Despite claims that the Port of Tallinn could be the Tallinn City Council's long-awaited partner who would help refurbish Linnahall, it now turns out the company's interest in the building is extremely limited.
Tallinn has tried to find partners and investors for Linnahall since 2009 when the concert hall, built during the Soviet era, closed its doors to the general public. This, however, has proved problematic - partially due to restrictions set on its renovation by the National Heritage Board, whose current rulings are good for another three years.
Deputy mayor Taavi Aas announced last week that the city has finally found a potential partner in Port of Tallinn. However, the company's chairman Ain Kaljurand told Postimees that their interest lies in the harbor area, not in Linnahall itself.
Although Linnahall's sorry state is in nobody's interest and the decaying complex casts a shadow on the entire area, the Port of Tallinn, which owns several neighboring properties, currently has no investment plans, says
Aas has also told Postimees that Linnahall could be converted into a conference center. This would be the first step in developing conference tourism in Estonia. Estonia will hold the EU presidency in four years' time.
Kaljurand, who applauds the idea, does not rule out that the Port of Tallinn could consider future investments if such a plan is put into development. He does, however, say that as it stands the company has no reason to invest in the derelict building.
Meanwhile, Eesti Päevaleht reports that the City Council is also considering dividing the building into three separate properties, but this would require the National Heritage Board to revise its current status quo on Linnahall, says Aini Härm, director of the Tallinn Culture and Heritage Department.