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Old December 4th, 2004, 12:02 AM   #1
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Riga City development news thread - II

Please continue discussing Riga's development here
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Old December 4th, 2004, 12:17 PM   #2
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Yeah, that's what I was considering too.
Just have to list the projects somewhere for continuity. Otherwise the old thread will disappear somewhere
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Old December 4th, 2004, 08:22 PM   #3
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Disappear somewhere ... right.

Ideally, Euroscrapers should have its own Archives section where the thread could be preserved.

Mods?


Gati, maybe you can copy some relevant stuff from the old thread and post them here so as to create a starting point for this new thread? As you can see, Riga Development News was a super successful thread, primarily because you are so well informed about what goes on in the Latvian capital. I would like to continue watching that progress and am greatly looking forward to seeing this thread grow, as did its predecessor.

Last edited by Monkey; December 4th, 2004 at 08:28 PM.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #4
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Btw. all the time I am making my own Riga GIS system (in ArcView) - for doctor's thesis. Am considering to make a proper Riga project map for reference with all the costs etc.
The old thread would be copied and will reappear in one or another form... but possibly interesting.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 09:08 PM   #5
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DEFINITELY interesting, Gatis!
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Old December 6th, 2004, 12:23 PM   #6
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Riga port goes north
On Friday the management board of Riga port approved the general plan envisaging movement towards north, nearer to the sea. Many areas of current port would be used for oofice and apartment buildings in near future (northern part of Kipsala, Andrejsala, Vejzaku Island).
Riga port takes 1/5th of the area of Riga (approximately 100 km2).
Currently ships should go 17 km inside Daugava from the sea to reach harbour utilities.
- - -
First steps in realisation of this plan - rebuilding of port railway system, moving of railway stations. Future centre of port - Kundzinsala. I am a bit sad about this - Kundzinsala Island today still is a bit another world with buildings from late 19th - early 20th century, old avenues, cobblestone.
Enormous investments are needed in other northern areas of port - Mangalsala, Bolderaja, Sarkandaugava, Ziemelblazma and others - bridges, railways, roads, elevated road crosses
In picture - Daugava near Vansu tilts, to the left - Andrejsala. Saules akmens still in early construction stage. This will be the first part of harbour returned to city life.




Two 16-floor apartment buildings for Imanta
Companies "Ekocentrs" and "Eko Forums" are going to build two 16-floor apartment buildings in commieblock district Imanta - near to "Vestas stari" and "Solaris" highrise apartments, corner of Slokas and Kleisti Streets. Project is named "Imantas perle", these would be not exclusive apartment buildings. I have already mentioned one of these buildings earlier.
Construction should start in early 2005, to be completed in January 2006.

Duntes Ozoli highrise apartments going ahead full speed

The construction of 15-floor apartment building "Duntes Ozoli" in Duntes Str 28 (next to K. Valdemara Street) is going on - I saw it myself. The location of this project is beautiful - next to 2 ha large natural oak forest (which is surrounded by rather sad looking buildings already). Building will have 15 floors, to be ready in summer 2006.

Fast development of industry in Salaspils
Salaspils - some 20 000 inhabitants large south-eastern suburb of Riga currently has the following new industries u/c or planned:
- building materials factory "Baltijas betons" - started production this year;
- Conditory and sweets factory "Staburadze" - 10 ha, 14 production lines. To be ready in 2007, complex would have interesting architecture, gardens.
- 4 ha logistics centre for French perfumes, Estonian investment;
- Factory of mobile phone batteries (Li batteries), US investment.

There are 3 500 private houses u/c or approved in Salaspils municipality. There is expected rather large migration of people from Riga to Salaspils. If this will continue this way - around 2015 Salaspils may have 55 000 inhabitants.
In picture - monument to ancient nation of Livs in Salaspils. Unfortunately not completed.

