Reykjavík City Council revealed at a meeting yesterday that the old houses on Laugavegur 4 to 6 cost ISK 580 million (USD 9 million, EUR 6 million), ISK 30 million (USD 460,000, EUR 310,000) higher than earlier estimates. The city decided to buy the houses last Friday.
Former Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson of the Social Democrats, currently part of the opposition in Reykjavík City Council, told ruv.is that he believes the total cost including renovation will amount to ISK 1 billion (USD 15 million, EUR 10 million).
Thus, Eggertsson argued, Reykjavík City would lose at least ISK 500 million (USD 7 million, EUR 5 million) on the deal.
The former owner of the lots, Kaupangur, which had planned to demolish the old houses and construct a hotel and shopping center, originally bought them for ISK 250 million (USD 4 million, EUR 3 million).
At the time when Reykjavík City decided to buy the houses (after the Independence Party and Liberal Party had formed a new majority city), Minister of Education Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir was considering a request from the House Preserving Committee on their preservation.
Representatives of the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens in the city council argue that if the houses had been preserved by the minister, the Icelandic state instead of Reykjavík City would have covered the cost of renovating them.
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