Rīga landmark 'Z-towers' change their name

Take note – story published 1 year ago

The landmark high-rise towers that form an unmissable part of the Rīga skyline are to change their name in order to avoid associations with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Hitherto known as the 'Z-Towers', the prominent use of a 'Z' symbol by Russian forces and supporters of the unprovoked aggression has caused the owners of the buildings to rebrand the luxury multifunctional tower blocks.

From now on the Z-Towers will be known as the 'Zunda Towers'.

"We wanted to emphasize our support for Ukraine, as well as distancing ourselves from the connection between the Z symbol and the name of the project," said Aigars Gerhards, Commercial Director of the project. 

As previously reported by LSM, more than EUR 250 million has been invested in the 15-year construction process of twin high-rise buildings with mixed office and luxury residential use, while the first five floors 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.

Rīgans have watched the project slowly progress, with the two glass cylinders inching upwards to 123 and 117 meters respectively.

Ironically, one of the main investors in the project is Russia-born billionaire Yuri Shefler and his SPI Group, which makes Stolichnaya vodka in Latvia. As previously reported by LSM, it was slanted towards attracting wealthy residents from Russia and other former CIS countries who wanted a base in the European Union and access to EU banking.

At one time the project website even had a page outlining how to get hold of a residency permit by making a real estate purchase and a list of recommended private banking contacts for well-heeled investors, though these now appear to have been removed.

In addition, Shefler – who holds Israeli and British citizenship – has made his opposition to the Putin regime public, saying that the reason for choosing Latvia as a place to do business was his disgust with the political situation in Russia.

"As the founder of "SPI Group" (...) I moved production to Latvia, when, in conflict with the Putin regime, I was forced to leave Russia. I know the truth about this man, and all these years I have fought fearlessly and tirelessly against this tyrant's regime," Shefler said.

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