19.10.2012 The first residents of alluvial lands in the western part of Vasilievsky Island will celebrate their housewarming parties in 2014
Within a few years, the apartments of newcomers will lose their uniqueness: the great views of the Gulf of Finland will be partially overlapped by newly constructed buildings and the Terra Nova Marine Facade will turn into an ordinary St. Petersburg coastal neighborhood.
Classified, where to live.
Of the 466 hectares of land, which are to be created in the western part of Vasilievsky Island, 180 hectares have already been reclaimed. Approximately 32 hectares of the entire Marine Facade are reserved for a passenger port bearing the same name, and on the rest of the land, plans call for the building of two million square meters of residential and non-residential real estate. Terra Nova, OJSC (the company implementing the alluvial project and owner of most of its territories) claims that about 120 hectares have already been sold to developers (outright and leased with an option to purchase). However, the company did not specify to whom the land was sold.
We only know a few of the new owners, those who own a total of 55.3 hectares. Thus, 8.5 hectares were bought by the Leader Group in 2010. The RENOVA StroyGroup purchased 6 hectares this year, and is not planning to stop there. The company plans to increase its share to 85 hectares (according to other sources - up to 170 ha). The President of RENOVA-StroyGroup, Veniamin Golubitsky, said this summer that his company plans to build a total of one million square meters of real estate, including 700,000 in residential housing. For this project, a joint company will be set up with the Terra Nova. The construction of the first phase, 170,000 thousand sq. m. of residential premises, will begin this year. The Turkish Renaissance Construction Company intends to build up another 40 hectares. The company’s CEO, Erman Ilicak, announced that the project will be financed together with Terra Nova. So far, only half of this area has been created, and site preparation will start before the end of this year. The rest of the land for the Renaissance Construction Company’s project will be reclaimed by the end of 2013. Of the 700,000 sq. m. of the complex, 480,000 sq. m. will be allocated to housing (4,000 apartments) and the rest (400,000 sq. m.) to offices, retail and social facilities. The residential real estate, just like in the Renova project, will be built according to business and comfort category standards. The construction work will be completed in 2018.
It is possible that the Turkish company will become the developer of the territories that Renova is planning to buy. The President of Terra Nova, Lev Pukshansky, mentioned the Alice Corporation as one of the developers, which means that this company did not sell its 0.8 hectares of reclaimed lands, as it intended to do one year ago. None of the parties would disclose details of Alice’s participation in the project. In 2008, the company purchased a plot, intending to build a business center there.
The Leader Group was the first to bring residential housing onto the market. According to the company’s plan, the Captains Harbor residential district on the reclaimed land will consist of four apartment complexes in the comfort class – called the Captain Nemo, Arthur Gray, Magellan and Columbus. In addition to residential buildings with a total area of 162 sq. m., the project involves the construction of a school, a daycare and two parking lots for 1,000 vehicles. Tentatively, completion is scheduled for 2016.
Captain Nemo should be commissioned first, by December 2014. This is a 17-story building containing 600 apartments (a total of about 3,500 sq. m.), which, together with the adjacent territories, will occupy approximately 1.1 hectares. Studios of 24-25 sq. m. and one to three room apartments of up to 120 sq. m. are available for sale. Final finishing will be carried out in all of them.
This year, the sale of real estate should begin in the second “Captain” – Arthur Gray. This residential building with various numbers of stories (17-24 floors) will include one to three room apartments with areas of 44 – 128 sq. m. The most expensive premises are in the Captain Nemo, where studios are offered for 73,000 rubles per sq. m. A square meter in a three-room apartment is not less than 63,000 rubles. These rates are typical for the economy class category.
Last year, the executive director of Alice, Alexander Pavlov, announced his plans to sell his company’s plot on the reclaimed lands. He referred to transport problems and the unresolved issues with the provision of engineering infrastructure to the area. The Western High Speed Diameter Road, which will pass just a few hundred meters away from the Captain Nemo, is scheduled for opening only in 2015. This will only partially solve the problem of overloaded highways on Vasilievsky Island, and its connection with the rest of St. Petersburg. There will not be any Subway stations on the Marine Façade, at least until 2020. At the same time, the population of the alluvial zone will grow with each passing year, and the entire load will be placed on the Primorskaya Station.
Terra nova is not a novelty for us
However, Lev Pukshansky considers that there should be no problems with the implementation of residential housing in the alluvial zone. In his view, the formation of new territories, on the contrary, has added to the attractiveness of real estate in the western part of Vasilievsky Island.
"Together with the development of the Marine Façade, shopping, entertainment, transport and social infrastructure will come to this part of the city. Already today, we have a beautiful and technologically modern port, which has become an important component of the tourism infrastructure in the city. In the coming years, modern buildings and public spaces will also be built. This area will always be a prestigious place, and the Marine Façade will add comfort to it, giving it a modern look. Such prospects always have a positive effect on the prices of the existing buildings," says Lev Pukshansky.
Among the advantages of the alluvial zone for developers, he mentions the legal clarity of titles of ownership and more opportunities for implementing modern architectural and engineering solutions. This means that the Smolny has given permission to build, on the alluvial zone, objects with heights of up to 250 meters, which is several times higher than the average high-rise buildings of St. Petersburg. Oleg Gromkov, leading expert in the analytical department at North-West Invest, agrees with his colleague: "Housing, located in alluvial areas, always presupposes a view of the water, which is and has always been in demand, regardless of the class of real estate. In addition, the alluvial area provides a unique opportunity to plan the living environment and public spaces, in the most comfortable way, to meet modern standards, including the road network with the use of underground spaces, green areas and embankments."
North-West Invest intends to reclaim 510 hectares in the Gulf of Finland in the Resort District, near Sestroretsk. In 2009, the company won the right to carry out integrated development of future areas, where it indents to build two million sq. m. of residential and one million sq. m. of non-residential real estate. As a result, the Resort District will gain another 60,000 residents. The investments will amount to more than 250 billion rubles.
The creation of the land and engineering infrastructure should be completed by 2015, with the completion of construction scheduled for 2028.
According to Andrey Boikov, director of investment sales at NAI Becar in St. Petersburg, real estate in the alluvial area, on the one hand, draws interest as all new things usually do, and for the same reason this is alarming. Therefore, it is difficult to predict the level of demand and the price of future apartments in these new lands. However, he does not consider this an obstacle to the promotion of such projects. There are always people that are willing to pay for the unique characteristics of a real estate property – view, location, etc.
On the other hand, the more built up the territories become, the more their unique features diminish. The views become overlapped by other buildings, and location on the alluvium is no longer such an exotic thing. Especially, when considering that a large part of St. Petersburg is already built on land reclaimed from the sea.
Since the founding of this city, new banks were regularly created in its different parts. Just in the Soviet Era, such areas as the North Coastal part, Southwest, West Vasilievsky Island, and many others were reclaimed. The Baltic Pearl Residential District, which was also built on reclaimed land, is among the latest new formations.
Thus, the developers of the alluvial lands on Vasilievsky Island and Resort District will be able to position their projects as unusual only in the first few years. Very soon, the new districts will be as familiar as the rest of the city. ***
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