Tag Archives: Bratislava

I spy…

These kind of pictures should be used in the foundation design classes taken by civil engineers. Anyone with a construction background seen anything interesting in any of the pictures you’ve seen of the 3nity accident? Like this one above (click to enlarge).

Slovak on-line chatter is wondering about that slab of concrete you can see just hanging there, suspended in mid-air it seems by a steel webbing. They would have expected to see steel rods sticking out of the remaining wall, if it was reinforced steel. And if it wasn’t, investigators will probably be asking if it should have been. Any thoughts from construction people?

On or off-record by email to editor at cijjournal com.

Roof collapse in Bratislava at Trinity

The developer Vara Group is going through a real-life nightmare in Bratislava after a roof collapsed over what’s believed to have been the wellness center and garages of its residential complex Trinity. First of all, the most important thing is that no one seems to have been injured. We wouldn’t want to speculate on the impact this will have on the project itself. But you have to feel badly for the customers who’d already moved into the first of the three towers, since they were forced to leave their new homes.

The first phase  was completed at the end of last year and work was underway on the second, including the portion of the roof that collapsed. This being the age of the Internet, there’s no shortage of amateur/enthusiast pictures out there documenting not only what the situation looks like now, but from before, when construction was underway. Chat room discussions suggest that the portion where the collapse took place was the last part of the roof to have been installed, and that small trees had been planted on top of it.

The usual passing of the hot potato is surely in action now. There are already suspicions being voiced that the investor was trying to save money, accusations of poor foundation design will no doubt be made, and calls for greater supervision of construction work can’t be far off. It’s impossible to know precisely who is to blame for the accident. The fact is that despite the best work of civil engineers, the power of the Danube stretches beyond its banks, but if builders in Bucharest have to worry about earthquakes, surely solutions for a high underground water table can be found as well. Again, this is all speculation, fed by the vacuum of official information. But persuasive answers will have to be given and solutions implemented, as this kind of event will impact on even the safest of projects under perfect management.

Here’s a Slovak news link. And another. And pictures.

Unibail-Rodamco buys out Aupark

In the second major real estate transaction of the year in Slovakia, Unibail-Rodamco has bought out its JV partner in the highly successful Bratislava Aupark for €151m (before the deduction of the debt on the scheme). At the same time, the buyer purchased an adjacent development plot for €3m, land that could be used for the mall’s expansion. In all, the transaction has resulted in €120m in proceeds for HB Reavis. Aupark currently offers 52,300 sqm of retail space.

Amazon to open support center in Park 1

The Internet retailer Amazon has signed up to lease 2,220 sqm at Park 1 in downtown Bratislava. It will be moving into space once occupied by another support center  operated by Zurich more than a year back. Amazon already has a couple of these centers in Europe, with one in Ireland and Germany each. The company will be starting hiring soon.

It’s good news for the building, obviously. It’s just with all the talk of Park 1 being a high-quality building, we figured the prime rents it charged wouldn’t be so attractive for call center end users.

Metropolis strikes back

TriGranit has launched a website for its project Metropolis, which ran head-first into Slovakia’s election cycle after the Christian Democratic Party mayor Andrej Durkovsky came out against it. The problem was one of branding, as the project had become known as Las Vegas on the Danube. The new marketing push for the project, which is still in planning, doesn’t even mention Harrah’s, the casino operator it’s being built in conjunction with.

The new website makes it crystal clear to Bratislavans that they’d be giving up a whole host of leisure facilities (aquapark, ice rink, a multifunctional arena) along with hotels and a shopping center. The planned casino takes up just 2% of the space, and gets about 2 seconds of a slick 2 minute promotional video. Website visitors are encouraged to become fans of the project on Facebook.

Bratislava Kempinski to open June 17

Cityof Hotels.com is reporting that the 231 room Kempinski Bratislava River Park is scheduled to open June 17. Located right on the Danube, it’s part of a larger project that was designed by Erick van Egeraat for J&T Real Estate. In late 2008, J&T slashed prices on the flats being sold as part of the development, marking the beginning of tough times for the entire residential sector in the Slovak capital.

For Bratislava residential prices, think 2006

If you began a residential project back in 2007, expecting prices to continue rising until completion in, say, 2009, then you’ve either received a rude awakening, or the market’s about to slap you. Resi agency Lexxus makes it all pretty clear: at the end of Q1 2010, there were 4,719 units on sale in 114 units. Getting more specific, 81 of those projects are completed, with 2,600 empty units in them.

The good news for new developers is that they’re based on the new price expectations, which Lexxus claims are at about 2006 or 2007 levels. This will make them very competitive. That’s obviously not such good news for completed projects that are still 40% vacant.