How does it look like to work on the development of one of the largest construction projects in Serbia, which in a quite short time completely transformed the appearance of one part of the Sava coast and attracted the citizens of Belgrade back to the river? What could expect those who are just deciding to buy an apartment in the Belgrade Waterfront and how much does its growth affect the city’s development?
We discussed these current topics with Ivana Lukic, Marketing Director at Belgrade Waterfront and one of the most successful ladies in the capital’s business circles.
To what extent did the Belgrade Waterfront as a project at this stage changed the experience of contemporary Belgrade and its attractiveness?
According to the facts, 50 percent of all planned
infrastructure has already been completed at Belgrade Waterfront, three
apartment buildings have been populated and that people come here for lunch,
for coffee, for a walk on the Sava Promenade… Implying that the settlement
lives and really fills me with happiness when I see that people like to spend
their free time just on the right bank of the Sava.
The attractiveness of the entire capital is growing with every arranged garden of Belgrade Waterfront, with every activity we organize here, with every new restaurant that opens. Thanks to new opportunities that are opening up, the experience of the city of those who live in it as well as those who visit it is changing. Better and easier access to the river, new city events, worldwide known brands for the first time present in Serbia – that is, according to my opinion, is the right way to improve the metropolis, to the delight of fellow citizens and potential investors.
From the tourist aspect, thanks to this project does this raise Belgrade’s potential?
Certainly. The tourist potential depends directly on what
you can offer to the people who are guests of our city. You have to be
authentic: sometimes the authenticity is reflected in rich history, culture and
tradition; sometime in contemporary development, technological advancement and
organization. I think Belgrade owes its authenticity to a distinctive
combination of these factors, which is reflected partly in its interesting
history and partly in its admirable development that keeps pace with European
When you go to the city that is lying on the river banks, you will absolutely want to get closer to the coast: Belgrade Waterfront offers an organized promenade next to the Sava, perfect for walking, rollerblading, biking, jogging… If you want to buy something you could only find so far in particular metropolitan areas, there is Belgrade Gallery, itself a tourist attraction as the largest shopping mall in the region!
When the Belgrade Tower is completed, it will, as the highest building in Serbia and a future symbol of the city, have a viewpoint at the very top of it, which will become an inevitable tourist spot. From here you will be able to capture the most beautiful parts of Belgrade with one glance. W and St. Regis, the most exciting names in the world of hotel industry and branded apartments, will certainly attract tourists accustomed to exclusive destinations, and a large park for those on a family trip… We don’t stop here; we have big plans for the future.
How much does the Belgrade Waterfront with all its contents change and enhance the lifestyle of the Belgrade people?
For the residents of the Belgrade Waterfront, life is
completely changing, as they now live near the river, with everything they need
at their fingertips. They simply chose the best for themselves: quality,
location, lifestyle, ease of movement around the city, one step away from
greenery… These are the things that are fundamental to our choices that our
What the company has been dedicated to doing since the beginning of its business is to make as much space as possible available to all Belgradians and guests, not just the residents. Therefore, recently opened Belgrade Park with many facilities for all generations, Sava Promenade is already a favorite destination of citizens, and events such as Opera on water, children’s festivals and various art workshops are not only open to all, but also free of charge. These are all things that add a lot of value to life in Belgrade and open up really noteworthy chances for spending free time, creative hobbies and recreational activities.
Aside from the Promenade, which has already become a favorite spot of many, what are the contents that are yet to be realized that you would particularly set aside?
Personally, I cannot wait for the Belgrade Gallery to open,
the largest shopping and entertainment destination in the region, which is
expected to open in September next year. At Belgrade Gallery, a quarter of the
space is allocated for restaurants, cafes, cinemas and other entertainment
activities – which, of course, does not affect the part reserved for the most
diverse brands of clothing, footwear, cosmetics and other products in the
I am glad that everything will be in one place – life in the city can be speeded up, so it is great that you can go shopping, afterwards have dinner with your family in a respected restaurant, and then together to watch the latest movie without unnecessary waste of time.
The Belgrade park, which was opened in mid-November, is the outcome of long planning – for instance, designers considered the sports field to be multifunctional so that fans of different sports could use it, and in the winter it could be turned into an ice rink. I would single it out because I think it is particularly important to cultivate greenery in big cities – no matter that Belgrade Waterfront buildings have their own gardens, parks are still a gathering place without which I would no longer be able to imagine a day out on weekends.
I have to mention the initiative “KVART Belgrade Waterfront”, within which we have been supporting the local contemporary art scene for almost a year now by organizing exhibitions and performances of our performing artists, mostly taking place at the BW Experience (space of the Progres Gallery) in Knez Mihailova Street. In the near future, hopefully, we will decorate the works of our contemporaries with a shopping mall, building lobbies and other places that both residents and tourists will visit.
What are the impressions of those who already live in this part of the city?
Almost every day we receive positive feedback and comments from residents of BW Residences, BW Vista and BW Parkview. When they bought the Belgrade Waterfront apartment, they knew exactly what they were expecting and these expectations were fully met. Of course, our role does not stop when we give them the keys: like all good hosts, we take care of the needs of the people who live there, listen to their wishes and always strive to offer them new opportunities. It is part of the lifestyle they have invested in and now returns to their relaxed routine.
Speaking about living in Belgrade Waterfront apartment buildings, what are the benefits?
If you add world-class apartments – expansive, luminous,
contemporary and practical – to all the conveniences I mentioned above, you
will get a clear impression of the benefits of living in the Belgrade
Waterfront. Our mission from the beginning was to offer the best, because we
think that choosing a living space is a decision in which no compromises should
Therefore, no apartment in our buildings does not involve compromising: whether you chose a studio apartment or a three-bedroom apartment, you made the right decision, according to what you needed at that moment.
If I had to single out something, it would be the views from the windows or terraces of the apartments at the Belgrade Waterfront – basically, the project is in a location that allows you to wake up each morning to some of the most beautiful pictures of the capital. Besides that, each building within the project has a reception desk, security, underground garages, playgrounds and communal gardens.
How much does the Belgrade Waterfront affect the city’s perspective in terms of business and future foreign investment?
When you see that, thanks to a project in Serbia, names such as the worldwide known brands St. Regis or W, or when the largest shopping mall in the region opens somewhere, it can only serve as a motivation for business development. If one is considering of investing, other big brands or businesses venture in the same space may be the scale that will outweigh the decision. From a purely business point of view, after all the research you do, the tests you do and the numbers you analyze, the overall business perspective, which is also contributed by the presence of other major brands, can have an impact that should not be underestimated.
To what extent did the women’s position change in the world of high business, which applies to the male domain?
Nowadays, “male domain” and “female domain” in business are
concepts that we should not use because we only encourage the opinion that,
unfortunately, is still present – that women cannot be equally successful in high-level
jobs positions as men.
I do not live following these principles and I am fortunate that our company is fully committed to doing business by all equality rules. Individual commitment, ambition, creativity, proper goal setting – these should be standards for success and career development when it comes to any job, including top positions in companies, not whether you were born as a man or as a woman.
How would you define success considering your rich career?
I think success is a word that is really difficult, if not impossible to define, because that attempt immediately involves the question – success in what? Even if we try to define, let’s say, just success in business – and that becomes a matter of priority. It is an ideal job for someone to work from home, which is completely done online, and getting such a job will be a tremendous success for them. On the other hand, it is inconceivable for someone to spend time at home or in the office, but he enjoys meetings, planning, field visits…
To such questions, I always say that for me a successful person is the one who recognized what the individual wanted, defined the goal, and achieved that goal. People who have been successful all their lives go through this process all the time. That sets them apart.