Estonian Defense League puts Tallinn headquarters sale on hold

The Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit) has put the sale of its historic headquarters building on Tallinn's Toompea tänav on hold due to the rising costs of constructing a new premises. According to the Defense league, the sale of the current HQ would not raise enough finances to cover the construction of a new building in Nõmme.

The sale of the Estonian Defense League's historic headquarters building in Tallinn is currently on hold. Major Tanel Rütman of the Defense League's strategic communications department, told ERR, that the amount of money earned from selling the headquarters building on Toompea tänav would not be enough to finance the construction of a new property.

"The realization of the project has been put on hold for the time being - we are unable to cover the significantly higher costs of the new building with the money from the sale of the old building," Rütman said.

In May 2021, ERR reported, that the Defense League wanted to sell its historic headquarters building at Toompea tänav 8 in Tallinn, along with the accompanying land. The Defense League planned to use the money earned from the sale to finance the construction of a new HQ on Plangu tänav in the capital's Nõmme district.

According to the Defense League, the current premises are outdated and no longer meet all the necessary modern-day requirements. The building's maintenance costs are also significantly higher than would be expected of a more modern headquarters.

Rütman said, that the Defense League has a construction permit to build a new headquarters in Nõmme, which is valid for five years. However, for the time being the HQ will remain at Toompea tänav. "Only time will tell what the future brings," he said.

The site of the Defense League's current headquarters building is also home to the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom.

In 2022, the Defense League signed a 50-year usufruct agreement with the Kistler-Ritso Estonian Foundation, which manages the museum, allowing the latter to operate on the property.

Under the 2002 agreement, the Kistler-Ritso family invested in the museum, while the Estonian state, in the form of the Defense League, provided the required land. As a result, the Vabamu does not pay rent to the Defense League for use of the land.

According to Rütman, the Defense League's decision not to sell the Toompea tänav property for now, means that the Vabamu will continue operating under the existing contract.

The Estonian Defense League's Tallinn headquarters building was originally constructed in 1911. The Defense League acquired the land, including the headquarters building, in 1925.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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