Hollywood actor Brad Pitt is planning to build a new resort with a luxury hotel, villas, a golf course, shops and restaurants in the small resort town of Zablace, just outside Sibenik of the central Dalmatian region, local media report.
The actor visited Croatia for a brief tour of the site of the proposed luxury development, estimated to cost more than $1.5 billion, that would transform Zablace into “a modern ecologically-responsible planned community”, People reports.
The 52-year-old actor arrived in Zadar Airport before taking a boat journey along a 50-mile Dalmatian coastal stretch near Biograd na Moru and Sibenik, about an hour from Split, where he stayed for one night at the D-Resort Sibenik.He was reported to have visited the town’s Unesco-designated St James Cathedral before joining a tour of the project site in Zablace which would transform its existing marina into a luxury resort.
The Mr & Mrs Smith actor, who has previously visited the country with his actress wife Angelina Jolie and their children on holiday, was said to have described Croatia as “the most beautiful country he has ever visited” during this trip, fascinated by the clean sea and intensity of colours, according to Nikola Bašić, the architect behind the proposed development in Zablace who joined the actor on the tour of the site.
The plans, which would incorporate a community of 2,500 residents, are reported to also include the building schools and a clinic.
It is unclear whether the development will come to fruition and no expected completion date has been announced. However, Swiss-based fund TFI Holding is reported to have already invested $70 million in the construction of the site.
The latest project is not the first time the actor has shown investment interest in Croatia. In 2012, he was reported to have been looking to build a waterfront resort along Danko Končar, featuring hotels, villas, a golf course and a marina, just opposite the Brijuni Islands in northern Croatia.
Across the pond in the US, Mr Pitt has helped to redevelop the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina through his Make it Right foundation, which built more than 100 new houses designed by world-famous architects for families who lost everything to Katrina.
The Inglorious Bastards star joins a string of other celebrities who have proposed or launched hotels such as Robert De Niro, who previously opened The Greenwich Hotel in New York.
Earlier this year, The Godfather film series actor announced plans to open a boutique hotel in London’s Covent Garden, while last year, he unveiled plans to redevelop Barbuda’s K-Club, a Caribbeanbeach resort once favoured by Princess Diana, where she spent her holidays with the then infant princes William and Harry.
Earlier this summer, Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star and budding hotelier, opened a new hotel in Lisbon. The new hotel was the second property from the CR7 brand, the Portuguese football player’s collaboration with Portuguese hotel group Pestana, following the launch of its first instalment in his hometown of Funchal in Madeira in July.
Also last year, Leonardo DiCaprio revealed plans to build a multimillion dollar eco-tourism resort designed to help transform a small island off the coast of Belize. The Titanic actor bought the 104-acre Blackadore Caye nearly a decade ago with a partner for $1.75 million after falling in love with the country and hopes to create an ambitious resort of sprawling villas and infinity pools.