Warsaw's delayed luxury tower nears completion

AP News
Posted: Sep 12, 2013 11:45 AM
Warsaw's delayed luxury tower nears completion

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The 54-story tower in Warsaw designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind offered potential clients a peek Thursday at its luxurious apartments after years of delay caused by a legal battle.

A marketing suite opened in the Zlota 44 Tower, displaying splendid aerial vistas of the city and apartment interiors in white marble and dark American walnut.

Some 200 apartments are for sale in the 192-meter (630-foot) high building, at prices ranging from 25,000 to 65,000 zlotys per square meter ($7,800 -$20,000). The tower — named for its address in central Warsaw — plans to open next year.

"It was a roller coaster to get to where we are today," said developer Jean-Francois Ott, CEO and founder of the Orco Property Group.

Construction of the tower began in 2008 but residents of neighboring buildings sued, saying it blocked their sunlight. Two separate courts issued two conflicting decisions on the case. Warsaw authorities ended the stalemate by confirming their permission to build the building.

The tower, which is covered in blue-and-white glass panels, dominates the skyline of the Polish capital, along with the neighboring, communist-era Palace of Culture and Science, a gift to the city in the 1950s from Soviet leader Josef Stalin.

Warsaw authorities aim to have skyscrapers built all around that reminder of communist times so the building is not the city's central focus.