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Hungary invites bids for government center design, construction

Hungary will begin accepting bids today to design and build its new government center, which will eventually house most government offices.

The complex will occupy about 30 hectares (74 acres) behind Budapest's Nyugati Railway station, György Görözdi, the president of the 13-member committee charged with evaluating bids, said at a briefing in Budapest. Bids will be accepted until May 31 and a final decision is expected around June 11.

The government voted December 1 to move its bureaucracy into one central location to cut Ft 10 billion (€39.7 million) a year from the budget. Companies considering bids include GTC Real Estate NV, Skanska AB, Strabag AG and Hungary's Trigránit Rt, the newspaper Világgazdság said in December. The project will cost an estimated Ft 50 billion and should be finished by the middle of 2009, the government said in a statement distributed at the press conference.

Hungary expects to earn some Ft 100 billion from the sale of the buildings it currently uses, the statement said. The adjudicating committee includes Daniel Libeskind, the master plan architect for the former World Trade Center site in New York, and Barcelona's chief architect, Josep Acebillo Marin, the statement said. (Bloomberg)