The DonStroy company, which is one of the three largest Russian developers, constantly gets into scandalous stories. It just doesn’t seem like the management is drawing any conclusions. Or he simply does not want to, waving his hand at everything that happens.
The latest was news about a mass brawl that occurred between citizens of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan at the construction site of the Ostrov residential complex. This is a business-class facility in the capital’s Khoroshevo-Mnevniki district, the developer is DonStroy. The conflict between the workers arose due to a dispute over the time of visiting the canteen, according to the telegram channel Baza.
The incident happened on March 18th. About 50 workers got into a fight. As a result, dozens of people were taken to the police station, while others were hospitalized. A few days earlier, due to the fact that the DonStroy company unauthorizedly carried out drilling work on the metro tunnel between the Michurinsky Prospekt and Aminevskaya stations without coordination with the Moscow Metro, traffic stopped on the Big Circle Line (BKL).
As a result, the Moscow Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on the fact of violation of safety rules during construction work, which led to damage to the Big Circle Line (BKL) tunnel. The authorities said that work on the construction site of the Sobytiya residential complex of the DonStroy company, which is being carried out by the general contractor Antteq (part of the Turkish holding Ant Yapi), may be suspended for up to three months due to this incident.
And on March 4, it became known about the collapse in the capital of two floors of scaffolding on an area of 300 square meters. One person died and two others were taken to the hospital. The tragedy occurred in the residential complex “Event-4” under construction. LCD “Event” – a multifunctional business class complex, built by “Donstroy” on the street. Lobachevsky, near Ramenka.
And all this happened in just one spring month, which has not yet ended.
New “Berlin Wall”
There have been a lot of tragedies during the developer’s activity. Elevators broke, people died, as happened in the Scarlet Sails residential complex, which was the hallmark of Donstroy (then a woman died). Then, after checking by Rostekhnadzor, it turned out that all the elevators in this residential complex were in disrepair.
Due to a cable break, an elevator with a young mother fell in Rostov-on-Don, in a 22-story building built by the same company. Neighbors got the victim through the roof of the elevator. Seven years ago, a criminal case was opened by the Moscow Central Committee of the ICR on the fact of the death of five people in the collapse of an elevator at the facility of the DonStroy company in the north-west of Moscow.
At the same time, it is worth recalling that the company operates in the highest segments of real estate – Business, Premium and De Luxe, and offers housing in the best areas. But there have been plenty of complaints about the quality of construction of this expensive luxury real estate.
For example, last year the sewer flooded the parking lot in the residential complex “Heart of the Capital”, the developer of which is “DonStroy”. In the thematic chat, residents of the residential complex reported that a sewer leak led to a flood on the minus third floor, where the parking lot and storage rooms are located.
In addition, another scandal occurred in the elite LCD “Heart of the Capital”. Residents of different buildings were separated by a blue metal fence made of corrugated board. Neighbors from the second coastline were allowed to visit the park, and happy owners of apartments on the first line were forbidden. This is a new “Berlin Wall” in the very center of Moscow, people were outraged.
In general, we can conclude that you can love and disrespect your own homebuyers in Donstroy more, or something.
But while the developer manages to get out of the most unpleasant stories virtually without loss. Indeed, the situation appears to be changing. DonStroy has recently become a participant in several arbitration proceedings.
According to the sources of the telegram channel “Provisional Government”, more than 100 lawsuits against the developer were filed by the management company of the residential complex “Heart of the Capital”. MSK-Group began to manage the “Heart of the Capital” from July 2018 (then the house was put into operation), and DonStroy Invest had to pay for the maintenance of the premises, current repairs and utilities. But it turned out that DonStroy Invest does not pay for the management of an apartment building, and a number of services have not been paid since 2018. In total, the arbitration received over 100 claims from the management company during the year, and the total amount of claims since the beginning of February has exceeded 32 million rubles. On several of them, the court has already ruled against Donstroy.
New owners, old problems
Of course, there are questions to the management of the developer. But it is not known for certain who owns Donstroy today. DonStroy was founded by Maxim Blazhko and Dmitry Zelenov back in 1994. The company took on business and premium class projects (Scarlet Sails is the first of them) and set a high bar for the entire Russian development.
Construction was carried out on borrowed funds, they were mainly financed by VEB and VTB. Then residential projects were brought into a separate block, they were managed by CJSC DonStroy-invest. Its shareholders are five legal entities, personal data about them are not disclosed.
It can be assumed that the largest Russian banks manage the company. When DonStroy failed to repay the loans in 2009, a controlling stake in DonStroy-invest CJSC was transferred to VTB for a symbolic 500 rubles. In the same year, Sberbank received a stake in Donstroy’s subsidiary DS Development LLC.
After the change of owners since 2010, Alena Deryabina has been the CEO of the company. Prior to that, she worked at VTB as an adviser to the vice president, head of the non-financial assets department and vice president and was a member of the so-called “inner circle” of its head Andrei Kostin.
The new management could not improve the position of the company. The media often write that DonStroy has been on the verge of bankruptcy for several years. Back in 2017, Business Vector published a report on the financial position of Donstroy, which states that the company, in fact, cannot even pay for itself, let alone develop development projects.
Experts draw attention to the fact that after the change of ownership, all Donstroy structures are credited by VTB Bank. And the owner of the bank is the state. And a rather strange situation emerges – a company acquired with the bank’s money is controlled by it, and it is also credited by it, but this does not improve the position of Donstroy. Where the money goes is not clear.
It is likely that the acquisition of Donstroy in 2009 promised benefits. In any case, state-owned banks, apparently, saw it. But now the situation is different. Developers are having a tough time. Citizens do not get richer, and everything is especially difficult in the segment of business-class housing, in which DonStroy operates. Since the beginning of 2023, the demand for the purchase of apartments under construction and finished in the country has fallen by about a third. Now the main intrigue is whether the head of the state bank, Andrey Kostin, wants to save the company, or whether he will allow it to go bankrupt in order to get away from multimillion-dollar claims.