Top five events in Bratislava in 2019

Reconstruction of tram tracks, new developments, higher taxes, parking policy as well as new heads of municipal companies.

Bratislava, illustrative stock photoBratislava, illustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, experienced several big events and milestones during 2019. Here is the selection of the five most important as chosen by The Slovak Spectator.

1. Trams run again to Karlova Ves borough

After more than six months of works, the tram service resumed on the first reconstructed section of the so-called Karlovesko-Dúbravská radial tram track on December 19. The section from the Molecova tram stop to the turning point in Karlova Ves was supposed to be out in operation in September, but the work was delayed due to poorly drawn engineering networks and a dispute with land owners in Dolné Krčace, where the traction substation is located. Resuming the tram service on the remaining reconstructed section further to Dúbravka borough remains open due to the ongoing dispute. In the meantime, the line is supplied with electricity from an alternative source.

Related articleTrams return to Karlova Ves Read more 

Next year, the reconstruction of the Karlovesko-Dubravská radial tram track will continue with works on the second section of the track: from the tunnel to the Molecova tram stop. The works are expected to start at the beginning of May 2020 and last until the autumn of 2020.

The original price of the reconstruction of the entire Karlovesko-Dubravská radial tram track was €65.1 million. However, delays in the work will increase the costs.

Related articleTrams finally connect Danube banks Read more 

Another major tram project in the city is the extension of the tram track in Petržalka to Janíkov Dvor. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021, with completion scheduled for 2023.

2. Bratislava citizens will pay extra on real estate tax

Related articleBratislavans to join other municipalities in paying higher property tax Read more 

Since January 2020, the property tax will increase in Bratislava. The new rates vary, depending on the type of real estate and its location. By increasing the tax, city councillors responded to expected losses of revenues caused by government or parliamentary measures combined with a negative forecast of economic development. This would have meant that the city and boroughs would not be able to implement all their expected and, in some cases, long-delayed investment and development projects. Also the quality and scope of the services already provided by local administration might be jeopardised. The increased tax rates will fetch additional €24-€263 million per year while the city and boroughs will divide the revenues in 50:50 ratio.

There were no official discussions about the hike in the tax, which was criticised mainly by the largest corporate payers of real estate tax in the capital, such as carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia or the Slovnaft refinery. They learned about the increase at the very last moment when they had already concluded their financial plans for next year. Volkswagen, which operates its production plant in Devínska Nová Ves, pays €4 million property tax and Slovnaft pays for its premises in Podunajské Biskupice €3 million annually.

3. Bratislava will launch parking policy as of 2021

Related articleBratislava's new parking policy. What will change? Read more 

On June 27, 2019, city councillors unanimously approved a parking policy to become effective as of 2021. The citizens of the capital will thus pay for every car in household and parking in other boroughs of the city. Every Bratislava citizen who has a car and lives in a zone where paid parking will be introduced will have to pay €39 per year. He or she also gets a hundred hours of parking for visits. Households with two cars will pay an extra fee of €150 for the second car. The third car in a household will be charged €500. The company parking fee will be between €500 and €2,000. Hourly parking will be charged from €0.50 to €2 depending on the zone.

Related articleNew parking policy starts in Bratislava’s Petržalka Read more 

Paid parking zones will be introduced gradually. Petržalka is the first city district in which people pay for parking, taking advantage of the possibility of introducing its own pilot parking scheme in the meantime, before the city-wide parking policy is in effect. The pilot scheme, which favours residents, was launched on November 1, 2019. In the near future, Nové Mesto and Ružinov boroughs are also planning to introduce temporary parking schemes.

4. Bratislava is getting a skyscraper

Related articleThe construction of Slovakia’s first skyscraper may start soon Read more 

The developer J&T Real Estate received a valid building permit for the Eurovea 2 project on the Danube River embankment in December. It will include the first Slovak skyscraper with a height of 168 metres. According to official parameters, an object is considered a skyscraper when its height is 150 metres at least. It was one of the most complicated permitting processes when not only dissatisfied neighbours but also the entire borough of Ružinov challenged the project.

Meanwhile, works continued on other development projects in the city. Nivy, a HB Reavis project that will combine the functions of a bus station, shopping centre and market, will open in the fall of 2020. The residential towers of the Penta Real Estate’s project, Sky Park, designed by the prominent architectural studio Zaha Hadid Architects, also acquiring their final appearance. These should be completed by mid-2020.

Related articleThe construction of the new bus station in Bratislava has progressed Read more 

In 2019, the construction of the Vydrica project under Bratislava Castle started as well. It will fill the hole between the Danube embankment and the castle hill close to the SNP Most bridge. In the south of Petržalka, the development group Lucron, which also participates in the Vydrica project, is preparing one of the largest real estate projects not only in Bratislava but in all Slovakia. A multifunctional complex with apartments, shops, offices or leisure facilities, which will be called Nesto, will be constructed on the Slovak-Austrian border.

Related articleBratislava's Petržalka to be extended Read more 

5. New heads of municipal companies and organisations

The city council continued to replace the management of key municipal companies and organisations via open competitions.

Peter Olajoš became the new chairman of the board of directors of the water utility company Bratislavská Vodárenská Spoločnosť (BVS) and Martin Rybanský was chosen as the head of the public transport company Dopravný Podnik Bratislava (DPB). Boris Šramko is the new director of the funeral company Marianum, but only for one year. Martin Maslák became the new head of the city waste and removal company Odvoz a Likvidácia Odpadu (OLO).

Related articleBratislava's Metropolitan Institute will change the capital's look Read more 

The selection procedure for the position of the head of the Bratislava Metropolitan Institute, a flagship project of Matúš Vallo, Bratislava Mayor elected to the post in late 2018, will be repeated. Despite the successful selection procedure for this position, the selected candidate, Michal Hladký, did not reach an agreement in negotiations with the city council over relocation and remuneration.

The city council is still looking for new heads of the municipal investor and engineering organisation, Generálny Investor Bratislavy (GIB), the Bratislava City Gallery (GMB) and the Bratislava and Cultural Information Centre (BKIS).

Related articleThe European Capital of Culture title gave Košice the courage to think big Read more 

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