Mayor Erion Veliaj will expropriate the building known as Sarajet, and a building owned by the Libohova family next to it, which are located on Abdi Toptani Street, in front of the Toptani Center, opposite the Plaza Hotel.
During an interview on the show Opinion, Mayor Veliaj stated:
‘We are putting aside money to expropriate, the big house of the Libohites, the big house of Sarajevo, two constructions that have the status of cultural monument.’
Veliaj made the same statement in May, after the demolition of the National Theater, but added that the houses of the Libohovites and Sarajet will be expropriated to be turned into a museum.
While in Wednesday’s interview, Veliaj did not mention this. The land on which the buildings sit is not only prime real estate but is now a part of the governments casino-zone in the centre of Tirana. Wealthy companies will be allowed to establish casinos on this land as per two government decisions made this month.
Rama, in collaboration with one of the biggest oligarchs in the country, has planned to build a tower about 45 floors high on the site of the Sarajet building, a concept of which has been seen by Exit News.
For many years the developer chosen by Rama has tried to buy the building and land from the heirs of the Kazazi family and its successor branches, the Kosova family, but has encountered the obstacle of one of the heirs who refused to sell it despite the purchase price.
Given that this obstacle has been insurmountable, Rama and Veliaj seem to have now devised a cunning plan to carry out the construction: they will probably take the building as expropriation to the owner who refuses to sell it, under the pretext of that it is necessary for museums that is a public interest, and in a second step they will alienate the property in favour of the private builder.
The 45-storey building is part of the Rama-Veliaj project for the construction of the entire area from the road in front of the Ministry of Interior to the road in front of the old PD building, in front of the Toptani centre, thus creating, together with existing buildings Torre Drini, Gjergji Center and Eurocol, a dense block of tall buildings.