Derelict Rīga landmark finally to be renovated

The former Press House on the left bank of River Daugava is to be turned into a modern business center, Latvian Television said July 16.

The Press House, built in 1978, was once the headquarters for different publishing houses, editorial offices of newspapers and magazines, as well as a printing house. Due to dwindling profitability, it was abandoned in 2009 and has become something of an eyesore.

The green light has been given to ambitious rebuilding jobs. Demolition work on the site of the former Press House will begin this month. It is planned to be transformed into a modern business center in the next few years, with an office building, a hotel and a public football area on the roof of a former commercial building.

“Opposite the old center, Old Riga, is Riga's new center – commercial center, business center, administrative center,” said Andris Kronbergs, co-owner of Arhis Arhitekti.

There are still 20-year-old newspapers on the window sills of the Press House. Now part of the former printing house will be converted into a multi-functional center with a catering and commercial area and 900 car parking.

In addition, a green area and public sports plots are planned. The high-rise of the Press House itself will become a four-star hotel with more than 300 rooms.

“The building will undergo a serious renovation to meet today's requirements, but the overall image after the renovation – this building will not have lost its appearance and will remind the historic Press House,” said architect Raimonds Saulitis.

Those changes are only the first round of the project, which is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2022.

Together, the developer has decided to invest more than €200 million in all the rounds of the Press House project. The project developer is an investment fund whose investors come from Scandinavia and Lithuania.

Demolition work is scheduled to start later this month and construction is scheduled to take place in March next year. 

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