The official launch came despite the fact the Urbanism Commission at Bucharest City Hall has yet to OK the project. This casts doubts over the construction authorization, said Bucharest chief architect Adrian Bold. The project is being built on the premises of the Radio House building in Bucharest, under a public-private partnership contract. Members of the Urbanism Commission believe such a project, with its large investment, dimensions and location, needs an architecture contest to find a design solution, said Bold. Plaza Centers, the majority shareholder in the project, has already presented a Chapman Taylor design for the EUR 600 million project. “An architecture contest would have required more time than scheduled in the contract. That is the reason for our decision to hire an architecture company and the appointment of this architect was approved by the board of directors of Dambovita Center,” Luc Ronsmans, country manager of Plaza Centers, told BR. Bold also said that, by law, each project over 3,000 sqm needs a special urban zonal plan, and that Dambovita Center did not have one. “The project had a Zonal Urbanism Plan (PUZ) for the plans that were supposed to have been approved before we become shareholders in Dambovita Center [last year]. Now we have all the necessary materials that the law and the commission require to obtain a new PUZ,” said Ronsmans. The plans were approved by all the shareholders in the project, including the public authority, through the National Investment Company (CNI). “We are willing to make adjustments to the plans and we hope to reach an agreement as soon as possible,” he told BR. Works are expected to start by the end of this year, and end in 40 months. The project, set to feature a 120,000-sqm commercial center, two 40-floor office buildings, a 320-room hotel, an aparthotel, and 35,000 sqm of residential area, will be built in a single phase. Usually, such large-size mixed projects are built in several phases. The Dambovita Center project is being developed by Dambovita Center company, 75 percent owned by Plaza Centers, with a 15 percent stake through CNI, and the rest controlled by Turkish Cenk Denmir.
Magda Purice, Corina Saceanu