Owners to renovate infamous derelict building on Marijas Street for €7m

The owners of a derelict building at 6 Marijas Street in downtown Riga are planning to invest €7 million into renovating the building that will have smaller apartments on upper floors and commercial activity on the first floor, Aleksandrs Meikšāns, a representative of the owners of the building, told Riga City Council's Committee on Buildings Degrading the Environment March 1.

Meikšāns represents one of the owners of the building at 6 Marijas Street - Estonian businessman Toomas Tool, and he is the only person to report the Riga City Council about the building's condition.

Representatives of the other owner of the building, Jevgeņijs Petrovs, have never attended the committee's meetings, nor has Petrovs himself.

Meikšāns told the committee that Openspace architecture firm had been hired last October to develop a plan for renovation of the building. According to current estimates, the project will cost €7 million, said Meikšāns.

The project that Openspace is currently working on stipulates that there will small apartments in the building, with areas ranging from 20 square meters to 45 square meters, while the first floor would be reserved for commercial activity. There will also be two elevators in the building and a parking lot in the yard.

According to Meiksans, repairing and correcting various defects will be the most complicated part of the project but, luckily, the building's foundations and roof do not have to be rebuilt.

The committee's chairman Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga) said he was pleased that something was happening at last, but he insisted that the project would have to be finalized and approved by all authorities by March 11. After that, the owners of the building will be fined €50 each, but the amount of the fine will be steadily growing until it reaches €5,000 a week, said Burovs.

The five-story building at 6 Marijas Street is an architectural monument that has fallen into disrepair over the years. Last April the Riga City Council decided that the owners of the building had to prepare a building reconstruction project and have all the authorities approve the project by March 10 this year.

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