Hungarians Want to Build Luxury Complexes on Smokvica Island

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes on the 19th of February, 2020, a year and a half after they rented the summer residence on Smokvica island from the state, which had been used by former Agrokor boss Ivica Todoric and his family for years, the Zelena nekretnina (Green real estate) company knocked on the door of the Ministry of State Property with the idea of ​​allowing it to build new, luxury facilities.

Such an option was not foreseen in the tender and bidding process, in which the real estate investment fund Balansz Zártkörű Nyíltvégű Intézményi Ingatlan Alap, founded by OTP Banka, was selected. More specifically, the tender explicitly provided for the use of existing facilities on Smokvica island for their own purposes or for use in the hospitality and tourism industry.

If we’re focusing on the latter case, the tender stated that the adaptation of existing buildings, such as transforming them into some sort of tourist resort or hotel is possible if done within four-star standards. It is also possible to install easily removable prefabricated objects on the beach, in order to make it more desirable for tourists. But new construction on the island wasn’t an option.

However, the tenant who agreed to the annual price of 6.1 million kuna now wants to construct new luxury buildings, villas and common facilities, and presented his project to representatives of the Ministries of State Property, Defense and Construction and the Prefect of Sibenik-Knin, Goran Pauk.

The participants stated that the question of just how much they are actually willing to invest is totally irrelevant because the project presented is beyond the legal possible dimensions.

“Smokvica island is still a special purpose island belonging to the MOD (Ministry of Defense) and for as long as that remains the case, then no construction is possible. We explained to them that it was possible to make some changes, but firstly to the MOD, and then there could be a change in the municipal and county spatial plan,” said Pauk, adding that the plan presented by the tenants is still not feasible in the dimensions that they’re looking for, among other things, because of the size of Smokvica island and because of the prescribed minimum distance of structures needing to be 100 metres away from the coastline.

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