The Serbian government signed a deal with a Kushner-affiliated development company earlier this week that will allow them to redevelop the former headquarters of the Serbian army.

At Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30-Aug. 1 2024, the noise and misinformation will be banished, all your big questions will be answered, and new business opportunities will be revealed. Join us.

A planned real estate development in Serbia by Jared Kushner’s company has drawn opposition from local groups, according to news reports.

The Serbian government signed a deal with a Kushner-affiliated development company earlier this week that will allow them to redevelop the former headquarters of the Serbian army in Belgrade, which was destroyed by a United States-led NATO bombing campaign in 1999, the Associated Press reported. The planned development will feature a high-rise hotel, a luxury apartment complex, office spaces and shops.

“The economic progress in Serbia over the past decade has been impressive,” the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump said in a statement. “This development will further elevate Belgrade into the premier international destination it is becoming.”

While the government has cheered on the deal, opposition groups have spoken out against it, as have members of the general public. Many see the bombed-out former army headquarters as a symbol of Serbian resistance to “NATO aggression,” according to the Associated Press. 

Among the opposition groups is Ecological Uprising, the leader of which, Aleksandar Jovanović, said  “will use all means, including physical” to prevent the demolition of the former army headquarters and the handover of the site to an American company.

“The moment the first bulldozers appear, we will be waiting for them,” Jovanović said at a press conference, according to the AP.

Jovanović called on members of the Serbian public to join him in the blockade, especially members of the Serbian Armed Forces, and “all those who have the courage to defend the old General Staff and not allow this crime to happen.”

Government officials have defended the deal and framed it as part of the reinvigoration of Belgrade.

“We will restore the building 25 years after it was destroyed in the bombing,” construction minister Goran Vesić said, according to the AP. “For a quarter of a century, no one, before this Government, had thought to rebuild the complex. When this space is revitalized, it will contribute to the development of Belgrade and Serbia.”

A memorial to the NATO bombings will be built at the site, financed by the developer, according to the report.

The Serbian project is one of multiple foreign real estate deals Kushner has pursued in recent months, which have raised eyebrows due to his father-in-law’s presidential candidacy and Kushner’s former role in the Trump White House. In addition to the Serbian project, he is also seeking to develop several hotels and hundreds of villas on the Zvërnec peninsula in Albania.

Email Ben Verde

This post was originally published on this site