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Skyscraper Construction Builds Up Passions In Sofia

Representatives of Sofia's Sredets district and the Bulgarian Academy of Science's National Archaeological Institute have declared their disapproval of the possible construction of an 80-m high building on the site of the existing Hotel quoted Sredets district mayor Margarita Gouteva as saying such for her contingent at a public discussion on plans to construct a new building at the location.A gap in the law could allow a structure to be built even higher than the one currently there, thus towering over all other buildings in the city centre, discussion attendees said, as quoted by clarified that there was no project for the demolition of the hotel or the construction of anything else. There was a project for changes in the city-planning and construction plan, she said, which could allow for such a high building to be constructed.What was worrying, besides the fact that a building of 22 floors could be built in the historic centre of Sofia, was that eight underground levels that could also be constructed. Because of the depth, 24m, a small church near the hotel could collapse, Gouteva said. Traffic flow around the plot would also be a problem. Twenty-two stories above ground and eight below were the absolute limit an investor could build on the plot if the project was approved, she said.Sredets district did not approve of the project and had already filed a claim with Sofia's chief architect Petar Dikov, Gouteva said.However, the project met the existing regulations, Teodor Todorov, Sredets district chef architect said. The project could be frozen if the National Institute for Monuments of Culture rejected the project or if the expert council of Sofia city hall decided that such building was not beneficial to Sofia.