The 35-storey tower behind International Hotel Tirana, whose construction work will soon commence, will not only be used as an extension of the hotel but also as shopping center.
Originally, the tender documents stated that the new building would only be used as an extension, a claim that was difficult to believe as the extension would be four times the size of the hotel, in a market for hotel rooms that is already saturated. It has now become clear that a considerable part of the new building will be used as shopping center. Accoding to the new project details, there will be 5 levels of underground parking and 30 storey above ground. It is not known how many of those will be turned into shopping mall.
The building permit for the extension was given to the company that currently owns the hotel in complete absence of transparency by the National Territorial Council in April 2017.
The application for the building permit was made by Atelier 4, the preferred architecture studio of Prime Minister Edi Rama since his time as Mayor of Tirana.
Together with the recent opening of the construction site for the Eyes of Tirana, another shopping center next to Skënderbeg Square, it is clear that Prime Minister Rama and Mayor Veliaj are fully implementing the so-called “French Masterplan” developed by Architecture Studio in the early 2000s. The French Plan envisioned the construction of 10 skyscrapers surrounding Skënderbeg Square. So far, 2 have been built: the TID Tower which has become a self-awarded 5-star hotel and the bankrupt 4EverGreen Tower designed by Italian architect Marco Casamonti.