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Successor states sign a contract for joint sale of real estate of the former SFRY Mission to the United Nations

On 9 March 2022, the successor states of the former Social Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) signed a contract in New York for the joint sale of the real estate of the former SFRY Mission to the United Nations at 854 Fifth Avenue for $50 million in the most advantageous offer.

Signature of a real estate sale contract for the former SFRY Mission in New York, sitting around the table

Signature of a real estate sale contract for the former SFRY Mission in New York | Author Ministrstvo zazunanje zadeve

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In accordance with Article 3 of Annex B of the Agreement on Succession Issues, Slovenia is entitled to USD 7 million or 14% of the total purchase price from the sale of the Mission of the former SFRY building in New York. With the signing of the contract, the 120-day time limit for handing over the property to the buyer and the payment of the purchase price has begun to run.

The signing of a contract for the sale of real estate by the former SFRY Mission in New York, 20 years after the signing of the Agreement on Succession Issues and five years after the decision of the successor States to sell it together, is undoubtedly a great success. The whole process of the joint sale was rather complex and time-consuming, requiring a lot of coordination between the successor countries, the real estate agency and the lawyer.

Since the collapse of the former common state, the facility has been used by the Republic of Serbia as its diplomatic representation. The building, located directly opposite Central Park, was built in 1905 and designed by the architects Warren and Wetmore, who also planned the famous Grand Central Terminal in New York. It is the last preserved palace of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

The former SFRY purchased the building in 1946, with funds for the purchase being raised mainly by emigrants with Slovenian-American writer Louis Adamič at the helm. The facility was continuously used by the former SFRY as its representation with the United Nations in New York. The usable area of the building is about 1,500 square metres and the building has five floors and a basement. It has 26 rooms, seven bathrooms, two elevators and 14 fireplaces. The interior is extremely richly furnished, as there are several works of art in the building, especially paintings and tapestries, wall and ceiling stucco and paintings, a wood-panelled reception and library, crystal chandeliers and several gilded interior elements.

With the sale of the immovable mission of the former SFRY in New York, the countries managed to sell the last of the five properties of the former SFRY which had been the subject of joint sale since 2017 (previously, the countries sold the residence of the former SFRY in New York, the Embassy of the former SFRY in Bonn, and the Embassy/Residence of the former SFRY in both Bern and Tokyo). For the last six years, the successor countries have been engaged in highly intensive talks on the distribution of the diplomatic assets of the former SFRY and have brought the process of division diplomatic property into the final phase.