Bratislava could soon establish itself on the map of international congresses. The modern congress-administrative centre Eurovea City Congress will bring the capital city a representative space for events of all sizes - from cultural and social to 2000-participant conferences. Developer JTRE has submitted the proposed project for environmental impact assessment (EIA). The administrative building with congress halls and underground car park will break ground in 2022.
Congresses constitute a significant proportion of tourism revenue in developed countries and their capital cities. Such facilities also increase the prestige of a host country and city, which in turn attracts - for example - high-level political events.
"Bratislava has so far been missing out on the great business opportunities presented by the congress business. We had initially only considered a multi-functional congress project with a limited local role. However, as we delved deeper into understanding the functions and potential of a congress centre, we concluded that the proposed Eurovea City Congress project could be a major European congress centre. Bratislava’s assertion on the European congress map is in all our interests," says Pavel Pelikan, JTRE’s managing director.
The administrative and congress centre will comprise two interconnected functional units: a two-storey convention centre and 26-floor landmark administrative tower. The total congress area will be 10,000 sqm, and 975 parking spaces will be provided .
"Whilst we appreciate the strong competition from Vienna and Budapest, Bratislava is also very well-placed for congress tourism. Advantages include excellent highway connections, a number of local airports, the attractive Danube waterfront, interesting historical centre, and high security - which is a key criteria for selecting a congress location. And Eurovea City Congress will reach far beyond congress visitors. Bratislava’s residents will also get a modern cultural and social space with large capacity and flexibility - perfect for concerts, balls, and other social events," explains Mr. Pelikan.
The proposed convention centre will meet the highest international standards with leading facilities and technology, and compelling potential to attract major multinational events. Visitors will be welcomed into a spacious entry lobby with impressive staircase. The ground floor will have a large flexible 1200-person capacity conference hall and accompanying restaurant. The flexible space allows smaller conference rooms to be created and merged as required, which allows for the diverse organization of cultural events, international conferences, balls, and concerts for over 2000 participants. The technical solutions and optimal layout will ensure that the premises can seamlessly handle several events simultaneously and self-contained. The whole building is designed as barrier-free and will apply for the BREEAM OUTSTANDING international green building certificate.
"While Eastern European countries have typically been regarded as having poorly-developed infrastructure and outdated capacities, this congress centre project will redefine expectations. A unique space will be created in Bratislava that will bring benefits to the whole city. And there’s a wonderful opportunity for Eurovea City Congress to share capacities with the Sheraton hotel and Slovak National Theatre for Bratislava to host 5000-person conferences. I’m confident that this project near the Danube will help our city earn promotion to the first division of congress centres," adds Mr. Pelikan.
Public areas around the building will bear the distinctive hallmarks of Spanish architect and urban planner Beth Gali. She has been involved in the solution of public spaces and parks in many world capitals, including EUROVEA CITY in Bratislava. The forecourt of Eurovea City Congress will comprise a cultural square. The interior will be adjacent to Pribinova street and the new central area in front of Eurovea Shopping and the Eurovea Tower skyscraper. The landscaped square and flagship convention centre will naturally communicate with the existing Tower 115 and Pribinova 19 buildings.
Confidence in the project’s success has been demonstrated by the entry of the largest real estate fund in Slovakia NÁŠ PRVÝ REALITNÝ o.p.f. – PRVÁ PENZIJNÁ SPRÁVCOVSKÁ SPOLOČNOSŤ POŠTOVEJ BANKY správ. spol., a.s. with assets in excess of EUR 755 million. According to Vladimir Salkovič, a member of the board of directors, the fund builds on previous successful cooperation with JTRE on several projects.
"I’m confident that the participation of the Náš Prvý Realitný fund, which already has long-term stable performance, will further strengthen this extraordinary project in Bratislava," he concludes.
Eurovea City Congress is expected to be completed by 2024 with projected construction costs in excess of EUR 100 million.