Landmark 'Z-Towers' in Rīga move closer to opening

Two impossible-to-miss buildings of the Rīga skyline that have been growing but unused for more than a decade moved closer to opening their doors at last January 10 when the Rīga City Construction Board issued a positive verdict on the commissioning of the "Z-Towers" high-rise blocks, representatives of developer AS Towers Construction Management informed the media.

Official approval means that a number of tenants and companies intending to set up their offices in the high-rise building will soon be able to start their interior work, as well as renting and refurbishing apartments, the project's developers said.

More than EUR 250 million has already been invested in the 13-year construction process, said Andrey Neguliner, Commercial Director of Towers Construction Management.

The deed issued by the Riga City Construction Board confirms the conformity of the building to its intended use, as well as confirms the construction works meet regulatory requirements.

Both high-rise buildings have mixed office and luxury residential use, while the first five floors of the building have a publicly accessible infrastructure. Four historic wooden buildings have also been restored nearby as part of the project, which was blighted by the economic crisis ten year ago and saw contractual disputes also taking their toll on progress, while wrangles about the necessary certification have also made the news.

As previously reported by LSM, Rigans have watched the project slowly progress, with the two glass cylinders inching upwards to 123 and 117 meters respectively.

One of the main investors in the project, as this article in Russian Forbes magazine shows, is Russian billionaire Yuri Shefler and his SPI Group, which makes Stolichnaya vodka in Latvia.

"Yurii Scheffler (sic) is a developer and the key ideologist of unique project of Z-Towers combining not only the construction of two skyscrapers but also specially designed programmes of Z-Finance and Z-Experience," says the official project website.

The project seems slanted towards attracting wealthy residents from Russia and other former CIS countries who want a base in the European Union and access to EU banking. The project website even has a page outlining how to get hold of a residency permit by making a real estate purchase.

"As a result of its favourable migration policy, foreigners often tend to make their second home in Latvia," the project brochure says.

A list of private banking contacts is also provided for well-heeled investors, with the promise that "For the clients of our Project the banks in Latvia are offering special conditions. Each case will be handled individually." 

You can take a virtual tour of the project - in its idealised form - HERE.

"The Z-Towers complex is a combination of two seemingly incompatible things. On the one hand, apartment owners have a view over Riga: ancient, yet ever young, with its historical centre and life that never stops for a minute," gushes the publicity material.

"On the other hand, comfort and quiet life in the countryside. When certain weather conditions occur, the residents of the complex can "try on" feeling "flying in the clouds" and "dance with snowflakes." That is what makes it truly unique," it continues. The block has 360 apartments, 10,000 square meters of office space, parking for 700 cars and a giant gym.

The slogan of the project on its official brochure is "Life beyond time and space," a claim which, if accurate, would certainly complicate the paperwork involved.

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