Viru headache escalates in Tallinn

  • 2005-06-15
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - The owners of the prominent Viru Hotel in Tallinn have reportedly threatened to take the city government to court and demand millions of euros in losses if city hall refuses to give the green light to a 17-story extension to the hotel.

The city's present leaders, including Mayor Tonis Palts, are opposed to building a second structure next to the existing hotel building as set out in the Viru Center site plan, saying a new high-rise next to the central Tammsaare Park would be not appropriate.

Yrjo Vanhanen, managing director of Pontos, the hotel's Finnish owner, said he had not heard of the city's plan to eliminate the hotel's extension from the detailed plan, and the company had for the time being not abandoned its intention to start construction this fall.

Vanhanen said he and his team had not yet asked advice from lawyers as regards further action should construction be prohibited by the city. They would, however, likely seek monetary damages.

"Tens 's tens of millions of kroons 's I cannot say more precisely at this point," he said.

Aivar Reivik, deputy mayor in charge of city planning, said he had met on the topic with Indrek Toome, an Estonian businessman representing the hotel. "Both stayed firm on their plans -- one would like to build and the other would like to ban," he said.

Reivik said the city's leaders had taken into account the possibility that forbidding the project may result in a claim for damages.