Bucharest local authorities would have to pay EUR 100 million to demolish the controversial office building Cathedral Plaza, according to Greek investor Ioannis Papalekas, the building’s current owner.
A Romanian court ruled in 2013 that the Bucharest City Hall should demolish the building, which is located in one of the city’s central areas. The reason was that the developers allegedly didn’t have a valid construction permit.
The then-owner Millenium Building Development argued that it had the necessary permits and tried to reach an amiable agreement with the city hall and the neighboring Romano-Catholic Church, which had filed the court action requesting the building to be demolished. The Church said that the building, which is next to the Saint Joseph Cathedral in Bucharest, affected the cathedral’s structure.
The Bucharest City Hall has postponed the building’s demolition over the past two years. On Tuesday, April 20, the Bucharest Local Council allotted some EUR 225,000 for a team of experts to determine if the building can be demolished and the best way to do it. The deadline to finalize the report is close to the end of this year.
“I’m convinced that the analysis ordered by the Bucharest City hall will reach the same conclusion that I reached when I bought this building, that it’s very well built, with the Roman-Catholic Church’s initial support and all the necessary construction permits,” Ioannis Papalekas said.
He bought the building in 2013 from Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer.
Papalekas controls real estate investment fund Globalworth, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Globalworth has bought several large office buildings in Bucharest in recent years and has started to develop other office projects.