A petition started last July opposing the building of a hotel at Austurvöllur has reached about 14,000 signatures, reflecting about 13% of Reykjavík’s population.
As reported, with Nasa set to be remodeled, plans are still on the table to build a hotel next door. However, the plan is not without its controversy, with those in favour saying that building a hotel in the area would liven up a neighbourhood they consider devoid of life outside of the summertime, and those opposed – among them, singer Páll Óskar – saying that a hotel would cast an ugly shadow over the most popular spot Icelanders use for enjoying the sun in Reykjavík.
“We should maybe just accept the fact that our downtown is small,” Páll Óskar has said. “We can be small. We don’t need giant buildings in the middle of downtown.”
The online petition opposing the building of the hotel – ekkihotel.is – has now exceeded 14,000 signatures, or about 13% of the town’s population.
While opposition continues to grow, the plans to build the hotel remain unchanged. The final plans will be drawn up this winter, with construction so far intended to begin at some point next year.