Merivälja development dispute continues, City of Tallinn opposes new hotel

The Merivälja pier (Merivälja muul - mole would be an alternative translation).
The Merivälja pier (Merivälja muul - mole would be an alternative translation). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The City of Tallinn is still discussing with developer Fausto Capital what can or may be built on the Merivälja pier and its surroundings, in the Pirita district of Tallinn.

Aside from a court directive, which compelled the city to continue with its detailed planning procedure, the City of Tallinn is still of the opinion that erecting a hotel on that site is not the right thing to do.

The years-long discussion between the city and Fausto Capital about what might be built at Pirita Ranna tee 1, the plot in question, and the surrounding area, continued this week, and an agreement is still far away

The search for a compromise continues, however, Pirita district elder Kaido Saarniit (Center) told ERR.

Saarniit said: "We are looking for consensus."

"There is no ideal solution at present. The developer has their own vision; the city has their own vision, in respect of the local residents. We can say for the City of Tallinn's part that a port facility, or a restaurant, is acceptable, but a hotel would not be," he went on.

Fausto Capital had expressed a desire to build a three-story marina with restaurant and hotel rooms on the property. 

Both the Pirita district administration and local residents opposed this plan, however. The Heritage Protection Board (Muinsuskaitseamet) argued that the pier should be preserved as is, and taken under city heritage protection.

Saarniit said the biggest dispute concerns the planned hotel's size, while it was agreed that bot developer and municipality come up with their own specific proposals as the next step.

"In the course of the meeting, I got the impression from what the developer said that they are also willing to be flexible, but whether this flexibility would satisfy both the local community and the city, is a good question. The procedure is ongoing, it would be too early to say anything else now," said Saarniit.

Plans for what do do with the plot and disagreements involving developer, municipality and residents, have been going on for several years now.

Fausto Capital took the matter to court last October.

Saarnit said that the dispute ending up in court in the future cannot be ruled out, adding that neither the city nor the residents are actually against anything being built on the area.

"In fact, the residents and the city were awaiting a development at the site. The, actually very old bus shelter located at the site, could be developed very effectily. The local populace is not at all opposed to a small cafe or a small restaurant being built, but the city does not want anything at all," he continued, noting that while the dated bus shelter was an eyesore, a large hotel on the site might present even more of an issue.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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