entirely possible that they will acheive that goal, given that so far there is considerable investor interest.

“The search for investors began in October this year, and for the time being, there are interested investors from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Serbia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria. We’re also targeting investors from the US and the UAE, and so far, we’ve continued negotiations with five of them,” Likan said.

”The project is fully ready for the market and for further development, it’s clear of any potential problems. Location permits have been issued and allow for a high level of construction and we’re extremely curious about how the story will evolve,” Hagen stated.

When he mentions that the project has been cleared of potential problems, Hagen is probably alluding to the numerous twists and turns that have surrounded Jarun Panorama since the very first announcement that the Norwegians would build something near the roundabout, which mainly concerned land ownership.

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