A group of Italian and Serbian companies is partnering on the construction of what is being billed as the largest water park in the Balkans.
The southeastern town of Nis will be the site of the €100 million-plus investment, which besides the water park includes two high-category hotels, a casino, a heliport, restaurants, bars, a congress center and exhibition halls, wellness and spa zone, retail shopping, sports facilities and movie theaters.
According to regional news site eKapija, Nis Mayor Milos Simonovic and the legal representative of Italnis Group, Nebojsa Stankovic, have signed an agreement that will allow construction on undeveloped land located at Lozni Kalem. The agreement is the last of the legal hurdles related to the project.
Simonovic said that he hopes construction can commence within the next few months.
Italnis purchased the 15-hectare Lozni Kalem lot from the city at auction in December. The only bidder on the land, Italnis paid RSD 780 per square meter—about €7.50. The lot is situated at the entrance to the existing Niska Banja spa resort.
The water park will spread over 5.5 hectares of the parcel. Projected to cost €10 million, Fantasy—the working name—will feature indoor and outdoor sections for year-round operation. The park will be able to handle 20,000 visitors a day, with 10,000 a day minimum expected during the summer months. Construction will take about 12 months.
The casino and spa will share a 7,000-square-meter structure to be built in the shape of a ship. The spa and wellness center will occupy the first two levels, the casino the top two. Total investment will exceed €20 million.
The two five-star hotels will cater to separate audiences. According to the investor’s announcement, the entire complex will be built in three phases. First up is the water park, expected to be open as early as summer 2012. One hotel will be ready by 2013, with construction of the remaining components to follow upon its completion.