The U.S. Embassy in Estonia is working on a detailed plan for its new building in Tallinn, sketches attached to which give an indication of the size of the planned structure. A bypass between the Suur-Ameerika and Väike-Ameerika streets, which local residents wanted to see as part of the project, has not made the cut.
The U.S. Embassy plans to construct a new complex between the Suur-Ameerika tänav and Väike-Ameerika tänav and behind Estonia's joint ministries building on Pärnu maantee. The new building cannot be taller than 45 meters, which the initial drawings suggest would be almost as tall as the so-called superministry.
The embassy told ERR that the building will not exceed the maximum permitted height, while its exact architectural solution will be drawn up once Tallinn approves the detailed plan. The project will be handled by Mark Cavagnero Architects.
Construction work should begin in 2027 and be finished by 2030. Mike Snyder, press attaché for the embassy, told ERR that a project to relocate communications by state real estate manager RKAS will start next year.
No Suur-Ameerika-Väike-Ameerika bypass
The city wanted the embassy to include a passage between it and the superministry building, or an extension of Virmalise tänav to Tuvi Park. While this was also requested by the Uue Maailma Society local residents' association, the detailed plan makes no such provision.
The detailed plan reads that the size of the embassy's plot is not sufficient for adding a public function, and it was not deemed possible to add a light traffic bypass on the side of the ministry in talks with the building's possessor.
This comes as an unfortunate surprise to both the capital and the Uue Maailma Society, which was not happy with Tallinn's decision to sell the embassy's plot to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the first place. The society has sent in its proposals and suggested that it will not approve the detailed plan before it is clear how the residents will be compensated for the loss of the green area.
Tallinn has promised to do everything in its power to facilitate that request. Simpler access to Tuvi Park was part of the relevant plans. The park is near the Uus Maailm urban region, while access to it is currently inconvenient, and extending Virmalise tänav to run from Suur-Ameerika all the way to Väike-Ameerika would vastly improve the situation, Tallinn Deputy Mayor Madle Lippus told ERR in April.
Snyder said that the proposals will be analyzed together with the Tallinn City Planning Department. "Any decisions will take into account the community's wishes, just as we will be considering the safety of Americans and Estonians who will be working in the building," he said.
The project is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) in cooperation with Estonian consultants Esplan OÜ.
The embassy bought the plot from the Foreign Ministry in June of this year. While the embassy did not provide information as to the price, the property was valued at €6 million in 2020.
Editor: Marcus Turovski