Tallinn mayor still optimistic about Linnahall development project

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Photo: Peeter Langovits

Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar said he is still optimistic about a project for developing the Linnahall property into a culture and conference center.

"I remain optimistic about the negotiations in progress with Tallinn Entertainment LLC and development of Tallinn's Linnahall into a culture and conference center," the mayor said in answer to a query by City Council member Madis Kubar. "No previous city government has come closer to finding an investor for Linnahall than the present one," he added.

According to Savisaar, it is not possible to reveal the content of the talks between the city and Tallinn Entertainment LLC because of a confidentiality clause, but he admitted that there is with extensive projects no guarantee that negotiations will produce the desired result.

The Soviet-era Linnahall entertainment and sports arena has been closed since April 1, 2010. The city government initially hoped the renovation of the venue would be completed by the end of 2011. Talks with Tallinn Entertainment LLC, a U.S. private equity company, have been in progress for close to four years.

Designed by the architect Raine Karp, the Linnahall complex near the port of Tallinn comprising a 4,200-seat concert hall, ice arena and cafes was completed by the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. It was awarded the Grand Prix of the world biennial Interarch in 1983 and has been placed on the list of protected buildings.