New residential and business quarter to be built in Tartu

Vana keskkatlamaja is situtated on the bank of the Emajõgi River close to Tigutorn.
Vana keskkatlamaja is situtated on the bank of the Emajõgi River close to Tigutorn. Source: ERR

A new business and residential quarter with up to 300 apartments will be built in Estonia's second-biggest city Tartu on the site of an old district heating center (Vana keskkatlamaja).

The center at Turu 16 provided heat for households in the city between 1967 to 2014. The majority of the old buildings have been demolished and a new street called Katla will also be built to enter the area, which will be known as the Katlamaja kvartal.

"From this new street towards the city center, there will be three apartment buildings with commercial space on the ground floor. From this new street, towards Sõprus Bridge, there will be a number of buildings that are intended for commercial enterprises," Indrek Jakobsoo, CEO of Giga Investments, told Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

But discussions are ongoing about the fate of the 90-meter tall chimney still standing on the 3.5-hectare site.

Designs for the new Katlamaja kvartal at Turu 16. Source: Arhitekt Must OÜ

Architecture firm Arhitekt Must won the contract to develop the riverside and promenade area five years ago.

The company envisions the chimney could be repurposed as a viewing platform. But the developers are not convinced.

"The chimney is a kind of reinforced concrete chimney, inside the chimney there is an iron reinforcement, but time has done its work. Anything is possible, but at what cost, what is the return on investment, and what will be the impact on the surrounding buildings, that is the question," said Jakobsoo.

Vana keskkatlamaja at Turu 16. Source: ERR News

Deputy Mayor Elo Kiivet (SDE) said the detailed plan allows the chimney to be retained or demolished. But she said keeping it would allow the city's different historical layers to be preserved.

"The more multi-layered an urban space is, the more interesting it is, and it also reminds us that we do have today and yesterday, it connects today and tomorrow beautifully," said Kiivet. "But on the other hand, we understand very well that if history is in such a bad state that it cannot be preserved, then unfortunately we have to think of a new solution."

Construction is expected to start at the beginning of 2024 at the earliest.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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