Towergate: Refusal of K-Towers construction repealed

Warsaw’s local government appeal council (SKO) repealed the decision of Warsaw’s mayor not to allow the construction of skyscrapers for the Srebrna company. The investment was a subject of informal talks between Poland's ruling party leader and a developer which raised controversies after they were made public by “Gazeta Wyborcza” in January.

Austrian developer: my reputation ruined by Towergate

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Warsaw’s Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski will have to look through the conditions for the investment, which envisages construction of two skyscrapers at 16 Srebrna Street.

In November 2018 City Hall refused to give permission for the investment which was to involve the construction of two tower blocks which were to house the Lech Kaczyński Institute and Foundation (in memory of the deceased President who died in the Smolensk air crash), a conference centre, hotel, shops and residential accommodation.

The idea was abandoned because of the unwillingness of the Warsaw local authority to grant planning permission and Mr Kaczyński’s concern that it might politically damage his party. After it was abandoned Gerald Birgfellner, the Austrian developer, whose father-in-law is the cousin of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jarosław Kaczyński, presented Mr Kaczyński with a bill for the scoping work already carried out. Since there was no contract for the work, the company which owns the land refused to pay it.

In late January, the Polish “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily published transcripts and recordings from July 2018 of conversations between Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, and an Austrian developer, concerning the construction of the so-called K-Towers.

The “Rzeczpospolita” daily reported on Tuesday that SKO adjudicated that the decision to refuse permission was based on two key mistakes: the obsolete status of construction of that area, as well as an acknowledgement that the front of this investment would be on Srebrna street, not Wronia, perpendicular to Srebrna.