Of­fi­cials prom­ise Skanste neigh­bour­hood's de­vel­op­ment will con­tinue

Baltic News Network - - News -

In spite of the liq­ui­da­tion of ABLV Bank, Skanste de­vel­op­ment as­so­ci­a­tion will con­tinue its work to make it Riga’s cen­tral busi­ness district, says the chair­man of the as­so­ci­a­tion Mār­tiņš Vanags.

«Our vi­sion for Skanste as Riga’s face on a busi­ness card has not changed. We will con­tinue our work to make the neigh­bour­hood the cap­i­tal’s cen­tral busi­ness district and a plat­form for Europe-level events. Most im­por­tantly – we hope to im­prove the qual­ity of life for the many thou­sands of res­i­dents and guests to our coun­try’s cap­i­tal,» com­ments Vanags.

He notes that Skanste’s di­rec­tion is dic­tated by the ter­ri­to­rial plan­ning, as part of which ex­perts look at a uni­fied, tar­geted and mod­ern city en­vi­ron­ment.

«In re­gards to the lack of clar­ity about the fu­ture of New Hanza quar­ter in Skanste, I would like to em­pha­size that de­vel­op­ment plans are not put on hold – we con­tinue de­vel­op­ment. New Hanza is an im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment project. Still it cov­ers only 11% of the to­tal area. There are more than ten de­vel­op­ers work­ing in Skanste. The in­ter­est for in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties only con­tin­ues to in­crease. EUR 245 mil­lion have al­ready been in­vested in this project so far, and de­vel­op­ers have no plans to stop. Riga City Coun­cil City De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment has strong views in re­gards to de­vel­op­ment of the neigh­bour­hood – Skanste is de­fined as pri­or­ity ter­ri­tory in the de­vel­op­ment strat­egy un­til 2030,» says Vanags.

He also men­tioned that Skanste has a lot of po­ten­tial. «There is a con­ve­nient en­vi­ron­ment here, ap­pro­pri­ate for work, life and leisure. More than 12,000 res­i­dents liv­ing in Skanste al­ready know this. The sur­round­ing area con­tin­ues de­vel­op­ing. We are in the process of re­al­iz­ing sev­eral im­por­tant projects,» Vanags ex­plains.

He also ex­plains con­struc­tion of a high-class of­fice com­plex will com­mence this sum­mer. Once it is com­plete, this com­plex will in­clude five of­fice build­ings. Aside from hat, it is also planned to build sev­eral streets, form an en­gi­neer­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem, a canal and a park.

By the end of 2019, it is planned to open a medicine cen­tre and build an apart­ment build­ing quar­ter for 4,000 res­i­dents, as well as a foot­ball ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre. Vanags ex­plains that Skanste’s de­vel­op­ment is dic­tated by the fact that Riga is be­hind Vil­nius and Tallinn. For ex­am­ple, a to­tal of 316,000 m2 of new of­fice build­ing space was built in Tallinn over the course from 2009 to 2017. In Vil­nius this area is 338,000 m2 and in Riga it was 158,000 m2. There is a great deal of po­ten­tial for Skanste in this niche, Vanags said. Riga is also be­hind its neigh­bours in terms of con­struc­tion of new homes – Lithua­nia com­pleted con­struc­tion of 5,600 new homes, Es­to­nia com­pleted 4,100, and Latvia com­pleted only 1,000 in 2017.

He also men­tioned that Skanste has sev­eral strate­gic ob­jects – Arēna Rīga, Elek­trum Olympic Sports Cen­tre, and the pos­si­bil­ity of es­tab­lish­ing an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence cen­tre.

BNN had re­ported that ABLV Bank has halted all con­tracts han­dled by its sub­sidiary Pil­lar Group with sub­con­trac­tors in­volved in the con­struc­tion of New Hanza quar­ter.

Paula Čurk­ste/LETA

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