Catholic church in Salaspils

Commieblock town - Salaspils


Construction of "Akropolis" will start in 2005
Large scale construction of "Akropolis" business and trade center in Daugavgriva Street will start in the next year. It had to start in October this year but there was need to make extensive changes in design. Currently on-going the approval of draft design, technical design will start a little later. The toal area of trade space will be considerable larger than 150 000 m2, but exact area still is not designed and approved. Total investments are expected to reach 135 mio EUR.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 03:16 PM   #7
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One more highrise planned in Kipsala
Developer "DAM Property Investments" is planning to build 25 floor apartment highrise between "Saules akmens" and the planned "da Vinci", in Balasta dambis 1. This company is subsidiary of "Rietumu banka".
The future of the building is not that clear. Riga City Heritage Board has approved the idea with a note that the existing Yachting Club building should be preserved. Riga Construction board instead has rejected the project and asked to organise tender on design. The reason - the building is too near to Saules akmens and Yachting club.

Newspaper "NRA" mentions also several more highrise projects in Kipsala - "Stavie darzi" (the project name is not mentioned) has cleared the area, developer is now fighting with bureaucracy. Latest options in Kliversala include not one but two 24 floor buildings. Near Zunda channel is planned a group of buildings between 10 and 20 floors. But the most ambitious and highest highrise is planned near Preses nams - there is concrete developer for it. Unfortunately newspaper does not say anything about it - it's too early yet.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatis
But the most ambitious and highest highrise is planned near Preses nams - there is concrete developer for it. Unfortunately newspaper does not say anything about it - it's too early yet.
I think this most ambitious and highest highrise is planned in the place where old factory was tired away near Daugavgrivas and Valdemara street. Seems like a big corncob 160 or maybe 180 m high.
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Old December 6th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #9
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Aha? I thought that "Stavie darzi" is going to be built there?
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Old December 7th, 2004, 11:45 AM   #10
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News from today:
"Rigas Sporta pils" to develop new sports quartal
"Rigas Sporta Pils" building currently is Soviet dynosaur, taking whole quartal in Centre (K. Barona Street), between fine Art Nouveau buildings. Here it is:



It has got Ice arena with 5000 seats.
Recently built car parking at it:

The management board of this utility have decided to destroy the current building and build a new arena + office center. Current building is not suitable for reconstruction. They are going to announce tender on draft design at the end of December, winners to be selected in March. Land area - 20 400 m2.
New utility will include:
- rehabilitation complex for sportists;
- offices for "sport bureaucracy";
- apartments;
- trade space;
- hotel;
- public ice arena - skating and ice hockey would be for free, with free consultancy. Owners hope that this principle will help to organise public ice hockey teams and thus facilitate the finding of new talents.
The new complex will have perimetral planning with green inner yard. One underground floor for car parking.
The investment may exceed 50 mio EUR.

Heritage inspection says - situation improves but Riga historical heritage still under danger
Their Webpage is interesting! www.heritage.lv

Just one day before first public hearing about new Riga development plan Heritage Inspection has issued public announcement.
They say: since the approval of Riga Historical Centre law the situation has improved. But there is still expected some degradation of historical heritage: construction of large trade centers in historical centre (f.e. "Galerija Patollo"), decrease of public area etc.
Especially endangered are areas of large scale development: Kipsala, Zakusala, Lucavsala, Andrejosta. Up to now these areas have been public (to my mind - just large grass fields with bushes and some homeless people), but now these would be covered with buildings. Central Market is endangered as well by planned extensive reconstruction works (but there is no other way to survive for them - supermarkets often are cheaper).
General dangerous tendencies:
- attraction of transportation to Riga historical centre with new development projects;
- construction of large trade centers eliminating historical small shops;
- large buildings which change the characteristic city landscape;
- demolition of original historical buildings to make exact copies. Original buildings should be preserved even if this is much more expensive;
- demolition of industrial heritage;
- plastic windows, other inappropriate materials;
- fast construction of low quality buildings in key development sites;
- bad, chaotic general planning of underground utilities.

The most scandalous case of corruption in city development over the last years has been development of "Stockmann" supermarket. Investors have applied to Heritage Board only after the start of construction. Several responsible authorities still have not issued the necessary permits, the building does not comply with many rules. Formally it could be just removed but seems - state authorities are afraid of scandals.
Meanwhile the attitude of developers towards historical heritage in general has improved, there are less cases when investors try to go around law.
Over the last 6 months Heritage Board has received 1058 proposals for construction and reconstruction, 70% have been approved.

