Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

MARKET OF MILITARY REAL ESTATES KICKS OFF

More than 240 military real estate units that have not been used for years will be soon placed on the market, Defense Minister Nikolay Tsonev said a week ago while presenting the ministry's new policy.
For ten of the units there will be no tenders because the ministry is a co-owner with private physical persons and the state's share brings no dividend, officials say. The property concerned includes parts of buildings, houses and stores. They are subject to started but not yet finished court procedures for cancellation of the co-ownership. Market estimates of the shares have been carried out and in most of the cases they will be bought by the owners of the remaining part of the buildings.
In Yambol, for example, the ministry owns the half of three shops in Targovska Street and the owners of the remaining parts have expressed intention to buy the state share. The first shop has a total area of 405.85 sq m and the Ministry of Defence owns 54.082% in it. The property will be sold for BGN277,008. The state's share in the second shop comes to 51.53% of the total of 167.97 sq m and it has been assessed at BGN125,887, while the third one is a 65.73% share of 163.64 sq m and the buyer will be asked to pay BGN228,800 for it.
In Plovdiv, the Ministry of Defence owns four rooms and a kitchen in a two-storey house of total area of 163.64 sq m and the co-owner is ready to pay BGN24,300 for the state property (according to the market estimate).
In Sofia, the ministry will sell its shares in four shops, an apartment and an administrative and industrial building, but the previous estimates were not to the liking of Mr. Tsonev and he send them back for coordination with the real market value.
In Dolna Mitroplia, the municipality is eager to buy the ministry's share in a sewing shop and a library. The market evaluations have not been prepared, but there is already a general agreement between the institutions.
In Kradzhali, the ministry will sell its 66.57% share in a pharmacy of total area of 172.74 sq m.
Minister Tsonev believes that
there is no use in keeping a property on paper only
without profiting from it, which was the reason why the ministry decided to start selling these estates at their market prices.
For other 30 property units that have been scheduled for swaps before Minister Tsonev entered into office, the situation is different. The lucrative lots are located in coastline cities (in Sozopol, Pomorie, Balchik, Tsarevo. Obzor and Varna) as well in the mountain resort towns of Velingrad and Sandanski for which the BANKER weekly told in details in previous articles.
Although yet in the first days as a minister Mr. Tsonev stopped the deals under such schemes, these properties were already in the hands of the Ministry of Regional Development. Long negotiations between the two ministries followed so that the estates may be given back to the Ministry of Defence and their status changed, but by now nothing seems to have happened.
It is very strange why the procedure is delayed or if it is going to reach somewhere at all
As a matter of fact, the whole story is very suspicious having in mind that the selection of these units was quite picky.
In Sozopol, for example, three shops in the centre have been scheduled for swaps against flats in Bourgas and Kazanlak. In Pomorie, a land lot of 72.162 decares was almost exchanged for … 10 flats.
In Bourgas, two lots of 29.143 decares and 38.763 decares respectively, were also ready for swaps for, to put it mildly, a humble number of flats.
In this list one can also find lucrative estates in Velingrad, Sandanski, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Blagoevgrad and Sofia and they were to undergo the same scheme of transferring the ownership.
Whether the Defence Ministry will succeed in gaining back its property so that normal market procedures may apply for it, is still unclear.
Since most of the military estates have not yet been exchanged for next to nothing,
the ministry is still a big owner
of land lots and buildings that have been abandoned for years and are falling into ruins.
With this regard, as of early September it will start procedures for sales or transferring of the ownership against compensation of 30 estates in Sofia, 36 in Sofia region, three in Pernik, 21 - in Plovdiv region, three in Sliven, 8 in Pazardzhik region, four in Smolyan,19 in Bourgas region, 13 in Varna region, three in Dobrich, three in Rousse, seven in Stara Zagora, 27 in Veliko Tarnovo, two in Gabrovo, three in Montana, two in Gabrovo, two in Pleven, three in Montana, nine in Kardzhali region, six in Yambol, five in Shumen, two in Targovishte region, one in Razgrad, one in Vratsa,17 in Blagoevgrad, six in Kyustendil region and 12 in Haskovo region. Nineteen of the most lucrative properties are expected to be sold for construction compensations.
For example, in Ovcha Kupel city district, the defence Ministry owns a land lot of 85.77 decares and another lot of 38.914 decares is situated in Lyulin district. The list of the ministry features some other attractive estates in Bozhurishte region ranging from 40 decares to 130 decares.
Large investors may be interested in two lots in Plovdiv, the first of which is of 17.618 decares and the second one - of 11.825 decares.
In Bourgas and Varna several lucrative lots are also for sale and may be traded quite successfully.
All the procedures will take place as open tenders and will be fully transparent. Nikolay Tsonev vowed. The ministry will start construction on its own at the most attractive sites so that it may increase its own housing and residential capacity
The minister's ambition is allegedly
everything to be transparent
Minister's advisor Kalin Tomov said there were several options for receiving building permits for the sites owned by the ministry, and that the management of the sites will be carried out through open tenders and at market prices. For the construction to take place, Mr. Tomov added, the site has to be included in the town planning scheme and be situated next to transport and engineering network.
The idea of the ministry is to increase its housing capacity for its employees. Military staff will have the right to buy the flats at preferential prices after a 15-year service, Minister Tsonev promised. The option will be opened after January 1, 2009 when the new social strategy of the ministry comes into force.
The funds collected through property sales will be used for modernization of the army and for the meeting of NATO and EU standards, he added.
At present, the number of real estates that the ministry believes it does not need comes to 713 and their total area reaches 13,000 decares. Some 11,000 buildings have been built on this property and they are in a state of dilapidation. Around 1,000 decares are close to cities.
Let we hope that Minister Tsonev will be able to put into practice his good intentions and they will not be crashed by coalition interests.

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