Representative Damir Nikšić stirred up a few feathers when, a few days ago, he published on his Facebook page that there is a plan to demolish Skenderija and build 50-story towers and four 20-story commercial and residential buildings on that site.
Nikšić also published the draft of that project, saying that behind everything are the investors who also built Belgrade on Water (headed by Muhamed Alabar, a businessman from Abu Dhabi).
In an interview with "Dnevni avaz" Elmedin Konaković confirmed that there is indeed a plan for private capital to enter Skenderija, stressing that the construction of new modern halls is planned, but that we are not talking about investors from Abu Dhabi, but from the United Arab Emirates.
Unofficially, we are talking about Muhammad Ibrahim al-Shaybani, who is currently a member of the board and executive director of the company "Investment Corporation of Dubai" and the vice president of the Supreme Fiscal Board of Dubai, who was previously present in BiH with several investments.
By the way, Shaybani became famous after he bought the renowed Porto Montenegro complex a few years ago, but not everyone in Montenegro is enthusiastic about his business and the first joy of his arrival quickly turned into disappointment that he is still a speculative investor who significantly reduced the reference of the famous tourist destination created by the founder of that town, Peter Munk (Munk).
The story of the sale of Skenderija was brought up to date in 2014, when Elmedin Konaković was the Prime minister of the Sarajevo Canton as a member of the SDA. However, after negative public reactions and great pressure, the whole process was suspended, and Skenderija, with some minimal interventions and developments, was mostly left to decay. Today, the complex is in such a state that a significant part of it is literally a ruin. The roof of the Ice Hall, which was a symbol of the Olympic Sarajevo, which collapsed in 2012, has not been deliberately restored to this day, most of the space in the shopping center is empty, while the central hall "Mirza Delibašić" does not meet the criteria of modern halls for a long time.
Individuals, among whom is Damir Nikšić, are even inclined to theorize that Skenderija is deliberately left to deteriorate in order to obtain the strongest possible argument for privatization and its demolition.
Salvation through the Commission
Konaković, on the other hand, believes that the reconstruction of Skenderija with the help of private capital is desirable and criticizes the partners from „Trojka“ for not standing more decisively with this project.
Considering that Kapidžić through the Commission was determined to stop the controversial project, now Kapidžić is afraid that Konaković, through Denis Bećirović, who is proposing a Bosniak member of the Commission, will appoint a suitable Commission member in his place who will end the symbol of the city of Sarajevo.
Kapidžić's three-years term expires at the beginning of 2024, and then they hope to get a member who would be more inclined towards such projects and would not hold them back from the top.
Although Sarajevo definitely needs a reconstructed Skenderija and a better cultural and sports complex, it would be unacceptable to build commercial high-rise buildings in that area that would completely block the center of Sarajevo and especially prevent the winds from reaching the municipality of Stari Grad, which would definitely be suffocated in fumes.
In previous years, the citizens of Sarajevo and the inhabitants of Stari Grad were against the construction of several too high buildings next to the wind corridor, which even now does not provide quality air to Sarajevo, especially in the cultural and historical center of the capital - Stari Grad.
According to the numerous calls that came to the editorial office of "Dnevni avaz" yesterday, Damir Nikšić apparently managed to draw the public's attention to the attempt to implement an unacceptable housing and business complex, but Nikšić also showed numerous controversies that Shaybani's name is only declaratively pointed out in public.
Because it is no secret, after the publication of a very small part of Sky communications, that the biggest investor in Sarajevo from the United Arab Emirates is not the aforementioned Mr. Shaybani, but the notorious investors from Edin Gačanin Tito's cartel.
Multi-purpose urban complexes, that are wanted to be built in the strict and overcrowded center of Sarajevo with huge dimensions, modern cities are building on the current periphery, towards which development and business are spreading.
The construction of the complex, which Nikšić and many others are against, as competent builders and traffic engineers claim, would lead to a complete collapse of traffic, which is currently chaotic in this part of the city.
Practically, the Council of Ministers of BiH, the Presidency of BiH and many state and federal institutions, which are still very difficult to reach by car, would be additionally cut off from citizens, as the profession warns interest groups and urban lobbyists.
Additional reasons for suspicion is the fact that, although there has been talk of a plan for private investment and reconstruction of Skenderija for years, no project has yet been publicly presented to citizens, and the whole operation seems to be being carried out behind the scenes. It is as if its actors themselves are afraid of the reactions to the solutions prepared for Skenderija. If the project is really concrete, in accordance with the standards, and brings only benefit to the city, the question arises as to why it is being kept secret.