One more highrise in Riga from Lithuanians?
Vilnius Central Department Store has ambitious plans regarding their property in Riga - rather small building in Kliversala. Currently the building is not used... and the main value here is land where the building stands.
Director of Department Store says that Lithuanians have very ambitious plans regarding the site because it is located in future Manhattan of Riga. More announcements to be made in spring 2005.

Ambitious Riga development plan 2006 - 2018 - public discussion started!

Today starts public discussion of two documents:
- draft development plan of Riga (to be discussed until the end of January)
- final UNESCO WH site protection plan.
Here - about development plan. Main aim of plan - to stop the migration away from Riga to nearby municipalities. F.e. in 1990 the No of inhabitants in Riga was 916 000, in begining of 2004 - 734 000. Meanwhile the No. of inhabitants in Riga metro area has increased considerably. Simply lots of people (the richest ones) move to Jurmala, Adazi, Ikskile, Salaspils. Currently they pay some 110 mio EUR taxes per year to other municipalities, not Riga.
If this tendency will continue - in 2025 inside the current Riga borders would live 523 400 - 584 300 people. This will be caused by fast improvement of welfare and strive to leave the city. As a result - in metro area would live almost the same number of people, working and entertaining every day in Riga, spending transportation time, fuel etc. without sense.
(Picture by Aigars Jansons)

To fight this tendency Riga is developing ambitious housing policy to create suitable living space for any taste inside city borders. Main aim is to facilitate construction of private one-family houses inside the city. For this would be developed the following districts: Rumbula, Skirotava, southern coast of Jugla Lake, Bukulti, Bulli, areas in north near the sea, etc.
Multifloor apartment districts would be developed and improved in Jugla, Teika, Purvciems, Plavnieki, Mezciems, Tornakalns etc. City will not facilitate construction of cheap, commie-block style apartment buildings anymore. There is made plan to improve the exosting commieblock quartals.
- - -
Gambling industry in future would be aloud only in 4 and 5 star hotels. Riga from time to time has limited the gambling and the lifted the limitations again. Life shows that gambling industry gives very little to budget and drains the finances.
- - -
There has been elaborated new public transportation scheme
- - -
There would be developed the following new subsidiary business and office centres of City.
- Mezaparks Centre - northern part, at Kisezers Street.
- Ziemelu Centre - northern part, at western entrance in Northern tunnel, at Daugavgrivas Street.
- Lucavsala Centre - southern part
- Rumbula Centre - southern part, "Daugava Green City" project.
In these centres would be limited only the height of buildings and minimum green area.
- Skanste Street Centre - northern part;
- Krasta Centre - near Old City, Krasta Street;
- Zunda Centre - Kipsala highrise district;
- Mukusala Centre - here I am living (bah... what will happen?)
- Lidosta Centre - around airport.
Here would be limited height of buildings, density, minimum green space.
There would be planned also development around suburban railway stations
- - -

Riga harbour is one of cornerstones for increased international role of Riga in future. The area of harbour will be increased in the north of city. Again, as always - envisaged construction of modern passenger terminal in Andrejsala. Along Daugava in any place would be left at least 10 m wide public area.
- - -
Future supermarkets should be multifunctional - with entertainment possibilities.
- - -
Whole central area of Riga would be densely covered with buildings, except for specially managed parks.
- - -
Ministry of Agriculture would be made lower - this building is considered to be the most damaging to Riga historical skyline, especially when arriving with cruise ships. There would be developed landscape for cruise ship passengers to enjoy Riga, no buildings would be allowed which close the view to Old City from ships.
Look from Ministry of Agriculture to Old City

- - -

OK, enough for today. There are many smaller news as well.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 12:29 PM   #11
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WOW, that is alot of info!!

