The area of the Žabica Square has always had the role of a terminal. In the past, the cargo that arrived at the port via ship was dispatched from it using horse-drawn carts. A sculpture of a frog (Croatian = žaba) with water flowing out of its mouth stood on the square – water from the Žabica spring, one of the many springs that existed in 19th century Rijeka. The spring also gave its name to the square.
The new ˝West Žabica˝ transit terminal will be take up the space of the ˝Railway Building˝, built in the early 19th century, the old railway warehouse and their courtyards, a total area of 5.5 acres. The advantage of the terminal's location is its proximity to and connection with the railway and the marine terminals, and also with the city centre. With its architectural design concept, the new terminal will completely fit in with the urban tissue and the environment of buildings existing in this part of town.
The terminal's existing and new areas are intended for constructing and organising hospitality and service facilities as well as business and residential premises. The modern complex will have 18 bus platforms and a ramp for loading automobiles onto the auto-train. The terminal will also have a bus garage and a public garage with 1000 parking lots. Both the port area at the edge of the terminal and Žabica Square will undergo alterations, as one part of extended Riva Street will be passing over it.
By constructing and extending Riva Street to the western part of the town, Adamić Street will be eased of traffic and used only as a public transport thoroughfare. Žabica Square will have to satisfy the demands of the traffic flow between the New Terminal and Riva, between Trpimir Street and Krešimir Street and of pedestrians.
In 2005, tendering was conducted for devising an urban planning and architectural solution to the area of the "West Žabica" passenger terminal. In addition to the passenger terminal, the tender programme projects a complex structure that also includes a garage.
A detailed land-use plan for the "West Žabica" passenger terminal adopted toward the end of 2007, determines that the garage will have the capacity of about 1,000 parking spaces organised on four above ground levels. Significant business, commercial and service facilities make an integral part of the project. The planned capacity optimally covers the needs of the CBD and, after it is built, current parking spaces on quays and sidewalks within the surrounding area will be abolished in favour of pedestrian traffic.
In 2008, the City of Rijeka contracted with the 3LHD firm, the authors who won the tender, the preparation of the preliminary design, working drawings and the project execution plan of the terminal building which includes: a bus terminal, a garage with about 1,000 parting lots, commercial and business facilities, new access roads to the terminal (the extension of Riva Street), the reconstruction of Žabica Square and the reconstruction of a part of Krešimir Street.
The complex layout is financed from the corporate bonds of the firm Rijeka Promet, while its construction will be financed through a public and private partnership. The investor, which will be chosen following an invitation for tenders, will manage the building as regards its commercial and business parts of the complex, while Rijeka promet would manage the garage.
The City of Rijeka has invested so far in the preparation of the project, i.e. the purchase of the building plot and the preparation of project documentation almost HRK 52 million, and currently it is in the process of obtaining the building permit. It is expected that the complex procedure of approving the public and private partnership model at the Agency could be completed by the end of 2011, meaning that the construction could start in the course of December 2011 or January 2012. The private investor would have the obligation to construct the building within two years, and after 27 years, the building would be transferred to the ownership of the City of Rijeka.
The west Žabica transit terminal visualization