Valentin Dragnev, owner of “Total Sport”, for the Tobacco …

The time for a solution to Tobacco City is long overdue. However, the state is 7-8 years late in settling this case. The decision, in my opinion, should be acceptable to both the private interest and the public. It is important to have a common conceptuality in which specific investors can realize their interests. The district should combine such functions, where the rule of reasonable return on capital is respected, while at the same time preserving the spirit of the buildings. Because neither the private individual is 100 percent wrong, nor the state and the Municipality are 100 percent right. As I read in one of Maritza’s comments, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

I say this as an investor who has been present in the Tobacco City for 20 years and whose center develops not only sports activities, but also organizes dozens of exhibitions, performances, balls, charity initiatives. Therefore, I am adamant that one must find that golden mean where the pendulum is in balance. I listen to people who have never been in business, and who we used to call culture draggers, insisting on exhibition halls and concert halls. However, if these same people clothed their words in numbers, the rule of return on capital would not apply. The opposite is also incorrect – to realize monstrous open-plan buildings here, to be sold at 2,000 euros per square meter. The balance must be sought. Yes, it is good to have artisans in Tobacco City, but not for them to be dominant. The place is suitable for both living and working, it just needs to be arranged and regulated in a reasonable way. The municipality can make a profit if it builds an above-ground multi-storey car park here. The only thing it has done in 20 years, however, is to include in a blue zone the streets around the warehouses, along which almost no one passes.

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