There was the same tendencie here in the 70'ies and 80'ies, with falling population in the city, and increased population in the suburbs. It changed in the 90'ies and continues now with full trottle. The population is now increasing at the same rate as in the suburbs. Let's hope the same will happen in Riga.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 12:53 PM   #12
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A bit more from draft development plan
Development plan supports creation of contrasting highrise skyline in the southern part of Kipsala - this will create dynamic view from ships and main transportation routes, create new harmony with the historical skyline in the other coast of Daugava.
- - -
There would be develped dynamic "transit road" landscape around major routes in city. There should be elaborated detailed planning for each highway zone to create esthetitally pleasing environment. No car parking and large industrial buildings close to highways. Planned creation of impressive, architectonically interesting "gates" at the entrances in the city. Plan mentions the following places:
- Jurmalas gatve (entrance from Jurmala);
- Brivibas Street (entrance from Tallinn, St.Petersburg);
- Deglava Street (entrance from east);
- Lielirbes Street (entrance from airport side);
- Maskavas Street (entrance from south-east, Daugavpils);
- Vienibas gatve (entrance from Jelgava, Lithuania)
Unfortunately little is said about the 7th direction - Bauskas Street - Via Baltica entrance from south. I think - this is related to total change of road system here in coming years.
- - -
There is expected enormous increase of international importance for the city if the political relations between EU and Russia improve. Plan shows that state should develop Eastern highway as fast as possible, connecting Riga and Russia, as well as high velocity railway connecting Riga to Western Europe. This railway most likely will go around city and will have stop in Salaspils - to the east from city.
- - -
One of the goals of plan - Riga becomes the main administrative centre for interactions between Russia and Central Asia from one side and EU from the other side.
Other goal - Riga is cultural centre of region.
- - -
Plan shows also that the importance of Riga as centre of science has tremendously fallen over the last decades. As areas for innovation and technology business are proposed: middle part of Kipsala, Spilve area and Kleisti. Riga will elaborate special policy to boost the development of science and innovations in the city.
- - -
In 2003 there has been fixed the latest border of Riga aglomeration - this is calculated basing on the following principle: percentage of people paying income tax in Riga.
Riga aglomeration since 1995 has increased by 975 km2, mainly in direction of Jelgava. Currently Riga agglomeration takes 6 984 km2, it has 1 150 000 inhabitants. 88% of people in this area are working in Riga.
- - -
Once more affirmed - tram will be future public transportation in Riga. Tram would be expanded to cover any district in Riga. Especially important would be development of lines to the North. Would be built high-speed tramline to airport. There would be built also several large high-speed autoroutes in city to turn away transit from centre.
- - -
There would be not aloud anymore "boxy" supermarkets without architecture. Each supermarket will need tendered design project.
City has selected several places where should be developed new supermarkets.
- - -
Mezaparks is one of the first "ecological villages" in the world - the concept was created in late 19th century. Riga should develop next generation of ecolocigal villages in the following places: Bolderaja, area between Vecaki and Trisciems, southern coast of Jugla Lake.
- - -
Successful realisation of plan will keep inside Riga borders some 700 000 people in 2018. Total Riga agglomeration at this time could be 1 - 1,2 mio.
- - -
There would be built new international bus station (currently the bus station os moved to temporary site in Tornakalns). Bus station and Central railway station would be united with underground people transporter.
- - -
Would be built Northern passenger railway circle with bridge over Daugava to increase availability of northern part of Riga. 6 new passenger railway stations to be developed. Would be built additional railway roundabout with railway bridge near Salaspils for cargo trains going from port to south-east.
- - -
Riga City borders. Currently city includes 307,2 km2. Riga in principle is not going to increase its area and will concentrate on development of its existing area.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 01:57 PM   #13
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Looks very promising....
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Old December 7th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #14
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Two maps
Riga agglomeration map, terrible design.
Red line - border of agglomeration in 2003. Dark red - Riga itself. Brown - core of inner agglomeration zone. Orange - areas becoming part of inner zone. Yellow - outer zone

Riga harbour in future. Red - current border. Blue - future border. To my mind it should be corrected - Andrejsala, Spilve etc. should be excluded.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatis
Riga harbour in future. Red - current border. Blue - future border. To my mind it should be corrected - Andrejsala, Spilve etc. should be excluded.
Gati, i'm sharing your opinion.

