Shopping mall development in Bulgaria halted by house in the way

  • 13 years ago
  • Uncategorized

A €65 million (£56.8 million)
Bulgarian shopping mall project is mired in controversy after a house adjacent
to the building work recently won a reprieve from being demolished.

The project is currently facing
postponements and delays after the city municipality admitted it did not have
the funds available to pay the owners of the property.

Municipality ‘won’t be blackmailed’ into buying the house

The Sofia Echo reports that the Markovo Tepe Mall in the city of
Plovdiv is for sale, despite delays in the construction meaning the centre is
unlikely to open until 2012.  In
addition, a house close to the entrance of the mall remains standing after a
Bulgarian property lawyer became involved on behalf of the owners of the house.

The newspaper reports that the
house is the property of the Bobolevi family and is marked for demolition to
enable the widening of a street adjacent to the new shopping centre. 

The Administrative Court in
Plovdiv recently ruled that the family should be paid 727,500 leva (£330,000)
compensation but the demolition of the house cannot go ahead because the
municipality has no budget to pay this sum.

Plovdiv deputy mayor Alexander
Dolev said: “The property is not a priority for us for expropriation and
we do not have the necessary money. Let the investors in the mall buy it if
they want”.

However, Jacob Niv of the
investment company Melina Ltd reportedly retorted: “I will not buy a house
because the municipality is trying to blackmail us.”

Leading Bulgarian property lawyer disputes valuation of house

A leading Bulgarian property
lawyer defending the owners has also questioned the valuation of the
property.  Stoiko Subotanov
believes that comparable prices of property in the area mean the house is worth
in the region of €1.1 million (£960,000).

The property lawyer said that the
dispute could go to the European court in Strasbourg.

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