Serbian capital’s landmark building sold amid controversy

NEWS 07.02.2023 17:33

One of Belgrade’s landmarks, the Genex business tower which is half of the so-called Western Gate of the capitol, was sold on the Monday to the “Eureka bar d.o.o.", owned by a man allegedly involved with the Serbian underworld.

Eureka bar d.o.o. is owned by Aleksandar Kajmakovic who was detained on February 21, 2021 during the investigation into the Belivuk crime clan’s money laundering. Crime clan leader Veljko Belivuk and his closest associates are still on trial for numerous serious crimes.

The Genex business tower was still sold by public auction, after several unsuccessful attempts, for 2.4 billion Dinars (just over 20 million euro). The business tower is one of two built in the 1970s to house the state-owned General Export company while the adjoining tower is for housing only.

Residents of the apartment tower staged several protests fearing uncontrolled investments and demanded that the government take over the business tower. They even filed a criminal complaints with the Public Prosecution, Anti-Corruption Agency and Ombudsman.

According to their claims, the value of the business tower is much higher, that the judge in the privatization process was corrupt and that the company which owned part of the building still owes residents money.

Residents’ spokesman Bozidar Stavric told N1 a week ago that he is hoping “for a positive outcome” and that they want the European Union to step in.

“Last week we asked for the assistance of the EU, to make sure rule of law would finally be respected. We are not just residents, we are also creditors since the Genex company which owns the building, owes us 400,000 euro and that is without interest,” he said. Stavric also noted that the price for the business tower changed dramatically and that it was now much lower than market prices.

The Genex tower aka the Western City Gate was built in 1977. and it was seen as a sign of progress with its 117 meter height but also unique architecture. On the top of the building is a restaurant at a height of 140 meters.