Decrepit sanatorium ready to change hands again

The 18th-century sanatorium at the center of Baldone is on sale again. Its current owner has failed restoring it within two years of ownership, reported Latvian Radio Thursday.

The sanatorium--formerly a source of pride for the locals of Baldone, a town 30 kilometers away from Rīga--fell into disuse as Latvia regained its independence.

Two years ago, it was purchased by a Belarus citizen Dmitri Astashenko. He had promised restoring the place to its former glory. The sanatorium is now listed on sale for €800,000.

The sanatorium and the sulfur springs are historically important for the town, however its buildings have gone derelict throughout the years, with shattered windows, destroyed walls, and crumbling roofs.

Its most regular visitors besides teenage delinquents leaving graffiti are ducks that frequent the small river flowing by the sanatorium.

"[The most recent] was the fifth owner. We are waiting for the sixth," said mayor Karina Putniņa. She was hopeful in 2014 when the sanatorium was bought by its current owner who seemed to have plans of overhauling the place. But now the City Council only learned that the building is one sale as it was put on sale on the internet.

The sanatorium has a special status, meaning new buildings can't be constructed in the area. However, as the ghastly place is becoming more and more derelict, the mayor thinks that other development options ought to be considered.

"[..] It's difficult to say what the people of Baldone will think. We could allow terraced houses [to be built]. But not skyscrapers, stores or shopping malls. We could turn it into a living area, but the locals have to discuss that," she said.

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