Former Rīga KGB ''Corner House'' rental rights auction continues

There will be a reauctioning with a two month application deadline for renting the “Corner House”, or Teter's House (61 Brīvības Street) , as several market participants have shown interest, State Real Estate (VNĪ) Board Chair Andris Vārna told Latvian Radio on December 11.

Vārna says that there is interest in creating office space or a hotel. He confirmed that these plans will not interfere with the first floor and basement exhibit.

"The majority of calculations end with the desire to obtain the building, as the law On Prevention of Squandering of the Financial Resources and Property of a Public Person has defined a maximum rental period – 30 years is too short to recoup invested funds,” said VNĪ Rental and Sales Department Director Anita Feldmane.

Taking into account the technical condition and additional conditions about keeping part of the building for the museum, as well as the specific requirements for renovating this historical building, we're going to give the interested parties more time to make their decision and attract funding,” continued Feldmane.

The aim is to respect historical memories, while at the same time looking towards the future. The auction will rent out seven floors in the neoclassical building – almost eight thousand square meters of space.

As previously reported, the building housed the headquarters of the Soviet KGB – universally referred to as the 'Cheka' – from 1940, the apartments and shops were converted into offices administering a vast bureaucracy of oppression and dozens of cells, some large, some no bigger than a wardrobe. The pleasant residence of well-to-do burghers was transformed into a vast labyrinth of terror through which thousands of Latvians passed over half a century and from which dozens only emerged dead.

Empty and almost ignored for more than a decade – a slab-faced memorial to victims is easy to walk past without even noticing – the Corner House was at last opened as part of Riga's tenure as a European Capital of Culture in 2014. Around that time LSM took a tour and discovered some of its very dark secrets.

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