Luxury Real Estate Guide
We’ve Got the Wheel of Development Turning JOVANKA ATANACKOVIĆ Assistant Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure
favourable legislative environment and efficient administration have significantly accelerated the issuance of building permits and are attracting investors who undertake high-end construction. The government does not only focus on luxury building, but also on providing affordable housing for the most vulnerable groups of citizens, says Jovanka Atanacković, Assistant Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. • To what extent is Serbia today an attractive location for constructing luxury commercial and residential buildings? - The biggest commercial and residential project in Serbia and the region is certainly the Belgrade Waterfront, a joint project of the Serbian Government and the United Arab Emirates. As the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Construc-
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The government has done everything to encourage construction and make Serbia more attractive for investors. The results are visible, both in terms of the number of issued permits and in the volume of work on big and small private projects tion, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlović reiterates, this government wants to leave a legacy for future generations. This project will be a symbol of our country and a driving force of growth. The plan is to build over a million square metres of residential buildings, some 750,000
Belgrade Waterfront, a joint project of the Serbian Government and the United Arab Emirates, will be a symbol of our country, a driving force of growth and a legacy for future generations square metres of commercial buildings, nurseries, schools, cultural institutions, green spaces, etc. Other big projects are the construction of Airport City, site of the old Belgrade airport, and the construction of a residential complex where the Federal Ministry of the Interior used to be. Some smaller high-end residen-
tial and commercial development projects have been completed by private investors in response to the market demands. The role of the government is to encourage construction and make Serbia a more attractive destination for investors by cutting waiting times for building permits. We have adopted a law on planning and construction and introduced the electronic issuance of building permits so that investors now only have to wait about a week for their permits. In some municipalities permits have been issued in a day or two. On average, though, the shortest waiting times are in Čačak, Vranje and Sombor, where the procedure takes three days. It is no wonder that since 1st January, when the law entered into force, we have been breaking records in the issuance of building permits from one month to the next. For example, 1,377 building permits were issued in September, which is nearly 30 per
cent more than in September 2015 and the best result since 2007, when the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia started monitoring the data. The projected value of works is six per cent higher. The greatest construction activity was recorded in Belgrade, in September, and then in the South Bačka region. • What are your expectations when it comes to investment in exclusive building construction? - As the standard of living starts rising, the demand for this type of construction will start to increase too. Serbia is on the right track. This year our gross domestic product will increase by around three per cent, instead of the projected 1.8
Many properties were built by Serbian companies in compliance with the EU standards. This is the best proof that there is an increasing number of Serbian companies that comply with the highest standards in the industry per cent, and it will probably be even higher next year. The unemployment rate in the third quarter of this year has dropped to 13.8% compared to 24.6% in 2012. These are all indicators of economic recovery, which is the first condition for this type of construction. However, it should be pointed out that the government does not only focus on this type of construction but
also on public housing. We do very much care about our underprivileged citizens. • Does Serbia recognise new standards in construction? How much have foreign investors risen the bar here? - Serbia applies the high standards of construction, some of which are on the same level as those applied in the European Union. • Are Serbian companies ready to comply with those standards? - Judging by the quality of work and furnishings, many properties on the Serbian market conform to EU standards and many of them have been built by Serbian firms. This is the best evidence that there is an increasing number of Serbian
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companies that comply with the industry's highest standards. • Are developers in Serbia interested in smart construction and are you considering encouraging it? - Construction companies in Serbia are becoming increasingly aware of smart building, primarily of how
much they can save by using smart systems. One of the first steps in the introduction of smart systems was to improve the long-neglected energy efficiency sector. However, there has been a lot of interest in this area and a lot has been done. Energy saving and environmental protection are among the priorities in architecture, especially in residential building. The law on planning and construction prescribes that from now on all new builds will have to have energy passports with information on the energy properties of the building. So far, we have issued 1,275 energy passports. The Housing and Building Maintenance Bill, which is currently being presented in the Serbian Assembly by Deputy Prime Minister Mihajlović, for the first time sets out energy efficiency as a public interest. This will help us better understand the need to
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improve this area and housing quality. • To what extent has energy efficiency become a broadly adopted standard? - To the extent that it is not possible to build a new building or restore an old one without it having an energy passport. The law on planning and
it is important that we continue to raise awareness of the importance of reducing energy consumption so that our citizens understand that all these measures are in their best interest construction prescribes it. This is the first time that a Serbian law has introduced an institute aimed at improving energy efficiency. In addition, the Central Register of Energy Passports (CREP) has been established, and we plan to support local governments. The National Typology of Residential Buildings has been completed, defining the structure and typology of buildings and system characteristics to increase the efficiency as
much as it is currently possible. The new law has created conditions for the application of energy efficiency measures in construction and introduced a method we can use to calculate how energy efficient a building is. Serbia is meeting its obligations under the agreement with the European Energy Community by training and licencing engineers that specialise in energy efficiency in buildings, issuing decisions on applications for energy passports and producing the National Typology of Residential Buildings (project TABULA). Of course, in addition to legislation, it is important that we continue to raise awareness of the importance of reducing energy consumption so that our citizens understand that all these measures are in their best interest. • Are you satisfied with how health and safety standards are complied with on building sites? - Compared to the period before the situation is improving but we still cannot be happy with the health and safety situation on construction sites. We can never be completely satisfied with the achieved level of safety because, unfortunately, most injuries and fatalities are caused because health and safety rules are not complied with. In this respect, in cooperation with the inspectorate responsible for occupational health and safety with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, we will do our best to improve this area further through legislation and more frequent inspections. Since the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure understands the gravity of the problem, one of the criteria for getting a construction company on a black list or a white list is occupational health and safety.■
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CORPORATE TIJANA OBRADOVIĆ, Founder and Partner, Stefial d.o.o.
With its residential and commercial buildings Maison Royale has reached the highest standards of metropolises worldwide and enriched Belgrade with beautiful, efficient buildings in the most prestigious sites in town
he founders of Maison Royale have brought years of international experience to Serbia, proving that quality, design, functionality and a prestigious location have no alternative when it comes to luxury residential and commercial building. These are some of the reasons why Maison Royale buildings are exclusive and recognisable at first glance. • Maison Royale builds luxury residential and commercial buildings in Belgrade. On what criteria and standards do you base such a demanding concept? - Maison Royale is a lifestyle created in response to our clients’ high standards. It is based on our
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impeccable knowledge of the luxury real estate market and commitment to the quality and aesthetics of the living space. Our apartments are built and furnished luxuriously without compromising on functionality. Everything has to be high-spec, from the location to the design, materials and contractors. When we build in Belgrade we draw on our vast international experience. What sets us apart are our large surface apartments where we combine the look of traditional stylish city apartments with the latest technologies and furnishings. We make sure that our clients feel safe and comfortable in our buildings.
Our clients have high standards: they expect premium locations, exquisite buildings, all mod cons, privacy and security We maintain the trust earned over seventeen years of doing successful business with integrity and discretion, communicating directly with our buyers. We believe that good communication is the best way to reach the common goal –
complete satisfaction with the result achieved. • In the world’s largest cities the location of the property is often more important than its square footage. What is your experience? Which locations do you usually consider before starting a project? - To us, location is an absolute priority. A project, and everything else, hinges on whether we have found an ideal location. We don’t compromise on location any more than we do on functionality. We build in Vračar, Dorćol and in the city centre. We also build in Dedinje and we are likely to build in Senjak. Wherever in Belgrade we build we choose premium locations and often the most expensive ones. • What is your target market and are you planning any projects for 2017? - Our clients have high standards: they expect premium locations, exquisite buildings, all mod cons, privacy and security. Next year we are starting a new residential and commercial building in the heart of Vračar. Another one will be in the very centre of Belgrade. There are other ideas and plans but we are in no hurry. ■
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CORPORATE VLADIMIR ŠOJIĆ, Sales and marketing director, Galens Invest
Expertise in the Service of Quality Galens is run by young and ambitious professionals who, with the help of a carefully selected network of various experts, build structures in the most attractive locations
alens is a company that is increasingly spoken about when it comes to attractive projects, flexible contracting options, prime locations and high-quality, innovative materials. The company also received the 2015 Business Partner national award. • There is a lot of talk about Galens Invest’s Pupin’s Palace – not only in Novi Sad, but also further afield, because this a unique residential and commercial complex built in accordance with the latest European standards. How much is this investment worth and how has its financing been achieved? - Projected investments in Pupin‘s Palace exceed more than €30 million. Financing for this exclusive commercial and residential complex was secured via the project financing of UniCredit Bank, which recognised our vision of building this kind of facility in the very centre of the city and confirmed the seriousness, solvency and efficiency of Galens Invest on the real estate market. • Despite being under construction as a “smart building”, with a lot of modern software and applications, Pupin’s Palace blends into the centre of Novi Sad’s old town excellently. What contents do you plan to install and what target group of buyers and tenants do you have in mind?