The politics of Riga free harbour is antiurban. And their aims are opposed to Riga development. They do not work on the things that they should. In all the world harbours are going closer to the sea. But Riga free harbour is grabbing and occupying the lands of city.

Why port needs so much lands? Of course - not for providing port activities.They are Free economical zone - it meens tax free status. But i have heard that this will continue only till 2013. So there will be no privileges after that. It means - they are working not for future.

Riga freeport has occupaid so much nice waterfronts, which are unused or used extensively. They could became nice places to live.

Of course - port should be one of the cities economical engines but in Riga it's little bit weird.

design is ok. And the notes from draft development plan of Riga are relly good job.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 09:37 AM   #16
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Jauna Vecpilseta - investments 50 mio EUR
Developer "Citra" informs in press conference that investments in New Old City (Jauna Vecpilseta) would reach 50 mio EUR. New Old City includes area in southern part of Riga Old City. There is planned to develop exclusive living apartments with trade space in ground floors - in total some 10 new buildings.
Current view in this area is just terrible - the buildings are falling apart.
Full approval of final design will last approximately until June, then will start construction.
Currently in this part of Old Riga are built and reconstructed several buildings already.

Highrise in center to be reconstructed
Reconstruction works have started in Soviet time highrise in Dzirnavu Street, not far from Hotel Latvia. This 11 floor building currently is 37,16 m high, developer is asking to increase height per 2 meters as there would be panorama cafe in upper floor. After reconstruction this would be 3 star hotel.

Some more news regarding Riga develoment plan
Was in Riga City council, took some pictures of their materials.
Here you see the plan for extension of tramlines (red) and other public transportation:

Tram will go to the airport (lower left part of picture) - there would be neeeded new bridge over railway for this line. In general there are numerous new tramlines ans extensions planned. Interesting is also proposal to bring the tram over Lucavsala (below Old City). But I do not see tram extended to southern part of Kipsala.
- - -
Here you see the main protected cultural and architecture monuments in the city. To my mind these areas should be considerably larger, they have not included many values:

- - -
Here traffic cituation in Riga centre now:

And optimum situation in future, if three new Daugava crossings and new highway system is built. Traffic is away from centre then:


Ice Hockey hall will be built until the roof in March next year

Currently 90% of piles have been driven, concrete laying will start soon. The area taken by ice hockey hall - 23 700 m2. Total area of complex - 58 000 m2.
"Merks" has announced that in principle they are ready to sell the hall after the championship.
In January or February "Merks" will announce the winners in international tender on development projects about the new business district around Ice Hockey hall. There is known that one international hotel chain wants to build hotel near Hall. The construction of new business district may start in next summer or autumn.
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Old December 11th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #17
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Riga GIS available in Internet... finally
On address www.rigis.lv you can look at Riga geographical information system. You can browse in up to 1cm=20m. There are shown also the "red lines" - zone which is reserved by city for building infrastructure according to current development plan.
Here - southern part of Kipsala and Kliversala in two different views:



- - -
Crazy plans for Mezaparks
Dutch company "JSS" has proposed to Riga City the following: attraction and entertainment park on area of 16 ha in Mezaparks. 20% of park would be on land, 80% - over the Lake Kisezers, where could be create two artificial islands and lots of water attractions. According to the developers they are very friendly to environment in Mezaparks, because the project will not cause decrease of forest area.
Necessary investments - 52 mio EUR. To get them back Dutch want to invest also in car parking and hotel business nearby.
City considers that these plans are too early - there is no clear concept regarding the development of Mezaparks (they are too slow with this). The idea to decrease the area of Lake Kisezers is not good either. But it is recognised that Mezaparks (historical entertainment area in Riga) needs investments in entertainment business.

