On June 6, 2016, the responsible government of the capital prevented the demolition of the historic building of the Radetzky barracks located in the 2nd district of Budapest, at Bemplatz. Thus, the giant project of the real estate development company HB Reavis has been failed. According to this real estate development company, instead of the Radetzky building complex (which can also be seen as the starting point of the revolution in 1956), they would have erected a seven-storey business building, under the name "Bem Palace" - uncomfortable regarding both traffic and urban development.
As it has turned out later, the suspicion of the inhabitants of this residential area was confirmed. According to this, as a result of an infringement procedure, on 6 May 2010 the legal predecessor of the authority for monument protection and construction of the government, The Middle Hungary Office of the State Office for Cultural Heritage has issued permission for demolition and new construction.
The views of the monster "Bem Palace" - Let's hope that they forever remain just plans...
According to the valid laws of that time, the State Office for Cultural Heritage should have applied to the preservation orders. Since at the time of application submission and at the time of granting the building demolition permit the property Radetzky barracks was under provisional monument protection.
The responsible building and monument protection authority did not make its decision according to the law and disregarded it respectively. Therefore, these drastic conversion plans have been made possible.
In its judgment, the Court of First Instance stated:
"The building and demolition permit granted earlier does not comply with the objective of preservation of historic monuments or the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. This previously granted construction demolition permit limits the execution of these targets to a significant extent. It is therefore unlawful. "
As it turned out, the company HB Reavis, which is looking for glory on the Budapest real estate market, does not yet have the obligatory execution documentation, coordinated with the authority. Although they announced the start of construction works during the validity period of construction permit in September 2012. Consequently, on the basis of its notice, the company was not entitled to legally start the demolition- and construction works.
The company is, by the way, in a rather great loss of prestige with this action. Because they have boasted of the project not only at an exclusive press conference at the beginning of the last week (which means a week before 6 June 2016 - translator's note), about which they did not inform the critical media. But they have also proudly reported to several foreign media on their portfolio expansion in Budapest.
According to the official statement, demolition has been stopped without notice.
The Radetzky barracks affected by the proceedings have a first-class monument character. Due to its spiritual importance and its exclusivity, the Radetzky barracks, a protected monument, have a very important role in Hungary. Thereby, the judgment of the Court of First Instance has stalled the demolition- and new construction works, with the exception of restoration and conservation works.
Population, politicians and civil organizations prevent demolition
Thanks to the responsible official decision, a very important historical building and cultural heritage of Budapest was preserved. Of the political parties only the Jobbik party raised its voice against the demolition of Radetzky barracks. The "Society of Hungarian Patriots", who organized a signature collection and a demonstration with inhabitants of the area on Thursday this week (June 9, 2016 - translator's note), has also protested against the demolition.
It seems that the social pressure was enough for official circles in order to examine the previous position, and enough for the sense and right of justice of the responsible people.
This attempt to disregard laws also shows negative processes on the Hungarian real estate market.
The generally positive development of real estate market in Hungary, with increased demand for attractive real estates, such as office buildings and commercial real estate with yields of 6.5% - 8%, also shows negative trends of non-compliance or the attempt to circumvent the laws by project developers, and the associated real estate speculations.
In this context, investors and property buyers are advised to turn to real estate brokers, which are already established in Hungary ( As the non-statutory brokerage activity can result in some negative surprises for the foreign investors, such as missing mandates and brokerage contracts, and so on.
Translator: Elena Garanina
Editorial editing: Robert Hauer