Downtown Reykjavík’s Heart Park is today formally closed, to be razed to make way for a new hotel.
Vísir reports that the planned hotel will have 142 rooms, and the area that is now Heart Park will be a smaller courtyard for hotel guests.
Pálmar Harðarson, the spokesperson for Þingvangs ehf – the company behind the construction – told reporters that he expects the blueprints to be approved today.
Protests against the construction have been heated, as musician Tanja Pollock told reporters yesterday that she and a small group of friends had received funding from the city in the spring to improve the park. The announcement that Heart Park would be converted into a hotel courtyard came as a surprise.
“We knew that something would happen,” she said. “The house on Hverfisgata is completely ruined. But we were told that [changes] would be made in harmony with city residents and with us.”
Kristófer Oliversson, owner of Center Hotels, has expressed his distaste with the empty house on Hverfisgata, as well as the Heart Park in general, in the wake of a fire in the house that he says endangered his hotel next door.
Demolition of the house on Hverfisgata – as well as what used to be the club Faktorý – will begin in the coming weeks.