A new residential district spanning 10.8 ha will emerge on an abandoned land plot near Sofia's Central Railway Station. The future Capitol Residence, whose construction started in July, is an unusual project for Sofia's construction scenery for several reasons.
While for most housing developers it is the southern and southeastern regions bordering Vitosha and Lozen mountains that are attractive, the new complex will be in the northern part of the city, a predominantly industrial area. However, it will be located within a 20-minutes' walk from Sofia's center.
Its scale is also unusual for the city. If developed as planned, in five years it will offer 350,000 sq.m of housing space or 3,200 to 3,300 apartments. The project starts with 900 apartments at the first stage.
As early as a few months ago the average price of finished apartments in Sofia topped 1,100 euro/sq.m. However, the off-plan sales of Capitol Residence started from 650 to 750 euro, including VAT, and have now edged up to about 800 euro/sq.m. Seven months after the off-plan sales began and a couple of months after the start of construction in July, the project has been 70% sold, according to information from the exclusive broker.
The investor, Capitol Build, is connected with PIMK, the third largest transport and logistics company in Bulgaria (revenue of 234.9 million levs in 2020).
The first stage of the project will be located on a plot of 2.3 ha and includes the construction of 108,000 sq.m of housing space, or 900 apartments in four buildings. That makes it larger than many towns and villages in Bulgaria, said Kostadinka Kanurova, head of exclusive broker KMV Property Management.
The financing for the first stage has been already secured, said project partner Tsvetan Pulev. The developers use own funds and receipts from the sale of apartments. The construction is expected to take 28 months and finish at the end of 2023.
Two of the buildings are lower (6 or 7 floors) and the other two will reach 12 to 17 floors in height. The project chief designer, Tsvetan Petrov of Ivo Petrov Architects, said the location allows the construction of taller buildings, as there are no other structures nearby. That also leaves more space for green areas and playgrounds. There will also be a two-level underground parking space.
The second phase of Capitol Residence will be developed on a 8.5-hectare plot the company bought in late August. The project includes three separate zones: a commercial area, a housing area with another 2,300 or 2,400 apartments, and sports facilities and green areas. There will also be a kindergarten and buffer parking space. Construction is expected to begin in the next six to seven months.
As an investment
Even without aggressive advertising so far, 70% of the apartments in the first two buildings have been sold already (60% in the first four), said Kostadinka Kanurova. She attributes the success to the good planning and project design. "There are different types of housing, from one to four-room apartments. The location is also crucial for the choice, as there is connection with the metro," Kanurova added.
Half of the clients have purchased apartments for investment purposes, according to KMV information. There is a person who has bought 15 apartments and another one with 10. Some 80% of the purchases are made with own funds, mortgage loans are used to finance the purchase of larger apartments for own use, Kanurova said.