Modlin’s nightmare year showed signs of improving in August with news that the town’s iconic fortress had been sold for a cool zł. 35 million. Originally built on the instructions of Napoleon, it underwent a massive expansion in the mid-19th century, and at its peak was capable of housing a 20,000 strong garrison. It played a heroic role resisting German forces in 1939, and its defenders were one of the last Polish units to raise the white flag. After the war the 58 hectare plot was utilized by the Polish army, though in recent years several attempts have been made to auction the land.
On the market since 2008, the asking price had initially been set at a staggering zł. 220 million. Buyers Konkret S.A., a developer whose previous projects have included the prestigious City Park in Poznań, have revealed plans to transform the red brick fortifications into loft-style apartments, Class A offices, boutique retail space and a deluxe hotel. Pledging to retain the fort’s historical character, Konkret S.A. have been granted a further 50% rebate on the 35 mill cost price, though will be looking to spend anything up to zł. 500 million to realize their vision.
The sale is welcome news for Modlin after the fiasco relating to the town’s airport. Opened to much fanfare in 2012, ‘Warsaw’s second airport’ found its runways shut for six months after cracks were discovered on the runway paths. While it was officially reopened in July, it proved too little too late for Wizz who announced they’d lost confidence in the airport and wouldn’t be returning. Modlin’s other carrier, RyanAir, remain hopeful of resuming flights from October.