The owners of buildings that house several nightclubs on a single block in downtown Reykjavík are planning to change the buildings over to serve the tourist industry primarily.
Stundin reports that the property owners of Húrra, Gamla Gauknum, Palóma, Dubliners and Glaumbar – amongst others on the same square block – are planning to close these establishments down and turning them into businesses more focused on tourism. What forms these tourist-minded businesses will take is still unclear.
All the property on the block is owned by the real estate company Fjélagið, which is run by Steindór Sigurgeirsson and Jason Wittle, with the exception of Tryggvagata 22, which is owned by the company Eik.
Steindór stressed that the buildings themselves will not be torn down; they will be renovated, and transformed into the still-unknown tourism oriented businesses. However, Steindór did point out the number of shops on the street, adding, “We want more of such shops in our buildings, not bars.”
Steindór also said he has been in contact with Eik about changing the entire block. Garðar Hannes Friðjónsson, the director of Eik, told Stundin that while this is true, there is little he can tell the press at this time about what lies ahead.
Jón Mýrdal, the owner of Húrra, was surprised to learn from reporters of the planned change. While he didn’t say the news worried him especially, he voiced some reservations.
“We welcome more tourists,” he said. “But there have to be more activities for them than just Tourist Information and lopapeysur shops. We’ve been hosting concerts at Húrra for a year now, and a lot of our customers come from abroad. Many first learned about Iceland through the music of Björk or Sigur Rós.”