The iconic building of the British retail chain Tesco department store in the centre of Bratislava has changed hands. The new owner of the building is the Mirage Shopping Center company of Žilina-based businessman George Trabelssie. Since 2016 the retail chain Tesco has sold five department stores across Slovakia. Trabelssie, who is close to former chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS) Ján Slota, acquired Tesco department stores also in Nitra and Žilina, the Hospodárske Noviny business daily reported. Tesco will continue to operate in the building on Kamenné Square as it will rent the premises.
“We plan to continue to bring our services to customers in this locality,” said Lucia Poláčeková, PR manager of Tesco in Slovakia, as cited by Hospodárske Noviny.
While the sum of the transaction has not been disclosed, the retail chain plans to invest the proceeds into its 150 outlets and services it provides in more than one hundred towns across Slovakia. In total it now owns 64 hypermarkets, 57 supermarkets and 29 express shops in the country.
Tesco announced its plans to sell the department store in early 2018. While the building has already undergone several reconstructions in order to meet the expectations of customers, it needs extensive funds for its restoration.
Trabelssie is expected to introduce his plans with the department store to the Bratislava city council and the public soon.
The Bratislava city council plans to promulgate an architectonic contest for the revitalisation of Kamenné Square and adjacent SNP Square. So far, it has held no talks with the new owner.
“We believe that the sale of the department store will neither be an obstacle nor a complication to the city’s intentions,” said Katarína Kohútiková from the media department of the Bratislava city council, as cited by the daily.
Other owners of real estate on Kamenné Square is the British developer Lordship and the city. Lordship negotiated with the British retail chain over the acquisition of the building several times, but they failed to agree upon a price. The developer originally had extensive plans with the square, but later reduced them.
The department store is part of a complex designed by renowned architect Ivan Matušík and built between 1961 and 1973. The building of the then state retail chain Prior was opened in 1968. At that time it was the first department store of its kind on the territory of today’s Slovakia. Apart from the new shopping style, the possibility of shopping for all kinds of goods in one place, buyers also had to get used to another novelty – escalators. On its facade is Bratislava’s calendar carillon clock by sculptor Jaroslav Kočiš.
Later, the triangle-shaped department store paneled with Slovak white travertine was extended by an oblong-shaped building interconnected with the neighbouring Kyjev Hotel. The project counted on a planned metro underground station under Kamenné Square, the Denník N recalled, but the plan has never materialised.
At the end of 2018, the offer of housing units in newly finished apartment buildings in Bratislava hit a low since 2002-2005, when this market started developing in Slovakia. This resulted in an increase of average prices of apartments.
The reconstruction of the Park Inn by Radisson Danube hotel in Bratislava has become the ugliest new building constructed between the years 2011 and 2018. As much as almost one third of 1002 participants in a survey organised by the website Trend Reality of the economic weekly Trend voted for it. The weekly launched the survey in early December. Its goal was to start a discussion and hold up a kind of mirror to developers.
Prices of apartments grew at a two-digit pace in Slovakia in 2018. The average price of an apartment increased from €1,479 per square metre to €1,655 per square metre during the first 11 months of 2018. This means an increase of €176 per square metre or 11.9 percent, Vladimír Kubrický, analyst with the Real Estate Union, told the TASR newswire.
Bratislava’s Old Town has gotten a new square. It is part of a new office-residential complex called Blumental, built by the development company Corwin. It is flanked by streets Mýtna and Radlinského and interconnects with them. It was named after mediaeval King Matthias Corvinus, Matej Korvín Square.
Bratislava is scheduled to get a new landmark within a few years. The developer J&T Real Estate (JLRE) has obtained a development permit for the project of extending Eurovea on the Danube embankment. Included is the 168-metre high Eurovea Tower, the first building in Bratislava that meets the latest criteria for being called a skyscraper, i.e. higher than 150 metres. The residence tower will have 47 storeys and have almost more than 380 residential units. The project will add 84,000 square metres of retail premises to the existing ones in the first phase of Eurovea, the Hospodárske Noviny wrote.
The Saudi-Arabian company Sisban has started building a brand new logistics park near the village Chocholná-Velčice in the Trenčín Region. Sihoť Park will spread over 160,000 square metres, while investments are projected at €50 million. This is the company’s first investment in Slovakia, the TASR newswire reported.
Tightening of conditions for taking mortgages has made house ownership less available for many Slovaks. Banks do not provide mortgages covering 100-percent of real estate prices anymore, and thus those interested financing a house or flat via a mortgage must pay a portion of the purchase price in cash.