A mutual intentions agreement between the Ida-Viru County Investments Agency, the city of Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi Municipality should see up to ten new apartment buildings erected in the two local governments. The first buildings are expected to be completed in three years.
The aim of the new buildings is to liven up the local real estate market in a region where private investors are reluctant to take the risk, said Teet Kuusmik, head of the partly state-owned foundation.
"The problem was brought to our attention by entrepreneurs. Several large companies are coming to the Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi area in the next few years thanks to the EU's Just Transition Fund. While the social living environment is pretty good by now, companies have struggled to find new and environmentally friendly apartments. That is the problem we aim to solve," Kuusmik said.
Local government heads say that proper housing is an important precondition for people tying themselves to Ida-Viru County.
"The most important thing is to be able to prevent market failure and promote new real estate investors coming to Kohtla-Järve. To give them a positive example and proof that we have financially sound residents," said Kohtla-Järve Mayor Virve Linder.
"It means a lot for Jõhvi as we have prioritized achieving a better living environment these past few years. It means we can add value to our campus district," Maris Toomel, mayor of Jõhvi Municipality, added.
But experienced real estate broker Hannes Vallik is less sure about the project as the apartments are bound to be quite expensive. He added that Kohtla-Järve and Jõhvi both have plenty of vacant apartments in a wide price range.
"There are 20-30 entirely livable apartments on offer at any given time, which have been renovated and offer modern living conditions," Hallik found.
The two first apartments with up to 12 apartments on the outskirts of Kohtla-Järve should be completed in 2026. The remaining eight will be constructed based on how well people receive the first buildings.
Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski