Sunday, December 7, 2014

Keila on the rise

We have lived in Keila for just over 2 years and we love it now more than ever.  It's the perfect place for a young family.  There are a lot of nice small cities in Estonia, but Keila is the only one that is near Tallinn that has normal real estate prices.  In the short time we have lived here, the city has developed at a rapid pace.  While Estonia is developing quickly overall, this is not true for all of Estonia.  Many country side places are falling apart and emptying out due to the demographic trends.  We feel very blessed to be living in such a nice place like Keila.  Here is a list of some of the major developments and plans over the last 2 years.
  • New trains which came on line summer 2013
  • New grocery stores.  They built a Grossi store at the end of 2013 and now they are building a Maxima not too far away.  Also two other grocery stores were remodeled in the past year and a half.
  • New apartment buildings.  They have built quite a few new apartment buildings and have plans for more.  Even though Keila is a small city (10,000) it has all sorts of different residential units: apartment buildings, homes, town houses, and duplexes.
  • New fast food restaurants.  A new pizza place opened up which put another pizza place out of business, the Hesburger moved locations to take the place of the old pizza place and a new Subway took the place of the Hesburger.  We now have a Subway and the Hesburger is closer to home! Add these to the Pizza place and the local cafe's and the eating out scene isn't that bad (I'd love to have a Chop Sticks and a Baby Back, but you can't win them all).

  • They are replacing the entire lighting system in the city.  This is a pretty big project that was funded with some money Estonia got by a CO2 exchange program.  It didn't pollute so it exchanged the CO2 quota to another country who then paid for environmentally friendly projects.  Estonia was one of 7 Estonian cities to get their lighting systems replaced. 
  • Remodeling.  Many buildings have been remodeled and now look nice.  Fortunately many of them are near our building.  The police building was also remodeled. 
  • They also announced plans to remodel part of the old mostly abandoned hospital.  It will be a 10 million euro project that will turn one wing into a rehab and care facility.  Most of it will come from the EU structural funds.  There are two main problems in Keila, one is the abandoned high school and the other is the abandoned hospital.  This project will go a long way in fixing up the hospital.  Supposedly they have plans to tear down the abandoned high school and to build some office and residential buildings in its place, but I haven't seen any work on the project yet.  Lastly, Keila annoucned plans to build a new walking bridge over the Keila river that would better connect two residential areas.
Keila does have a high debt level around 100% of its yearly income but it should go back towards 60% (the norm for Estonian local governments) by 2018.  Most of the debt was from the new high school which was built a year or two before we moved.  All in all Keila is the best
 and it is only getting better.  

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