Eco projects beginning to take off in Bulgaria

Eco property projects are taking off in Bulgaria with two major developers announcing environmental complexes.

Real Estate Company Willbrook Management International will build a €40 million housing complex in Varna. It includes 11 homes, recreation and entertainment facilities and a spa centre.

Company executive director Daiana Voicu said the project will be designed, built and used in line with strict environmental standards and would be one of Bulgaria's first green project.

It will use energy-saving light and air conditioning sources. Water-saving aerators will be mounted in the bathrooms to save water. Local green producers will be picked to supply the construction materials.

Israeli investors Tidhar Group and Asim Real Estate Ltd., in partnership with Bulgarian Investment Group are collaborating on a mutual eco project called Razlog Village All Seasons Nature Resort.

The €250 million project includes eight hotels spread over 150 000 square metres aimed at creating a demand for all year-round tourism activities.

Construction will begin in 2009, and the whole central part together with the internal infrastructure will be completed by 2011. The first guests are expected to arrive in 2012.

Razlog Village will be built on two hills connected with a pedestrian area, flanked by boutiques and mimicking the traditional Bulgarian mid-19 century architectural style. The area will feature two and three-storey buildings with retail and entertainment facilities.

The developers said all eight hotels would be different in style and function, so they match the needs and taste of various clients. A luxury five-star hotel with casino and business centre was one of the hotels, followed by a compact family hotel and a gated community-type complex offering five-star luxury.

A spa hotel and a 'sport hotel' aim to attract a younger crowd who would enjoy an Olympic-size swimming pool and various playgrounds. Also included are an aparthotel and an eco hotel with rooms hewn in cave-like compartments. Developers said they plan to invest in natural pine woodland, which would surround the complex.

International property consultancy firm Colliers International believes more developers will begin opting for green projects. A recent survey by the firm found that eco-construction was just 2% more expensive than conventional methods. Investors pay an average of $40 more per sq m while their direct financial benefits may exceed initial costs ten times.