The building complex belonging to the former Federal Ministry of Interior, which was damaged in the NATO bombing campaign of 1999, will soon get a new owner.

The Serbian Property Directorate announced that the winner of the third tender to sell the complex, the Austrian Soravia Invest, conditioned the signing of the contract on a demand that the Property Directorate award it a building permit.

According to the announcement, the Directorate refused to do so, as it only has the authority to sell the ownership of the property and the issue of building permits falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Belgrade.

The Property Directorate announced that it would now offer the second-ranking bidder in the tender, the Swiss-owned Private Project Management, to sign the contract for the sale of the complex.

In the tender, the Swiss company submitted a bid of EUR 34.5 million, a sum EUR 500,000 short of the offer of Soravia Invest.

Representatives of Private Project Management stated that the company has received no official information regarding the signing of the contract.

Zarko Pavlovic, the General Manager of Private Project Management, pointed out that if they were to sign the contract, they would reconstruct the building and turn it into an office building. In addition, the company would also construct a new, four-star business hotel, with approximately 30,000 square metres of space behind the existing complex.

Djordje Bobic, the Chief Architect of the City of Belgrade, stated that what would be built on that location would depend on the city as it is in charge of issuing building permits. He added that the new owner cannot build housing in that location, but that it is possible to build office buildings and hotels or any combination of the two.