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Former industrial area of Noblessner to integrate seafront with a modern urban space


The Noblessner industrial area, a historical submarine building shipyard area, will in the coming years be redesigned into an integral residential, commercial and recreational environment with good communication with the sea. The total investment is upwards of 250 million euros.

According to the BLRT Group real estate development director Ivar Piirsalu, the 15-hectare territory will become a multifaceted urban area with a special atmosphere. “The historical industrial buildings will be renovated and the current shipyard will become the site of a carefully planned seaside residential block. Additional access for car and bicycle/pedestrian traffic will be completed in the next year, and the marina will be expanded and a new breakwater will be built,” said Piirsalu.

Mayor of the Põhja-Tallinn district Raimond Kaljulaid says the revitalization of the port area, which had been closed for years, has much to give to the city and will bring the sea closer to people. “The Noblessner recreational trail will soon be opened, and a new city square, dock terrace and the western end of a promenade will be developed here a year from now. These will connect the area with the rest of the city and provide abundant reasons to come here. The entire seafront from Noblessner to the Linnahall will become renewed and will be sited along a new seaside promenade, which will be Tallinn’s most attractive seaside area. The Linnahall (a landmark venue from the late Soviet era) and the question of Patarei (a former prison) will also be resolved in some way.”

The most important investments in the years ahead are related to the renovation of three historical industrial buildings and the establishment of a new city square and promenade. Piirsalu said an historical capacitor production facility would become a renovated business building. In 2018, a new international art centre will open at Noblessner, and in early 2019, a virtual reality centre for the whole family will be opening at the Noblessner Foundry.

In the first phase of the Noblessner residential real estate project, BLRT Group and Merko Ehitus construction company will build four apartment buildings with superb views directly on the seafront – a total of 200 apartments and close to 3700 m² of shopping and commercial space, suitable for restaurants and cafes as well as other businesses that put a premium on a seaside environment. The architectural solution for the residential quarter was developed in cooperation with Arhitektuuribüroo Pluss. The first – Estonia’s most seaside building – will be completed in late 2017, and the rest by the end of 2018.

This year, the shipyard still operational at Noblessner will be closed and the operation will be moved to Kopli Peninsula. The large hangar will be dismantled in the first half of 2018.

Background info:
Noblessner is located by the sea in Tallinn, next to the Seaplane Harbour in Kalamaja neighbourhood. What was once the most important submarine building centre in tsarist Russia has become a port quarter open to people and the sea. It features grand old industrial buildings, a beach promenade, marina and a new residential-commercial development. Noblessner means history, cultural events, art, friendly urban environment, creativity and maritime culture.

The history of Noblessner goes back to 1912, when two St. Petersburg businessmen – Europe’s biggest oil industrialist Emanuel Nobel (Alfred Nobel’s nephew) and Arthur Lessner, the owner of G. A. Lessner machinery plant – built a submarine production plant here. The name Noblessner is based on the two founders’ last names. From 1913 to 1917, a total of 12 ultramodern submarines were built here. When Estonia gained independence, submarine production at Noblessner was halted but the shipbuilding and repair has continued right up to the present.