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Real Estate

Real Estate News
Vladimir Kozlov

Elite property bought primarily by officials and entrepreneurs

The lion’s share of elite properties in Moscow is bought by state officials and entrepreneurs, says a report published by the business daily Vedomosti. By various estimates, between 280 and 490 elite apartments were sold in the city in the first three quarters of 2011, while the total number of properties put up for sale was just over 1,100. According to Alexander Ziminsky, director of the elite property sales department at Penny Lane Realty, about 60% of buyers of apartments in the price range of $1.5 million to $2 million are state officials. “Those are our best clients, they are always in the know of what is going on,” he was quoted as saying. However, according to realtors, state officials prefer to keep information about their deals confidential. According to Anastasiya Mogilatova, general director of Welhome, offshore companies often act as buyers. “If relatives are nominal buyers, the safest bet is a mother-in-law,” she added.

Khrushchevkas out by 2014

City Hall plans to complete its program for tearing down five-story Khrushchevka-era poor-quality residential buildings within the next two years, RIA Novosti reported. “We will continue to demolish five-story buildings,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin was quoted as saying. “The program, which was developed earlier, will be implemented by 2014. Somebody will have to wait, but we will continue to work in accordance with the schedule, making sure that the program is going.”

Currently, about 350 Khrushchevkas slated for demolition remain in the city, and have been on demolition row for the past decade!

Investment in Detsky Mir goes up

The investment in the reconstruction of Detski Mir, Moscow’s best known department store for children’s goods and a wellknown sight in the heart of the city, is to be larger than originally projected. Sergei Kalinin, chairman of the board of Gals-Development, the project’s developer, told reporters in early November that the original figure is likely to increase by about one third to 8 billion roubles. According to Kalinin, financing is coming from the state-controlled bank VTB, and no private bank would be interested in the project as the recoup period is expected to be between 16 and 18 years. Detski Mir opened in 1947 and was closed for reconstruction in the summer of 2008. As a result of the reconstruction, the total area of the building is expected to increase from 58,000 sq. m. to 74,000 sq. m. The department store is expected to open its doors again in late 2014.

City Hall to switch to new ad formats

The Moscow City government is planning to use more innovative ad carriers in the city in a bid to make outdoor ads less chaotic and gradually drive billboards out of the city centre. As of 2012, the city is to adopt two new formats—prism-shaped electronic billboards and “media facades”, Vladimir Chernikov, head of the City Hall’s mass media and advertisement department, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. He added that by the end of this year, all advertisements on scaffolding, most of which are illegitimate, will be removed. “Advertisements on buildings facades could be used, but they shouldn’t create problems [for residents of the buildings],” he said. According to Chernikov, large-size advertisements on the walls of buildings will be primarily used outside the city centre, with few exceptions made in situations where ads could cover defective walls..

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