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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde
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Shut-down apartment building near Zolitude tragedy site to be finished

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURiga City Council and Zolitūde 21.11. Association have reached an agreement in regards to the shut-down apartment building located in Riga, Priedaines Street 20. The plan is finishing the building’s development to ensure it is safe to use for living, as confirmed by the association’s head Regīna Ločmele-Luņova.

Riga City Council and Estonian SIA Prana property plan to terminate joint-ownership over the real estate property located in Zolitude, Priedaines Street 20, where Maxima supermarket had caved in on 21 November 2013. Although this proposal was approved by Riga City Council’s City Property Committee in July, Zolitūde 21.11. Association, which represents the interests of victims and relatives of victims of the tragedy, objected to it, stressing that ownership rights can be terminated only if the municipal administration has no way to buy back the building or have it used for public needs.

According to Ločmele-Luņova, the association had met with Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs to discuss this situation.

Burovs had explained that businessmen are prepared to sell the building no cheaper than two or three million euros. However, the municipality believes that in a situation of shortage of finances it would not be wise to buy back a building that is sure to be demolished soon after.

«The board agreed to seek a compromise and instead perform termination of joint-ownership rights,» says Ločmele-Luņova.

According to her, a large portion of the underground parking lot will be demolished and a new support wall will be built instead. The Estonian company is committed to not use any of the building’s premises for commercial purposes. The company also promises to coordinate the apartment building’s design with the visual design of the memorial. The association’s representative were also promised the apartment building will be safe to live in.

Burovs also promised the association will be able to actively participate in all processes: development of technical specifications for the design contest and evaluation of submitted ideas. The design tender could be organized next year.

Riga City Council supports termination of joint-ownership rights. The city council’s decision provides that both sides will retain responsibility over their specific part of real estate property. The real estate property located on Priedaines Street 20 consists of a piece of land (10 065 m2) and an unfinished apartment building.

Read also: Exclusive | ReRe’s [ir]responsibility and Maxima Tragedy’s dusty trails. Interview with Artuss Kaimiņš

Riga municipality owns 5 782 m2 and a portion of the underground parking lot, whereas Prana property owns 4 494 m2 of land with the apartment building and underground parking lot.

The city council will use its finances to demolish a portion of the underground parking lot to establish a full memorial location.

As it is known, for a long time the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement in regards to the use of aforementioned territory. Prana property wanted to develop and finish the apartment building, allowing the use of the ground floor of the building for commercial purposes. The company also planned to establish a memorial park. The city council, on the other hand, wanted to establish a memorial without any place for commerce and a minimal residential area.

Riga City Council had offered to purchase the property, but for an amount equal to value of land. Prana property refused.

On 21 November 2013 the roof of Maxima supermarket caved in, killing 54 people.


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