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- The projected contents are planned to be incorporated on the basis of the needs of future tenants in the best location at the heart of Novi Sad, as well as those of clients who will buy/lease business premises that have been designed as the first Class A open space offices, in accordance with appropriate LEED standards, which implies the application of all modern construction systems and the installation of materials according to the highest international standards in construction. The project has been recognised by relevant Serbian companies from the sectors of the economy, various representative offices, banking, insurance
For the IT sector we have envisaged in particular the exclusive application and installation of fibre optic cables, a predicted server room space, the possibility of personalising workspaces for employees in their company and especially the IT sector, which have submitted requests to lease and purchase this office space, which is ideal for companies with quiet activities. For the IT sector we have envisaged in particular the exclusive application and installation of fibre optic cables, a predicted server room space, the possibility of personalising work-
spaces for employees in their company, as well as the most advanced VRF system of central heating, cooling and ventilation of the premises. Simply maintaining such a business system as this will be a challenge in itself, and we have envisaged serious facility management that will be at the service of those in commercial and residential areas, taking care of every detail, as well as three layers of security for all tenants and users of Pupin’s Palace. • When do you expect the first tenants will be able to move in and what benefits can they expect? - We have predicted the completion of this project, according to working dynamics, for the end of 2018. The new tenants of the complex, either the residential or the commercial part, will have all benefits in terms of being resident and doing business in the very centre of the city, in close proximity to all administrative, civil, cultural and sports facilities, as well as the benefits of not having to worry about parking, which is provided on three underground levels covering the entire surface area of the complex. An investment in commercial or residential space in this building is a sound investment in itself, and we are certain that potential buyers and tenants will recognise the potential of this project. ▪
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CORPORATE MIA ZEČEVIĆ, Director, NOVASTON d.o.o.
Possibilities Novaston offers a wide range of professional services in the field of commercial real estate, from support in the development of projects and Property and Facility Management, to intermediary services in the sale and issuance of real estate and property value appraisals
espite being a relatively young company, Novaston succeeded in creating its own market space in a short period of time, which is based on professional people, a high quality service, the complete monitoring of the flow of investments, timely responses and global standards and procedures.
• You have an enviable portfolio of companies, funds and investors with whom you work on the real estate market in Serbia. After several years of depression, how wold you now evaluate this market in Serbia and the region? - Even though the countries in the region are often perceived as one market, it is important to stress that countries in the region are at different levels of development. Serbia is now finally at the level where the market is open enough to attract foreign investors and new brands. There are still significant obstacles
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and challenges (purchasing power is still low, property relations, legislation still needs improvement), so knowing all of the market factors is essential for the successful realisation of projects. In comparison with developed countries, Serbia offers a relatively high return on investments in the real estate sector, and that is what brings higher interest among foreign investors. • What specifically can investors interested in investing in real estate in Serbia expect from “Novaston Asset Management”?
