Bucharest mayor Nicusor Dan signed the demolition order for Cathedral Plaza, the illegally built building in the vicinity of the Roman Catholic Cathedral on General Berthelot Street, the mayor general announced on his Facebook page. The court revoked the building permit for this building in 2011. However, the signing of the provision does not mean that demolition will begin immediately.
“This morning I signed the demolition order for Cathedral Plaza, the illegally built building in the vicinity of the Roman Catholic Cathedral on General Berthelot Street. Since January 2013, the Capital City Hall has been compelled, by a final court decision, to demolish the building. However, this obligation was ignored by former mayors Sorin Oprescu and Gabriela Firea. I mention that there are still some administrative steps to be taken until the actual start of the demolition works, so I will come back with information at the right time. The demolition expenses will be initially borne by the municipality, and will finally be recovered from the owner of the building. Our goal is for the land on which Cathedral Plaza is now to be harmoniously integrated in the urban landscape of Bucharest, and for this we have all the openness to collaborate with both the owner and the District 1 City Hall”, Nicușor Dan posted on the page Facebook.
The Cathedral Plaza project of the developer Millennium Building Development (MBD) was authorized by the City Hall of Sector 1 on February 24, 2006. Work began on March 9 of the same year.
In April 2006, the authorization was challenged in court by representatives of the Romanian Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest on the grounds that it affects both the image and the structure of St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Since July 2007, the works have been interrupted several times due to disputes between the Archdiocese and the project developers. The building was officially completed in June 2011.
One month later, in July 2011, the Suceava Court of Appeal rejected the sixth and last extraordinary appeal promoted by MBD “irrevocably establishing the nullity of the authorization to build the self-titled Cathedral Plaza building”.
On June 28, 2012, the Dâmbovița Court obliged the Mayor of Bucharest to issue the decision regarding the demolition of the Cathedral Plaza tower. The sentence became final and irrevocable in January 2013, following the decision of the Ploiești Court of Appeal. Mayor Sorin Oprescu has not yet implemented the court’s decision. The representatives of the Capital City Hall declared at the beginning of 2014 that they asked in court for clarifications regarding who will demolish the Cathedral Plaza.
On September 17, 2013, a bailiff summoned the mayor general of the capital, Sorin Oprescu, to demolish the office tower. However, Oprescu stated immediately after the summons that he ordered a technical expertise to establish the ways to demolish the Cathedral Plaza building, estimate the costs and determine the impact on the neighboring buildings, but for the demolition of the building he claims that another court sentence is needed.
The building was not demolished during Gabriela Firea’s mandate either. In 2017, the Capital City Hall transmitted that “Bucharest has no competences regarding the start of the procedures for the demolition of Cathedral Plaza. The attributions regarding the approval of the demolition of the building belong exclusively to the National Commission of Historical Monuments and to the owner of Cathedral Plaza”.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest says that the decision of the mayor of the capital, Nicusor Dan, to demolish the Cathedral Plaza, the building built near the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph, means “a return to normalcy”.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese says it says the “news” that the mayor general of the capital has decided to implement the court’s sentence “is a great joy for the clergy and believers of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, who fought for years to save St. Joseph’s Cathedral.”
According to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest, the mayor general’s order is “an act of historical reparation, the only possible form of legal entry, which comes as a culmination of the efforts of the Romanian judiciary that has consistently ruled on the illegality of the office building. ordered the cancellation of the authorization, established the illegality of the reception report at the end of the works, the deregistration of the building from the land book, the disconnection from the utilities, the total demolition of the construction “.