Belgrade Waterfront

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Mock up of Belgrade Waterfront, a construction project headed by the Government of Serbia aimed at improving Belgrade's cityscape and economy by revitalizing the Sava amphitheater. This mock up is created by Eagle Hills and is publicly displayed at an information point related to the project in Belgrade.

Belgrade Waterfront, known in Serbian as Belgrade on Water (Serbian: Београд на води/Beograd na vodi), is an urban renewal development project headed by the Government of Serbia aimed at improving Belgrade's cityscape and economy by revitalizing the Sava amphitheater, a neglected stretch of land on the right bank of the Sava river, between the Belgrade Fair and Branko's bridge. It was started in 2014 with the reconstruction of the Belgrade Cooperative building, which was finished in June of the same year.

It was announced on 15 March 2015 that the Phase I apartments in BW Residences, a premium riverside residential development, will be launched for sale. These two towers will each have around 20 floors, consisting of 296 apartment units, and construction started in October 2015.[1]

Overview[edit]

The project was initiated in 2014 between the Serbian government and Eagle Hills, a leading Abu Dhabi-based private investment and development company that is focused on the creation of new city hubs in high-growth international markets. Around €3.5 billion will be invested by the Serbian government and their Emirati partners. The project[2] includes office and luxury apartment buildings, Belgrade Park, Sava Promenada, five-star hotels, Belgrade Mall and Belgrade Tower, which will be the home to Serbia's first St Regis Hotel & St Regis Residences. Standing at 168 metres (551 ft),[3] this iconic building is designed by the world-renowned architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.[4]

Criticism[edit]

Among Belgrade residents, there is a great deal of contempt for the project. The points criticised encompass the lacking of a public consultation process as well as the obvious disconnect of the lifestyle of Belgrade's middle and upper classes on one hand and the target group of the developed apartments on the other hand.[5] In addition to this, the intransparency and perceived backroom nature of the Belgrade Waterfront deal has caused real anger, expressed most visibly by the street protests organised by the movement Ne Davimo Beograd (loosely translated: “Let's Not Drown Belgrade”), accusing the development of money laundering and corruption.[6][7]

In May 2016, thousands of people went on the street to protest against an incident where dozens of men with masks demolished buildings in the area, where the Belgrade Waterfront complex is planned to be built. Contrasting the allegations of the protesters, the government denies any responsibility in and knowledge of the event.[8][9]

First phase[edit]

Currently under construction with 10 high-rises and a shopping mall, including:

  • BW Residences – two 20-storey residential towers located on Sava river bank. Construction started in October 2015 and is expected to complete by early 2018.
  • W Belgrade — hotel and residences. Location is the next to BW Residences.
  • BW Galerija — shopping mall will have 93,000 m² GLA in the first phase.[10] Total are will have 140,000 m². Second phase will add 76,000 square meters of leaseible area. While third phase will include hotel, business apartments and residental towers.
  • Belgrade Tower — will be located between Mall and BW Residences. Height will be 168 metres. George J. Efstathiou of the Chicago based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is the tower main architect.[6] A multi-use tower including apartments, offices and the St. Regis Belgrade hotel.
  • BW Mall Towers — near the Mall BG planned 3 towers residential and commercial towers, with a height of 80 metres.
  • BW Vista – tower will be residential and commercial 23 storey towers with a height of 82 metres. Construction started in November 2016.
  • BW Parkview – 82-metre residential building housing 244 residential units of varying sizes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beograd na vodi" na predstavljanju u Kanu Aktuelno.net 2015-03-10
  2. ^ "Belgrade Waterfront". Eagle Hills. 2017-03-23. 
  3. ^ "Kula Belgrade". The Skyscraper Center. Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "UAE firm to develop Belgrade Waterfront project". Khaleej Times. AFP. 28 June 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Belgrade's 'top-down' gentrification is far worse than any cereal cafe". The Guardian. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Belgrade Waterfront: an unlikely place for Gulf petrodollars to settle". The Guardian. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  7. ^ MacDowall, Andrew (11 April 2016). "Belgrade Waterfront plan raises Serbian ire". Financial Times. Belgrade. BIRN. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  8. ^ Dragojlo, Sasa (12 May 2016). "Serbian Protesters Say Authorities Were Behind Demolitions". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  9. ^ "Belgrade mayor "won't resign over 50 people protesting"". B 92. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "BW Galerija has it all". Eagle Hills. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 

External links[edit]