We offer both foreign and domestic investors a comprehensive platform for the development and management of commercial real estate, which connects the best world standards in this area with deep knowledge of the local market
- We offer both foreign and domestic investors a comprehensive platform for the development and management of commercial real estate, which connects the best world standards in this area with deep knowledge of the local market. That means that investors can, in one place, receive good, high quality support in all phases of the “life” of their investment. From the very concept of the project, which needs to be adjusted to local conditions and requirements, through construction project management and space leasing services, all the way to managing the final project. Working together, our teams form a synergy and enable our clients to get a quality product that is ready to respond to all market challenges from the start. • What have your results been like this year and what are your plans for the period ahead? - We are very satisfied with what we accomplished in the previous
in the process of conversion is enabled can we expect investments to grow significantly, because that will enable the development of some investments that are dependent on this process, along with the entrance of new investors – those who still don’t want to invest in land that is in the process of conversion. • In Serbia you are developing the extremely popular global concept of a network of retail parks, places for gathering, shopping and entertainment. How does this system operate in Serbia? - We work with our clients on the development of retail parks, but also period. Novaston is a relatively small company, but we managed to gain a unique position in the market, precisely because of the services we offer to our clients. Through the year we helped or client IMMOFINANZ to open two very successful STOP SHOP projects in Niš and Valjevo, and we will continue with new projects in the coming year. We continued our cooperation with Vivo Shopping Park – a very attractive project in Jagodina. Alongside the NEPI investment fund, we participate in some of the biggest acquisitions in Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria. We have open cooperation with one of the biggest consulting firms in the world – Cushman & Wakefield, which rely on us in covering the local market. We also consider cooperation with banks, which hold a huge number of real estate properties in their portfolios, as being of great importance. Throughout the year we developed a professional marketing team, which enables us to also offer this type of service to our clients. We are satisfied with our company’s growth dynamics, but we are primarily focusing on continual improvement of the quality of our services. • Serbia probably made one of the biggest breakthroughs in the eco-
nomic reform process precisely in the area of regulating planning and construction. How has this shift impacted on increasing interest in investing in Serbia and, in your opinion, what else has yet to be regulated in this sector? - The shifts that have been made are really important, but the majority of the work is still ahead of us. Legislation for obtaining permits has been improved greatly, but it is still necessary to improve the use of new legislation at the local level. The main obstacle is still property laws, especially as they relate to the problem of land conversion and the problem of restitution. Only when certainty
Novaston is a relatively young company, but we have managed to gain a unique market position, precisely because of the services we offer our clients shopping malls. The concept choice is conditioned by the needs of the local market (local population, purchasing power). Shopping malls are more suitable for larger cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, while somewhat smaller cities require a different approach. The retail park concept is taken from other markets, but it is significantly improved and adjusted in Serbia, so its contents and offers do not deviate much from shopping malls, which are a more complicated product. We have recognised that people from small cities also want a complete experience and not just a place to shop. That is why our projects are intended and realised so that they contain not just shopping options, but also entertainment, restaurants and cafés. We have organised marketing events and try to give our customers all the services that they can usually find in shopping malls, although here that is under the open sky. ■ LUXURY REAL ESTATE GUIDE
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CORPORATE LJILJANA AND SRĐAN TEODOSIJEVIĆ, Owners of Best Real Estate
Full Focus on the Client
Expats, members of the diplomatic corps, corporate clients and the like trust our team's professional expertise when choosing the perfect family home or modern business property
e spoke with Ljiljana and Srđan Teodosijević of Best Real Estate about the Serbian real estate market and the range of services available to their clients. • How would you describe Best Real Estate and what are the main characteristics of your method of doing business? - We are what our name says: BEST REAL ESTATE. Best Real Estate encompasses both the local business expertise of real estate professionals and the skills of each of our team members. Understanding our customers’ individual needs is at the heart of everything we do. When it comes to doing business, our mantra is “focus fully on the client.”
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• How would you define Best Real Estate´s target market? - Our business caters to a discerning clientele, who place great emphasis on the highest of standards when choosing a property to rent or buy. Expats, members of the diplomatic corps, corporate clients and the like trust our team´s professional expertise when choosing a property, be they seeking the perfect family home or a modern business building to reflect their corporate image. • How does your portfolio compare to that of your competitors? - Our portfolio has grown along with our clients, by listening closely to their needs and suggestions. We work with property owners and investors on every aspect of their property strategies and assist them in developing, buying, selling, leasing, evaluating and managing their properties. Our real estate listing comprises a wide range of properties located in attractive parts of Belgrade, all built according to the highest standards.
