Shopping Mall Threat to
Historic Arkhangelskoye

Arkhangelskoye, the historic estate of the Yusupov family is at the heart of a development dispute

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Arkhangelskoye, the historic estate at the heart of a development dispute, could play host to a shopping mall amid reports that companies linked to supermarket chain Auchan have bought up a slice of the preservation area.

The estimated value of the deal was $63 million, according to Kommersant sources, and the buyers will have the right to use the land for the next 49 years.

And it’s likely that the company will be willing to use the plot in full, experts say, placing several retail estates on the doorstep of the former home of Prince Yusupov.

Trading on history

The 18-hectare plot, part of which falls in the “Russian Versailles” protection zone, is too big for only one project, Alexei Mogila, Penny Lane Realty’s director of commercial estate department, told Kommersant.

The whole family of supermarket Auchan, sports-wear store Dekatlon, and probably even Auchan-Auto might take up to 50 thousand square meters of the land, along with DIY store Leroy Marlin, he said.

The total area of the 19th century estate’s preservation area is over 600 hectares, but the Arkhangelskoye museum owns just 62 hectares.

Atttempts to secure the property rights and prevent further sell-offs have been unsuccessful so far.

Other owners include the Krasnogorsk district authorities and the Ministry of Defense, which has rented some land to dacha collectives.

Prior approval

However, plans to build a “multifunctional manufacturing, administrative and trading complex with roads infrastructure and car parks” are not new, Margarita Falkova, Krasnogorsk’s chief architect, said.

The previous lender of the plot – company Morenko Limited – voiced this idea back in 2009, which was approved at public hearings then, Falkova added.

Morenko is owned by Igor Rubiner, according to Kommersant sources. He also has a 50 per cent stake in Speis, a company which owns seven hectares adjacent to the estate. Luxury housing development is already underway on that land.

Developers Gradostroi, which bought another piece of protected land at Ministry of Defense’s auction earlier this week, are also linked with the businessman. Viktor Kiselyov, the company’s owner, has been a long-term business partner of Rubiner.

Source & Copyright: The Moscow News
19 August, 2011