Eika has signed a design contract for a real estate project on St. Stephen’s street [Šv. Stepono street] 33 with Senojo Miesto Architektai, the winners of a closed architectural tender. Based on this contract, the project development plans are being put in place. The project will be simultaneously comprised of two parts and two structures: the co-living apartments and the residential flats under the name of “Šv. Stepono Baltas Lapas”. At the same time, this development will contribute to turning a new page for the entire area surrounding the Vilnius train station.
This area of city is seen as a priority by the council of Vilnius, as demonstrated by several very ambitious projects such as Vilnius Connect, the reconstruction of St. Stephen’s Church Square and St. Stephen’s street. “Naujamiestis is, without a doubt, the favourite area of Vilnius to its residents, we understand and see its charm very well when interacting with our clients. We will soon be completing one of our projects here, offering more than 300 new apartments, with numerous other successful real estate projects in the vicinity. The residents are attracted by the entertainment and social infrastructure which has been developed here. Therefore, even in the current pandemic context, we are considering further development plans in the area such as a new project on St. Stephen’s street, contributing to the city’s plans to regenerate this part of the capital,” Domas Dargis, the managing director at Eika, explains.
The project is framed by three streets – St. Stephen’s, Punskas and Paneriai, bordering between the Old Town and Naujamiestis and becoming part of the re-emerging train station area. The project’s composition is perimetrical, which is typical of Naujamiestis. According to the plans, two inner courtyards will be surrounded by the buildings, with a third courtyard designed between the co-living and the residential buildings, with a pedestrian passage planned over it. This will ensure the visual connection is retained to St. Stephen’s Church, which is due to be reconstructed with a square to be created next to it. The part of St. Stephen’s street where the new development will be located is also planned for reconstruction and the two separate segments of the street will be connected by the pedestrian zone.
“This plot was used as St. Stephen’s marketplace between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. After the Second World War, this rather undeveloped area was turned into a local production and warehousing zone, containing practical buildings. The architecture of the new building was influenced by the urban fabric of the surrounding spaces. The consistent architectural expression was inspired by the aesthetic of the brick facades of the industrial railway buildings, it also matched the client’s requirements,” says I. Gečienė, the project manager at Senojo Miesto Architektai.
The new residential project on St. Stephen’s street also marks the transformation of Eika’s successful brand Baltas Lapas [White Leaf] from a single project to a series of initiatives which are being developed in regenerated areas close to the city centre and aimed at the fast-paced residents of Vilnius. The company already manages a block of apartment buildings in Naujamiestis under the brand Baltas Lapas, which will be known as Mindaugo Baltas Lapas. The project in St. Stephen’s street has been named Šv. Stepono Baltas Lapas. A white leaf symbolises new beginnings and adding the name of the street at the start emphasises the importance of this location, its charm and uniqueness. We are planning for other Baltas Lapas brand projects to emerge in Vilnius as well as locations across Lithuania.
The planned residential structures are buildings of four to five stories, incorporating 133 apartments and commercial spaces with a combined apartment space of around 7,000 square meters. The apartments, ranging from 25 to 80 square meters in size, will feature one to four rooms. The apartments on the ground floor have been designed to include a terrace each. Underground car parking is included, accommodating 75 cars and electric vehicles, as well as the bicycle storage. The ground floor is to hold 15 commercial premises. The building will meet the requirements of A+ energy efficiency.
The co-living segment is to hold 269 studio-type apartments for rent, each with a bedroom zone, a private bathroom and a kitchenette. The size of the studios will vary between 18 and 24 square meters. Fans of co-living will benefit from several shared-use spaces such as the 24/7 reception, leisure and game zones, a gym, a large kitchen and a dining room, as well as a laundrette, a studying space on every floor and a 150 square meter roof terrace. Five commercial spaces are planned in the building, too. They are to be rented or sold to caffes, healthy food bars and other businesses providing everyday services.
The target audience of the co-living apartment project in Vilnius is international, such as the young professionals moving to Vilnius for work for a fixed period of time, or the international students in their senior years of study whose priority is living in the town centre, in a convenient home of modern design with single-bill services. Together with its partners, in 2018 Eika was the first in Lithuania to introduce the co-living concept with Solo Society Student House – the co-living student accommodation in Kaunas.
The project is expected to draw 25 million euro in investment. Provided the conditions are favourable, construction works are to start in Q4 2020 – Q1 2021.