After many years of wrangling, false starts and disappointments, March 9th 2017, marked an important moment in the history of one of the city’s most recognized landmarks.
The Granary Island (Polish Spichlerze, German Spicherstetten) has stood as a vivid and poignant reminder of the destruction of war and the tragic 20th century history of the city for over 70 years. For most of the past 25 years rumours have abounded about rebuilding and redevelopment plans none of which have come to fruition – before now.
On Thursday morning (March 9th, 2017), Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz secreted a copy of the Foundation Act for the development of the island in one of the few remaining pre-war walls still standing. The act, signed earlier by Mayor Adamowicz and investors from both the private and public sectors, heralds the official start of the first stage of construction on the northern tip of Granary Island and the ceremony received the blessing of Bishop of Gdansk, Archbishop Leszek Głódź.
The first stage of construction of the development, named Granaria, will see a 240-room, four-star hotel designed by RKW Dusseldorf (the architects behind the Energa Arena stadium) as well as a residential building and office and retail space. This first stage will also include a public observation deck at a height of 30m allowing visitors to look out over the historic city on the opposite side of the Motlawa.
In addition to the hotel and residential buildings a number of other public developments are planned including a footbridge connecting Długi Pobrzeże with Granary Island close to the Crane; a new marina; the part rebuilding of Chmielna, Pożarnicza and Motławska streets and a new bridge on Stągiewna street.
The first premises will be transferred at the end of 2018 while preparatory work on the second stage of development is expected to begin in July.
“This is a historic day….Involvement of investors on Granary Island is proof of our city’s success – as in centuries past, the island will once again become an exceptional place” Mayor Adamowicz announced to assembled journalists.
While today marks an important moment in the rebirth of the island, it ought to be noted that there has already been construction in other parts of the island and as well as the Hotel Puro, another new complex, the Deo Plaza, is being developed by a different investor and is planned for completion in the second half of 2018.