Alpár Kató | Feb 20, 2019 | 1
The re-opening of Rác Bath is postponed again
The renovation of Rác Thermal Bath started in 2002, with almost 35.5 million euros spent on it, however, as mno.hu reports, more millions are needed to finish the constructions.
There will be no more talks about the Hungarian Development Bank (HDB) getting the bath and the first class hotel built next to it. The plan was to sell the bath, which was renovated seven years ago and which’s worth is almost 26 million euros, for barely 10 million.
Gábor Bagdy, Budapest’s vice-mayor, told Magyar Nemzet that they cannot defend themselves against gossips spreading around in different media outlets claiming that in the hands of the prime minister’s son-in-law, István Tiborcz, or Felcsút’s mayor’s, Lőrinc Mészáros, the facility could thrive. Bagdy further added that the original project involved a funicular railway up to Gellért hill, but today this depends entirely on the liquidator, since the liquidation of the company created solely for this investment, the Rác Nosztalgia Kft, along with Rác Beruházó Kft, has already started.
The city leadership referred the solution to the issue of Rác Bath to the General Assembly of Budapest in February, claiming that the renovation process should be handed over to the HDB for 10 million euros. Given that they find an investor, the HDB promised to open the bath in the following eight months. However, politics proved to be a problem again, as some of the Fidesz representatives did not find the offered price enough for the bath, which clearly is worth more. What also spoke against the deal was that the involved parties wanted to strike it in a closed meeting. In the end, it was the mayor, István Tarlós, whose suggestion settled the matter, and during an open meeting, it was concluded that the HDB will not be in charge of the renovations.
‘There is nothing else to do but to wait. We are indisputably in a favourable position, since the grounds on which the bath and the hotel are located belong to the city, and we have the upper hand in the matter of the thermal water’s usage” – said Gábor Bagdy.
The reconstruction started in 2002 and had a huge setback when the Rác Nosztalgia Kft went bankrupt before 2010, and the state bank terminated their 20 million euros loan agreement. Including the interests, the 23 million euro call loan was bought by the capital for 7 million. At first, it made a bankruptcy agreement with the original investors, but they still haven’t found an investor for declining building, which has been standing empty for seven years now. There were talks with a Chinese investor last year, with no conclusions. Thus, Budapest had not succeeded in buying the proprietor’s title for the bath and the hotel, even though the city created a government company, REK Rác Fürdő Eszközkezelő Kft, for this means. The company’s reports about 2016 were discussed last week by the capital’s financing and monitoring committee. Sándor Szaniszló, president of the committee, told Magyar Nemzet that everyone has to wait for the results of the inspection, and only then can the city sell the property on an international fair, this way, Budapest will benefit financially from the deal.
REK reported that they have legally expressed their demander’s claims to both of the investing companies during the liquidation.
A year ago private proprietors estimated the costs of the reopening of the bath to be not more than 2 million euros. City leading claims that this price can be over tens of millions today, and the opening can be expected to be delayed by years.