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Croatia real estate


Landmark ready to invest 350 million Euro in Dugi Rat and Hvar

Croatian Times

Landmark Property Management has confirmed its strong commitment to continue their multi million worth tourist projects in Croatia.

The officials of the Luxembourg based property company managed by British Altima Partners have expressed their intent for the land reclamation and remediation project at Dugi Rat and its wider commitment to bring its two tourist developments sites at Dugi Rat and at the island of Hvar through the final phase of land acquisition and permitting and into full scale project development.

Landmark have by now invested Euro 80.7 million in property in Croatia including properties in Istria and the two large property development sites at Dugi Rat and Hvar.

But they were recently mentioned in local media as doubtful whether continuing their project in Dugi Rat where they have already invested Euro 11 million to date in an expensive and technically difficult land remediation and reinstatement effort on the polluted site of a former factory.

Henry Gwyn Jones, the Managing Director of Landmark, issued the following statement today: "LPM has been a big investor in the Croatian market for many years. Through Altima and Gort, LPM’s is fortunate to have as its backers some of the leading investing institutions in the world, as well as specific property related expertise to execute these very large projects.

Mr. Gwyn Jones continued: "We are here in Croatia for the long term and remain fully committed to the long and difficult process of bringing these sites to their full development potential. We certainly have the financial capability and expertise to make these projects an outstanding success for the benefit of the local community in Split-Dalmatia and Croatia as a whole.

"Obviously a fair and transparent business environment and government administration will be critical to attract LPM’s proposed investment programme of more than Euro 350 million of new investment into Croatia."
As part of its long-term commitment to the country, LPM is overhauling and strengthening its local team in Split. It will be opening its own office in Split in the early part of 2013.

It recently upgraded security arrangements at the Dugi Rat site using the reputable local firm, Protector Rakela. The projects at Dugi Rat and Hvar have already taken many years in the site acquisition and planning phase, and LPM has decided to target more resources directly and locally to complete the job.

LPM has a major commitment to the environment. Nearly three years ago, LPM commenced a project to remediate and reinstate the land damaged by the former metallurgical foundry at Dugi Rat. When completed, this project will restore the site and its shoreline to pristine condition ready, subject to definitive planning consents, for full project development. This project, one of the largest ecological clean up projects ever undertaken in Europe, has required up front investment of around Euro 11 million.

This complicated and capital-intensive project will involve excavating and reprocessing nearly one million tonnes of metallurgical waste slag and other debris that was dumped at the site in the past.

The excavated areas have to be backfilled and compacted with cleansed material and with other new, clean material imported to the site. Any valuable metal retrieved in the processing stage is collected and sold. However metal sales have barely covered current operating expenses so far, and have not allowed the return of any of the capital cost of the project.

Unfortunately, in early 2011, after less than one year’s activity, the remediation and reinstatement project was interrupted through an environmental order and, although the original grounds for interrupting the project were withdrawn some months ago, LPM is still working with the State Property Management Agency (AUDIO) for the recommencement of the project at Dugi Rat.

Henry Gwyn Jones said: "LPM has always taken its environmental responsibilities very seriously. We will continue to work with the authorities recommence this important project as soon as possible. This will transform the area: bringing employment and changing an ugly disused industrial landscape to a clean, level site, attractively landscaped and ready for redevelopment. The treatment of Landmark's interests at Dugi Rat will be a test case because we are an existing, committed investor with tens of millions of Euros already invested here. Investors considering Croatia as a place to invest will obviously watch the outcome of our situation very closely.  We applaud the efforts of the current Government Administration to improve transparency and efficiency of government administration at all levels."
LPM also owns a large site on the island of Hvar. The spatial planning of the site is currently under review.

Mr. Gwyn Jones added: "For Hvar we have assembled a superb site for developing the kind of world class resort which Croatia really needs to attract the most valuable end of the global tourist market. We have a world-class professional team assembled to advise on the definitive design and development of the project. We have invested nearly Euro 40 million in the acquisition of the site, on planning matters and project development. It is hard to believe that anyone could objectively question the capability and commitment of our team to the Lavender Bay, Hvar development."

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