We provide best in class brokerage services to all those seeking to rent or buy real estate in Serbia This tailor-made approach has enabled us to include among our portfolio such esteemed clients as embassies, members of the diplomatic corps, various project-based experts implementing governmental or company projects, multinational corporate offices, middle- and sen-
ior-management expatriates et all. • Which services do you offer your clients? - Whether they are looking to invest, buy, sell, lease, evaluate or manage property, we are here for them. • residential and commercial real estate brokerage, mediation in leasing and sales processes, legal assistance following the confirmation of the Transaction Agreement, tax procedures, procedures in public companies; • real estate advisory services for developing and controlling property rentals, advice on the sale and purchase process, property analysis when leasing or buying property; • consultancy and support for new projects; • property and evaluating advisory services with certified property evaluations for various uses, legal advice, due diligence reports; • property and facility management services. • On the basis of your expertise, what do you think will be the major trends in supply and demand for the market in 2017? - In 2017, we will witness a further stabilisation of the market in terms of the supply and demand ratio, as well as in terms of sale and lease prices. With large projects coming to completion in 2017, the supply of quality properties will be on the rise, while further stabilisation of the country’s economy will continue to influence the real estate market´s recovery trend. ▪
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The primary activity of the Feel Belgrade travel agency is working in incoming tourism by organising different types of accommodation (hotels, apartments etc. ) in Belgrade and Serbia, sightseeing tours and excursions, transfers in or out of the city, placements for the best cafes, restaurants and clubs in Belgrade, and also providing all necessary information about Belgrade and Serbia.
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The Smartest Building
in the World
day at the Edge in Amsterdam starts with a smartphone app developed with the building’s main tenant, consulting firm Deloitte. From the minute you wake up, you’re connected. The app checks your schedule and the building recognises your car when you arrive and directs you to a parking spot. Then the app finds you a desk - because at the Edge you don’t have one. no one does. Workspaces are based on your schedule: sitting desk, standing desk, work booth, meeting room, balcony seat, or “concentration room.” Wherever you go, the app knows your preferences for light and temperature, and it tweaks the environment accordingly. The Edge is also the g reenest building in the world, according to British rating agency BREEAM, which gave it the highest s ustainability score ever awarded: 98.4 per cent. The building of the future necessitated invention. Several stand out. The super-efficient LED panels, made by Philips specifically for the Edge, require such a trickle of electricity they can be powered using the same cables that carry data for the internet. The panels are also packed with sensors—motion, light, temperature, humidity, infrared—creating a “digital ceiling” that wires the building like synapses in a brain. The Edge is packed with some 28,000 sensors. The atrium is the gravitational centre of the Edge’s solar system. Mesh panels between each floor let stale office air spill into open space, where it rises and is released through the roof, creating a loop of natural ventilation. Slight heat variations and
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It knows where you live. It knows what car you drive. It knows who you’re meeting with today and how much sugar you take in your coffee (at least it will, after the next software update.) This is the Edge, and it’s quite possibly the smartest office space ever constructed air currents make it feel like being outdoors. Even on a stormy day, the building remains opalescent with natural light and angles of glass. The atrium and its iconic slanted roof, which looks from the outside as if a wedge has been sliced off the building, floods the workspaces with daylight and provides a sound buffer from the adjacent highway and train tracks. Every workspace is within seven metres of a window. About 2,500 Deloitte workers share 1,000 desks. The concept is called hot desking and is supposed to encourage new relationships, chance interactions, and, just as important, efficient use of space. Desks are only used when they're needed. Some tiny rooms at the Edge contain just a lounge chair and a lamp (no desk)—perfect for a phone call. There are also gam-
Central dashboards track everything from energy use to when the coffee machines need to be refilled. On days when fewer employees are expected, an entire section might even be shut down, cutting the costs of heating, cooling, lighting and cleaning. The digital ceiling was one of the most expensive innovations; Deloitte wouldn’t disclose the cost, but Erik Ubels, chief information officer for Deloitte in the Netherlands, says it will take 8.3 years to earn it back. The smartphone is your passport to the Edge. Use it to find your colleagues, adjust the heating, or manage your gym routine. You can even order up a dinner recipe, and a bag of fresh ingredients will await you when the workday is over. All desks are equipped with built-in wireless chargers, so your phone can keep itself charged.
