Sibenik’s approach to investors includes partnership, cooperation, as well as a strong relationship and the success of this approach can be seen in projects such as Dogus grupa and Obonjan Rivijera. However, for their next project, they will need the cooperation from the Government.
Governing bodies in Sibenik want to start their biggest development project ever: they want to turn 28 hectares of the former ferroalloy factory TEF into commercial real-estate. They see the State as their main partner in this project, so the mayor Zeljko Buric publicly invited government representatives to join the negotiations in order to determine the State’s ownership stake based on its current debt claim> “We have to determine the exact amount the company owes the State, come up with a partnership agreement and then we have to bring in an investor. If we start working right away, it will take us a month to finalise this stage” Zeljko Buric says. In terms of spatial planning, this zone is completely regulated, it contains all necessary infrastructure, ownership is resolved on all levels except the State.
Even though it has not been officially confirmed, it seems that there are quite a few investors that are interested in this project. Large potential investors from Canada, Iran and China have already visited the site. According to the proposal Sibenik administration sent to the Government, the State would be able to settle its claim from the project and not from the sale of the land on which it currently holds several mortgages. “The city of Sibenik resolved a large problem related to Ina, and the State should finally acknowledge our efforts, join the negotiations and put this project into motion by defining its claim. We are against selling the land, we want to reach an agreement on the exact share with which the State would settle its claims because this project will secure our future and give us endless development possibilities while the State will bring in another investor and put 28 hectares of attractive land into full function which will then pay off in the form of taxes and various levies” Buric appealed to the State. .
Apparently there are several possible models for the development of this project, and the city of Sibenik already submitted all of the paperwork to DUUDI (State Administrative Office for State Property Management). Since the government has not shown any interest in the project yet, it is realistic to expect that the proposal for foreclosure of TEF will “push” all the parties involved, including the State.
The area in question is supposed to become a new residential area and not just another tourist zone. It would include many facilities that will attract residents throughout the year. “This area used to be an old city neighbourhood and it ended up on the outskirts because the factory limited any expansion. Now that the factory was removed and after the entire location is refurbished, we have the possibility to expand the city and commercialise the land as well as the naval and coastal belt around it, since the channel in front of the former factory leads directly towards Skradin and the entrance of National Park Krka” Buric added.
The city, in cooperation with Deloitte Croatia, already started talking to potential investors and that is why they are in a hurry to get the support of the Government to push the entire project forward. “Investors are interested, but everyone is expecting an official tender, which is a point when politics stop and real business begins. Now it all comes down to the Government and their political will” Buric concluded.