Tallinn Film Wonderland costs ever-spiraling but city authorities on board

Artist's rendition of the Tallinn Film Wonderland campus.
Artist's rendition of the Tallinn Film Wonderland campus. Source: Novarc

The procurement tender for constructing the main building of the planned Tallinn Film Wonderland campus (Tallinna filmilinnak) is to be announced at the end of this month, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, Joosep Vimm (SDE) says.

The entire project cost is however constantly rising, and is currently estimated at €36.5 million, a six-fold increase on the original estimate of the project's cost, back in 2016, though the City of Tallinn is now providing support as well as the national Cultural Endowment of Estonia (Kultuurkapital).

The project is also in the rather odd situation of having been added to a list of objects of national heritage before it even physically existed as a structure.

Speaking at a city government press conference Wednesday, Deputy Mayor Vimm said: "We are at a stage where, at the end of this month, AS Tallinna Arendused is ready to announce the tender for the film campus' main building."

Tallinn Film Wonderland OÜ, the project's founder, has also submitted a corresponding funding request to the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Vimm added. The development is to be incorporated into the list of nationally important cultural buildings.

According to Vimm, the construction cost currently stands at €36.5 million. "The construction of the main building will cost €26 million. Technical preparations have been made, and the main building may reach construction phase this year. All now depends on Kultuurkapital, and the pace of progress. Tallinn is supporting the project technically, via Tallinna Arendused and bridging finance until the Cultural Endowment of Estonia funds are received as per the decision."

The film campus is planned to be built in phases, starting with the main building, which will consist of three studio buildings plus other additional facilities.

As noted the project's construction price estimate has been steadily rising.

In 2016, it was estimated at €6 million. In a letter sent to the Riigikogu in 2020, at the time when it was requested that the project be added to the list of nationally important cultural objects, CEO of Tallinn Film Wonderland OÜ, Gren Noormets, put the cost at €8-10 million. 

At the end of 2021, Tallinn Film Wonderland then estimated the cost of the initial stage only at €13.6 million. As of the end of last year, Tallinn city government announced that €20 million will be needed for the completed first-stage construction, meaning the figure rose by several million in half a year.

When the project was greenlit by Kultuurkapital at the start of the year, it had fared better in terms of funding than a proposed extension to the Estonia Theater, home of the national opera and ballet, which was rejected in 2021 by Tallinn City Government.

Located in the Kopli district of North Tallinn, the project is planned to be ready by the end of next year.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel

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