My own observations in Riga
- Pile driving has been started for the first Panorama Plaza 25-floorer.
- There is endless construction field along some 4 km long stretch of road between Riga and airport - in most cases the building sites are under preparation but in some places have appeared cranes already. Looking at plates of building sites I saw four new specialised supermarkets (some have very fine architecture!) and several car trade shops, but there are numerous constructions I do not know about. Should not be highrises - airport too near. There are numerous new and large building sites around Riga now - I do not know anything about most of them.
- 9-th floor is built for both "Solaris" highrises. "Vestas stari" (17 floors) - first building has central shaft until the height of 5th floor. Second - concrete laying just starting.
- "Centra nams" is going to be 68 m high - it has spire-like structure on the roof. The roof would be 45 m high. Currently the roof is made.
- Riga Plaza supermarket site - still continues demolition of numerous Soviet time buildings. They have cleared enormous area already.
- On Lucavsala on-going preparation for enormous construction site. Earlier there was information about large multifunctional centre and 26-floor building. Start of construction of 26-floorer was not promised before 2006. Should follow a little more closely what is happening there.
- There are rumours that "Stavie darzi" project in Kipsala is dead and considerably higher building is planned there instead. It has interesting organic form, a bit like Torre Agbar. The draft project is in Riga Building Inspection. I am sure to come back with this project in some weeks. There are rumours about very many highrise projects by different international companies - I am sure most of them would not be realised.


In general - gentleman, the construction fever in Riga over the last months has started. And the biggest events still are ahead!
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Old December 11th, 2004, 08:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatis
- There are rumours that "Stavie darzi" project in Kipsala is dead and considerably higher building is planned there instead. It has interesting organic form, a bit like Torre Agbar. The draft project is in Riga Building Inspection. I am sure to come back with this project in some weeks. There are rumours about very many highrise projects by different international companies - I am sure most of them would not be realised.


In general - gentleman, the construction fever in Riga over the last months has started. And the biggest events still are ahead!
Oh man, I had my doubts about Stavie Darzi from the beginning this project appeared. That vertical green garden stuff semmed just too weard. I guess the only thing i really liked about it so far, was it's height .....

And come on Gati, so many rumourous news....when something BIG finally will get approved?? It's just as hard as it is for 5-6 year old boy to wait for his birthday...Or you just want to tease our lithuanian and estonian friends huh?
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Old December 11th, 2004, 10:01 PM   #19
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There is a bit more concrete information about the building planned instead of "Stavie darzi", it is more than rumours. But there is needed some time before it could be announced a bit more officially here. And I know that this will happen in some weeks
Project is under revision in Riga Building Inspection. Of, course, it can be rejected. Then it will be under the list "never built".
In general I am not giving here rumorous news but this time I just could not resist -
That's the situation today - some 20 large highrise projects for sure (and according to rumours - much more) are under preparation. Only sometimes some info is leaking to mass media, in general they try to hide it as much as possible.
"Panorama Plaza" was typical example - one day appeared fence and poster and a week later they started the works. Only one month later press noticed it.
- - -
Btw. I am working with projects in another area. I have experienced that the approvals, designs, redesigning and different stupid bureaucracy things may take years. The real work takes just some months afterwards. I am not announcing to mass media anything before the start of real works. Except for the cases when public hearings must be held. But even then there is possible to avoid wider interest - our mass media is really lazy.
- - -
Full approval is in place only at the moment when the building is built. Many times the basement is built before full approval. Btw. www.emporis.com database categorises the highrise buildings "Proposed", "Approved", "Under construction" etc. The border between "Proposed" and "Approved" is unclear. In the case of Riga I am setting the building as "Approved" when the detailed plan of the area and the draft design of the building have been approved. But they still need many approvals, many things can stop the further process. F.e. if architect works bad, the project can be rejected by fire inspection... and developer then may decide to stop the process.
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Regarding Lithuanians and Estonians - it's up to their attitudes to get embarrassed about this information, to laugh about Latvian "air castles" or just to notice the information. They got approximately the same situation in their cities. I like to read their "rumours", if there appear some. If there appear some unclear renderings (Like that 20-floor apartment highrise in Kipsala - nothing is clear about it) - we just make them appear here - this is interesting after all.
We are not "Reuters" news agency
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Old December 11th, 2004, 11:07 PM   #20
LatvianGG
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I was also wondering - in some listings of Riga highrise projects there is mentioned a highrise as a part of Olympia shopping mall in Kipsala - 26 floors (??) - do you know something about that?
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