The Edge is also the greenest building in the world, according to British rating agency BREEAM, which gave it the highest sustainability score ever awarded: 98.4 percent ing rooms and coffee bars with espresso machines that remember how you like your coffee. Since workers at the Edge don’t have assigned desks, lockers serve as home base for the day. Find a locker with a green light, flash your badge, and it’s yours. Employees are discouraged from keeping a single locker for days or weeks, because part of the new philosophy is to break people away from their fixed locations and rigid ways of thinking.
When you arrive at the Edge, garage entry is automated. A camera snaps a photo of your licence plate, matches it with your employment record, and raises the gate. Even the garage uses sensorequipped LED lights, which brighten as you approach and dim as you leave. It’s the Netherlands, so a separate garage for bicycles and free chargers for electric vehicles aren’t surprising. The Edge is wired with a vast network of two
different kinds of tubes: one that holds data (ethernet cables) and another that holds water. Behind each ceiling tile is a massive coil of thin blue piping that delivers water to and from the building’s subterranean water storage for radiant heating and cooling. During summer months, the building pumps warm water more than 400 feet deep in the aquifer beneath the building, where it sits, insulated, until winter, when it's sucked back out for heating. The system developed for the Edge is the most efficient aquifer thermal energy storage in the world, according to Robert van Alphen, OVG's project manager for the Edge. The southern wall is a checkerboard of solar panels and windows. Thick load-bearing concrete helps regulate heat, and deeply recessed windows reduce the need for shades, despite direct exposure to the sun. The roof is also covered with panels. The Edge uses 70 per cent less electricity than the typical office building, but it wasn’t until OVG installed panels on the rooftops of some neighbouring university buildings that the Edge was able to boast that it produces more energy than it consumes. Sensors in the LED light panels report detailed temperature and humidity readings across a floor (above). A Deloitte survey found that while fewer than
a quarter of employees actively use the app’s thermostat features, three-quarters say they love it. A coming app upgrade will boost efficiency further by suggesting desk locations to employees based on their temperature preferences and meeting locations throughout the day. A massive concrete tub in the back of the parking garage gathers the rainwater used to flush the building’s toilets and water the gardens. It’s a loud room on a rainy day. The water rushes down from collection systems on the roof and outdoor balcony. For smarter cleaning, activity is tracked by
your progress. Some of the e xercise stations here will actually harness the energy from your workout, sending hard-earned watts back to the grid—as if you didn’t already feel like a hamster on a wheel. The Edge watches you in the bathroom, too (but not in a creepy way). A normal-looking towel dispenser provides a spool of cloth for hand-drying. Unlike a typical hand dryer, though, this one is connected to the internet. It lets the cleaning staff know when a busy bathroom is probably ready for a cleanup. Birds, bats, bees, and bugs. These are the building’s neighbours on the north-facing terrace. OVG
About 2,500 Deloitte workers share 1,000 desks. The concept is called hot desking, and it’s supposed to encourage new relationships, chance interactions, and, just as important, efficient use of space sensors built into light panels, so at the end of the day, the people and robots responsible for cleaning can focus on the areas that have been used most heavily that day. The on-site gym encourages employees to break for a midday workout. Flash your phone at the checkin station and the gym’s app automatically tracks
worked with Amsterdam officials to establish a continuous path of vegetation that supports beneficial insects throughout the city. Birdhouses and bat boxes are tucked discreetly into the landscaping. These pockmarked towers support various species of solitary bees, which buzz about the flowers on the public terrace. ■
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Boulevard Vojvode Misica 15, Belgrade I firstname.lastname@example.org I +381 11 3699LUXURY 802REAL I www.newmill.rs ESTATE GUIDE | 19