Businessman Urmas Sõõrumaa has turned to state credit agency KredEx for a loan of €30-40 million for his development at Patarei sea fortress in Tallinn, Sõõrumaa told daily Äripäev's radio show on Thursday.
The current president of the Estonian Olympic Committee told Äripäev (link in Estonian) that the revenue of his companies has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sõõrumaa said: "The places where revenue dripped in from earlier, are slowly fading away."
Patarei sea fortress, an old abandoned prison complex, was sold to Sõõrumaa at the end of 2019. Nikolai Esimene OÜ, a subsidiary of Sõõrumaa's U.S. Invest was officially approved by state real estate management company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS) after a final purchase totaling €4.6 million.
The winning bid was the only one at the auction for the complex, with Sõõrumaa stating that he intends to build a modern urban center including apartments, stores, cafes and office space in the complex, and has estimated that investments into the complex will total around €100 million. He has also not ruled out involving additional investors in the project.
In 1828, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia endorsed a defense plan of Tallinn in accordance with which a coastal defense battery was to be built at the location of former coastal defense structures had stood during Swedish rule. Construction of Patarei's main building began in 1829 and was completed in 1840.
Patarei was used as a Russian army barracks beginning in 1867 and converted into a prison in 1919, a capacity in which it served under various governments and regimes until 2002.
Nikolai Esimene OÜ, the subsidiary company founded by Sõõrumaa's U.S. Invest in order to place a bid on the complex, is a reference to the Russian tsar.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste