The future of the former military resort of Kupari is under question as the State Property Minister, Goran Maric, has expressed doubts as to the seriousness of the investor.
The state owned resort, which includes a number of hotels, has been looking for fresh investment since the Homeland War. Two and a half years ago a Russian investor, Sergej Gljadelkin, the owner of the Avenue Group won the concession to redevelop the tourism properties, however no actual construction work had even been started and now the minister believes the whole project has stopped.
"It is hard to expect a continuation of the project," commented the minister disappointed with the Russian investor Avenue Group. “The investor has not carried out the conditions or fulfilled any of the obligations. We'll do the analysis, but I think it's hard to expect a continuation of the project to continue,” added the minister.
"It is hard to expect a continuation of the project," - Minister Maric
Avenue Group had announced big plans for the Kupari project, with 100 million Euros expected to be spent and brand name hotel chains mentioned as possible partners. However, movement has been extremely slow with only some clean-up of the site and documentation carried out. And this slow process has annoyed the minister, “If we break contracts it will be due to the investor not fulfilling obligations, they have proposed changes to the conditions that we don’t agree with.”
The majority owner of Avenue Group is the Russian billionaire Sergej Gljadelkin, the owner of more than twenty companies worldwide. Avenue Holdings operates in France, Austria and Switzerland and the main activity if construction and recycling. It is estimated that the annual revenues of the umbrella company are around $500 million.
Sergej Gljadelkin started his business career in Russia where his company built commercial and residential properties. Although he was connected to a few construction scandals in Russia he successfully managed to stay out of the press limelight. He is generally a private person and the early parts of his career, and how he amassed his first millions, are almost impossible to uncover. Over the years he has continued this shadowy relationship with the media and hardly ever gives interviews or even statements.