Price down on former KGB building in Rīga

The auction of an historic six-storey building in Rīga, Brīvības Street 61, also known as the Corner house or Tetera House, has had its starting price reduced by 20%, State Real Estate (VNĪ) said September 14.

The property was once the notorious headquarters of the Soviet KGB in Latvia.

The first attempted auction of the Corner House closed on September 14. VNĪ said it had received some interest on the part of several rental apartment developers.

The re-auction will take place on the electronic auction site from 21 September to 21 October. The opening price of the auction is now EUR 3 397 600.

Initially, the opening price of the auction was EUR 4 247 000.

As previously reported, it is required that a small part - less than 700 square metres - must be preserved for an exhibition regarding the history of the KGB in Latvia on the basement floor, and the first floor of the building shall be used by the Latvian Museum of Occupation, remaining open to the public as a museum after the purchase of real estate. The rest of the space is 8000 m2 in total.

"The house reflects the aesthetics of the neoclassical style and its overall artistic image fits into the aesthetics of Art Nouveau forms. The building is an architectural monument of local significance, therefore in order to preserve the authentic view of the building and improve the architectural attractiveness of the urban environment, in 2015 VNĪ renovated the facade of the house. However, in order for the building to regain its former glory, it requires significant investment," the official description says. 

The historic building was built in 1912 according to the project of architect Aleksandrs Vanags. It housed the music school of the Imperial Russian Society of Music, a library and a bookstore, sweets and fruit, dairy products, flower shops, and a pharmacy of the Ministry of National Welfare. It went from being one of the most desirable Rīga addresses in its early years to becoming the most dreaded from 1940 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1991. 

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