PREMIER-OWNED HOUSING COMPLEX IN IZGREV RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT ALMOST READY
Architect Petko Marinov, Designer of the New Blocks of Flats, Nominated Architect of the Year 2002 by Sofia Mayor Sofiansky and the Union of ArchitectsA new housing complex in the elite Sofia residential district Izgrev, part of which is owned by the PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, has been almost finished. Some of the blocks of flats have been built on plots of land at No 34 Raiko Alexiev street, patrimony of the royal family. Diplomatic blocks of flats and residences of about a dozen foreign ambassadors are located in that part of Sofia.The new housing complex is situated between the streets Raiko Alexiev, Dimcho Debelyanov, Anton Chehov and Atanas Dalchev. According to experts, housing in that quarter are the most expensive in the entire Izgrev residential district. New construction and rents in that region are also the highest in the capital city. Real estate evaluators, who didn't want their names to be mentioned, calculated that a 6-room apartment with two bath-rooms and a garage (as the flats in the new housing complex are) would cost between BGN500-700/sq. m, depending on the type of the flooring, the wall-paper, and the joinery. Branch experts have also witnessed a heightened demand for flats in the Iztok residential district (after decreased demand over the last five years), because there are already almost no plots for construction and flats to let in the posh Lozenets residential district. Five luxurious 3- and 4-storey blocks of flats, with underground garages, shops on the ground floor, and attics, have been built on an area of 15,000 sq. m of the new complex. One of the buildings - that in Raiko Alexiev street - is intended for an office building, Mario Zahariev, owner of the construction company Fairplay International, told the BANKER weekly. The firm is both the investor and building contractor of the complex, which was constructed in only 16 months. According to the initial plans, it had to be completed within two years. The building facing Dimcho Debelyanov street will be a hotel of only six apartments. They will be rented at negotiable prices for a period not less than two months, Mr. Zahariev specified. The hotel, to be named Iztok, will be opened in April or May, 2003. The premises in the other building shall be either rented or offered for sale.The new complex has been designed by two teams of architects: one of them headed by Petko Marinov, and the other - by Juliy Ankov and Petya Gosteva. A few days ago, the Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofiansky and the Union of Architechts nominated Mr. Marinov for the title Architect of the Year 2002. He has not only designed some of the most beautiful new one-family houses in the skirts of the Vitosha mountain, but also the office buildings of Biochim Commercial Bank and Bulgarian Post Bank, several hotels in Samokov, and the little but comfortable hotel Lozents in the eponymous residential district in Sofia. The construction of the entire new housing complex cost BGN3MN, paid by Fairplay International, which owns half of it.Under a contract from the beginning of 2001, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha submitted to the building company part of the land (recovered to him and the royal family in compliance with effective restitution laws) in exchange of construction. The plot of land and the old house was inherited by him from his aunt Princess Evdokiya. By the order of Fairplay International the specialized firm Rapid 95 destroyed on May 4, 2001 the old building at No 34 Raiko Alexiev street in order to vacate the spot for the construction of the new housing complex. Additionally, the Sofia Municipality sold to the firm almost 1,000 sq. m of land owned by the municipality in order to round up the plot to 15,000 sq. m., the Mayor of Izgrev Angel Ivanov explained to the BANKER weekly. However, he neither concealed his dissatisfaction with the sale, nor the fact that the regional administrations do not get a single penny from such deals, effected by the city's municipality.The 2-storey old house of the royal family was built by King Ferdinand in the 1920s for his daugher Evdokia. The Princess wanted to live close to the housing quarter of the followers of Master Dunov, whose teaching she became infatuated with, old citizens of Sofia recalled. Her home was nationalized in 1945 and Vassil Kolarov lived in it for several months. For 57 years afterwards the house accommodated a kindergarten.