Being a developer in St. Petersburg is not easy, especially when it comes to the development of the central part of the city, where almost every building has historical value.
Perhaps that is why the Swedish construction company Bonava, which in March last year decided to curtail its activities in Russia, could not find a buyer for so long.
Will the Swedes be able to sell their assets to the development company RBI, which has managed to gain an ambiguous reputation in St. Petersburg, and what will this deal result in for the townspeople?
Bonava failed to sell its business for a “real price” for a long time. So, in October, there seemed to be information that the assets were going to the developer G-group (G-Group, Kazan) of its Russian subsidiaries for 98 million euros, but already in November, the Kazan developer announced that it was withdrawing from the deal, with vague motivation: “taking into account the dynamism of the external environment.” In other words, the Kazan developers have made it clear that they do not need scandals and bureaucratic troubles. The problem was that the land bank of the Swedish developer, according to some experts, is not among the highest quality in St. Petersburg, and one of the main disadvantages is the unpreparedness of the land for development, which, perhaps, did not allow the deal to take place. The peculiarity of building in the city on the Neva is due to the fact that the developer, even having overcome bureaucratic barriers, may face another problem, namely, the dissatisfaction of public defenders of the city: in terms of the number of buildings and structures of historical value, St. Petersburg is not inferior to the capital, and in terms of the intensity of passions around the demolition of any building, especially in the central part of the city, perhaps it surpasses …
The new buyer of the Russian assets of the Swedish developer Bonava, Eduard Tiktinsky, is not so fastidious, and the “dynamic environment”, or rather the activity of the St. Petersburg city defenders, does not seem to scare him too much. Yes, and the Swedes have significantly moderated their appetites – the practical Tiktinsky has achieved a reduction in the value of the Russian assets of the developer Bonava by almost half – from 5.9 to 3.3 billion rubles.
But this deal, if it is concluded, is unlikely to add peace to St. Petersburg public figures, who care for the preservation of historical monuments of architecture.
Recently, the owner of the RBI company, which specializes in the construction of business-class housing, Eduard Saulevich Tikitinsky, has gained fame in St. Petersburg as an uncompromising fighter against the “city defenders”. In 2018, at the VI Congress of Builders of the North-West of Russia, Tiktinsky even made a keynote speech, calling for a “rebuff” to those who, in his opinion, prevent St. believes, “they are degrading, collapsing and in need of urgent reconstruction”:
– As soon as an investor appears who is ready to invest in the reconstruction of such buildings, the so-called city defenders launch an active propaganda campaign and often disrupt the implementation of projects – this is Dacha Gauswald, the Stable Department and many others … – Eduard Saulevich chopped the air with his palm, after which he summed up his “speech »:
– It is from such city defenders that historical buildings really need to be protected!
Apparently, Tiktinsky is quite sincerely sure that the old St.
Of course, the public defenders of the city did not remain in debt, attacking the fan of “modernizing” the old days with harsh criticism. A lot of spears were broken around the fate of the Levashov Plant – a legendary enterprise that saved hundreds of thousands of residents of Leningrad during the blockade – during the Great Patriotic War, its workshops did not stop for a minute. Workers kneaded the dough by hand even when the power went out. The idea to organize a blockade museum on the territory of the plant has been ripe for a long time. Tiktinsky, who undertook to implement it, approached the topic creatively: the blockade exposition will occupy about a fifth of the territory and will be available for free visits. The rest of the “cultural space” will be “sharpened” for commercial projects, but most of the new “cultural space” (4 floors out of 6) will be occupied by office space owned by Tiktinsky construction company RBI. We will leave the representatives of the public to reason and moralize about how compatible cultural and entertainment programs and offices are with the sacred topic of the blockade for every Petersburger: what is done is done, in the coming days residents and guests of the northern capital will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the new cultural and business center, built by Tiktinsky, and they will give him an assessment.
The Levashovsky plant is starting to work again, but already as a cultural center.
However, the Levashovsky bakery is not the only object that has become a “bone of contention” between the city defenders and the structures of Tiktinsky. At the end of December 2021, the RBI company of Eduard Tiktinsky acquired the territory of the former Gosmetr plant, planning to build a business-class residential project there. According to media reports, the site in the Obvodny Canal area cost the developer 1.7 billion rubles, which is higher than the original price.
It is worth noting that on the territory of an abandoned factory, where until recently high-precision measuring instruments were produced, there are quite a few architecturally interesting buildings of the 19th century, and when construction begins, skirmishes with public activists-town defenders Tiktinsky, most likely, cannot be avoided.
However, this is not the first time for him. Although, in fairness, it is worth noting that Eduard Saulovich periodically suffers defeat in battles with caring citizens. So, back in 2010, the city authorities adopted amendments to the law on public green spaces (ZNOP), including, at the insistence of environmentalists, part of the Lopukhinsky Garden, which was privatized by the RBI structure at that time. As a result, his plans to build a multi-storey hotel in Lopukhinsky Garden failed. And even then, the frustrated businessman attacked the townspeople, calling them “irresponsible people who work in the interests of certain political parties and their interests.” Which Tiktinsky, however, did not specify.
It is quite possible that Tiktinsky’s new deal with a Swedish company leaving the Russian market will result in another urban planning scandal. At least, if the “city defenders” do not like something, Eduard Saulevich will not remain silent: reputation obliges.