It is intended that victims and relatives of the victims will be able to hold memorials in the Remembrance Park without hindrance, but it will be a place of peace and quiet for others. Residents are delighted with the new plan, but at the same time admit that the improvement of the site has been much delayed because it has been 10 years since 54 people lost their lives, when the supermarket Maxima collapsed on November 21, 2013.
LSM has covered the aftermath of the tragedy and the lengthy court proceedings over the years under the topic Zolitūde disaster.
Currently, the Zolitūde tragedy site on Priedaines Street 20 is cordoned off and some objects are still being dismantled there - workers are demolishing the underground parking lot and garage left there so that after the design phase the builder can start construction work on the park.
Last year Riga City Council selected the solution of the “Alps ainavu darbnīca” Ltd in the design contest, and it is planned that the landscape ensemble of Zolitūde Remembrance Park will consist of a square with 54 mirrored spheres of stainless steel. Spheres will vary in size, symbolizing the different ages of those who died.
A park with trees and plenty of plants will also be created next to the square, as well as a special wall with the names of all those who died and a spot for candles.
Representatives from the Rīga City Council's Municipal Development Department said the opening of the Remembrance Park was planned for spring 2025. Those surveyed in Zolitūde said they were happy with this vision. At the same time, people have been waiting for an improvement of the site for a long time, and some of the surveyed also expect progress with the adjacent apartment building, which has been uninhabited for all these 10 years.
Local government representatives said that the building adjacent to the Zolitūde memorial is still in the hands of a private investor, the Estonian company Prana Property. The local authority has information that the owner intends to continue construction and complete this building.
Several years ago the company did not agree with Riga City Council's offer to buy back property shares instead of the Zolitude tragedy, because the repurchase fee offered by the municipality was too low.