The City of Tallinn signed a MOU with the shipping giant Tallink Grupp AS and Infortar, one of the largest investment companies and a major shareholder of Tallink, in order to go ahead with the plans of developing the City Hall into an international conference and concert centre with a harbour, hotel and a business centre of its own.
“Tallinn has found strategic partners with whom we can cooperate in the City Hall development. The City Hall will be an international conference and concert centre that will revitalize the tourism sector and the economy at large, create jobs and generate profits for the city in the future. Creating a passenger port next to the City Hall will bring enough tourists to the centre, making the investment profitable,” said the Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart. “The realization of the project in this form should mean both a comprehensive urban space solution in the City Hall area and synergies between different policies,” added the Mayor.
To carry out the project, the City of Tallinn, AS Tallink Grupp and AS Infortar will establish a joint venture, in which the City of Tallinn will hold 34 percent, AS Tallink Grupp 33 and AS Infortar 33 percent. Upon the establishment of the joint venture, the shareholders shall contribute one million euros in proportion with each shareholder's part. In addition, the City contributes to the joint venture with the property of City Hall and the properties adjacent to the City Hall, and AS Tallink Grupp and Infortar will provide the necessary capital for the investment. The City of Tallinn has no additional financial obligations. The estimated cost of the whole project is approximately EUR 300 million.
“The City of Tallinn and the Estonian state have been long waiting for a viable vision for developing the Concert Hall, which falls under heritage protection, and to establish an important international conference and concert hall for further tourism development in Tallinn and the state. Our country needs a venue with up to 5,000 seats, which would provide the opportunity to bring big conferences and high-quality cultural events to Tallinn. Tallinn needs new opportunities for tourism development in order to successfully compete with Helsinki, Riga and Stockholm, ”said Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp.
“Our vision is to create, together with the city, an attractive and fully functional complex consisting of a conference centre, passenger port and entertainment venues, which would open a part of the seaside of Tallinn to the people, and attract even more foreign visitors to the city. Connecting the passenger port with the complex of the conference centre is a key factor in to revitalize the entire region by enabling the private sector to operate such a project profitably”, added Nõgene.
In the coming months, the parties will agree on further cooperation principles and a follow-up action plan. Already this spring, a joint venture is intended to be formed if the Tallinn City Council supports the decision. An architecture competition will take place to find the best architectural concept for the City Hall and the adjacent harbour area, as well as the conference centre, the passenger port, the business centre and other buildings to be built on the City Hall premises. In concluding the instructions for the competitors, the fact that the City Hall is an object of high value of heritage, will be taken in account and special heritage conservation policies must be followed during the renovation works.
The estimated duration of the construction of the new complex is three years from obtaining necessary permits and concluding relevant contracts.