Eurogate in its current form not viable for UBS.
The signing of the sale contract between UBS, Eurogate Zürich AG and the project owner ARGE Eurogate will not take place today as planned. A number of preconditions, including obtaining planning permission, could not be fulfilled within the time-limit stipulated in the conditional contract. The project in its current form would have required construction work on the Eurogate complex at Zurich's main railway station to begin onsite by mid-June 2001.
On 8 May 2000, UBS, Eurogate Zürich AG and the project owner ARGE Eurogate signed a conditional sale contract based on a declaration of intent dating from April 2000. Under this contract, all rights and duties arising in connection with the Eurogate project would have been transferred to UBS subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. Given the need for close co-ordination with Rail 2000+ (a project of the Swiss Federal Railways SBB), the planned time window for construction to begin on the project was mid-June 2001.
Planning permission blocked
The planning permission essential for the project is blocked following objections lodged by the Zürich section of the Verkehrs-Club der Schweiz (VCS). Negotiations have failed to produce an acceptable solution. As a result, construction work could no longer begin in mid-June 2001, a necessary precondition for co-ordination with Rail 2000+. Implementing the conditional sale contract as planned is thus no longer feasible for UBS.
Unforeseen project alterations
At the same time, alterations to Zurich's second through station and the fact that the launch date for Rail 2000+ has been brought forward have added considerably to the project's complexity. As recently as January 2001, UBS provided additional funds in the double-digit millions for the further development of the project and to finance preliminary construction work. In the present situation, further up-front financial commitments are not justifiable, especially since objections have already also been raised to the planned through station, which indirectly block Eurogate as well.
UBS thanks all the parties involved, especially the City of Zurich, for their commitment to the project. UBS regrets the fact that the development of the Eurogate complex in the present circumstances will not go ahead. The decision not to proceed with Eurogate in its present form does not signify that the development of a complex at Zurich's main railway station is not a feasible proposition under more favourable conditions. A great deal of professional groundwork has gone into the project over the last year with the result that Eurogate has now reached a level of maturity from which both Eurogate Zürich AG and ARGE Eurogate can benefit. UBS would be willing to consider participation in future plans for Eurogate.
Zurich/Basel, 30 April 2001
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