Narva-Jõesuu municipality buying derelict 'resort hall' from former premier
The city government in the Ida-Viru County resort town of Narva-Jõesuu is to buy a dilapidated historical building from businessman and former prime minister Tiit Vähi, local daily Põhjarannik reports.
The municipality plans to use the building, a resort hall (Kuursaal) to house a school, with the sale price reported at €375,000 and to be funded by the state and concluded in a deal with Novesco, Vähi's company, Põhjarannik reports (link in Estonian).
Narva-Jõesuu mayor Maksim Iljin said that an inspection of the property, prominently located in the center of town but which has long been in a state of severe disrepair, was encouraging, with more specific details to be hammered out.
While the €375,000 is not entered into the municipalities 2022 budget, Põhjarannik reports, the plans would involve a new school building erected adjacent to the resort hall, until refurbishment work on the latter was finished, while the school itself will host around 180 children, from kindergarten to basic school (Põhikool) age.
Navesco, linked at the time to the Silmet Group, purchased the property in 2005 for two million Estonian Kroons (a little under €128,000 - ed), having made a pledge to restore the resort hall to its former glory and for the same purposes – it had been used as a hotel, restaurant and function center during the first Estonian republic of 1918-1940 – but this did not progress beyond initial construction work, Põhjarannik reports.
The full Põhjarannik article (in Estonian) is here.
A Kuursaal, or resort hall, was a multi-purpose recreation center including dining and ballroom facilities and patronized by those vacationing in the resort town (see image below). Pärnu and Kuressaare also boast resort halls, which are fully functioning hospitality hotspots.
Narva-Jõesuu's Kursaal is an Art Nouveau-era edifice, completed in 1912 and entered in the present-day state register of cultural monuments.
A significant portion of the building was destroyed in 1944, while the surviving wing was significantly improved in the 1950s, only to suffer a destructive fire in the early 1990s, ERR reports.
It has lain derelict ever since.
Tiit Vähi was prime minister 1995-1997 with the now-defunct Estonian Coalition Party (Eesti Koonderakond), and had also earlier held the office for a few months in 1992 in the interim government which followed the establishment of Estonian independence.
Põhjarannik is part of the Postimees Group.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte