The Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region satisfied the claim of Grandproekt JSC against the Investment Committee to challenge the refusal to provide a 25.5-hectare site in Lisy Nos for the construction of a rowing facility. Previously, the site was leased to the Yacht Club of St. Petersburg, a public organization associated with Gazprom, which plans to build new berths for yachts there by 2027. Ironically, the court decision was made shortly before the start of the SPIEF, at which the commander of the yacht club Vladimir Lyubomirov presented the concept of a future tourist cluster in Gorskaya and Lisy Nos worth 70–90 billion rubles. The controversial spot, which the court ordered to transfer to the plaintiff, is located in the very center of the future recreational and business zone.
According to the materials of the arbitration case, on July 11, 2022, the Investment Committee of St. Petersburg received four applications for the lease of land plot No. 28, located in Lisy Nos, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, not far from the entrance to the dam. The Committee was the first to receive applications from the NC Foundation for the Support, Reconstruction and Revival of Historic Ships and Classic Yachts and ANO Academy of Sailing, the third – from JSC Grandproekt, and the fourth – from St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Then, in August, the first two applications were withdrawn, and the application of Grandproekt was the first in line.
On September 8, 2022, the Investment Committee considered this application and rejected it, referring to the fact that “the disputed land plot was granted on the right of perpetual use” to the administration of the Primorsky district of St. Petersburg. And then in October 2022 – when considering the next application of the Yacht Club – the committee itself issued an order that terminated the aforementioned right of perpetual use, and transferred the land to this applicant. According to the decree of the city government of December 2022, the investor must invest 110 million rubles in landscaping, and he is given five years for the construction itself.
Grandproekt appealed the committee’s refusal to the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. According to his statement, the court already in October 2022 took interim measures in the form of a ban on transferring the rights to the disputed plot to Smolny. As the company’s lawyers noted in court, the committee – “in the absence of grounds for refusing to provide the site” and “during the consideration of the application” – prepared a draft government decree on the transfer of land to the next applicant in turn.
Officials, responding to the lawsuit, stated in court that the disputed plot was formed by combining three allotments that were in the perpetual use of the district administration “without the right to erect real estate objects on them.” However, when the court suggested that Smolny’s lawyers bring a document on the basis of which the right of perpetual use of the administration to the united site was issued, they did not bring anything. As a result, the judicial act was adopted in favor of Grandproekt: the decision of the committee and all its subsequent actions with the site were declared invalid, and the city government was obliged to issue a new decree – on the transfer of land to the plaintiff. “At the moment, the committee is evaluating the arguments of the court, after which a decision will be made on further actions in this case,” the investment committee said at the request of Kommersant-SPb.
JSC Grandproekt, according to the SberKorus system, was founded in 2020 and since then has been owned by its CEO Andrey Ivanov, who has not been seen in business before. A source familiar with the conflict expressed a version about the connection of the joint-stock company with the Megaline company affiliated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, which has been claiming land redevelopment near the dam since 2021. Then she submitted an application to Smolny for the allocation of a former construction site for a dam with a total area of 150 hectares in order to implement an investment project worth 236 billion rubles there. And, having received a refusal, she unsuccessfully sued the city authorities for the past two years. Thus, if the Grand Project is really connected with Prigozhin, this court decision can be considered his first success in a long struggle. Lawyers working for Prigozhin left the assumptions of Kommersant-SPb’s interlocutors without comment.
Lawyer Nadezhda Gorbunova, who represented Grandproekt in court, did not expand on her client’s investment plans, nor on the content of his application, nor on the volume of investments and the composition of investors in the proposed construction of the “rowing facility”. “There is still a lot of work ahead,” Ms. Gorbunova told a Kommersant-SPb correspondent. “At the moment, the decision has not yet entered into force, so it is premature to give any comments.”
St. Petersburg Yacht Club was founded in 2010 by businessmen Viktor Los, Dmitry Lychev and Vladimir Lyubomirov. Among its assets are Hercules Yacht Port LLC, Poltava Historical Shipyard LLC, Sailing Academy ANO and other facilities located on the coast near the Lakhta Center skyscraper. In addition, in 2023, the structures of this group announced plans to build a new marina on the Vasileostrovskiy alluvium.
Commander of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Vladimir Lyubomirov did not comment on Smolny’s litigation with Grandproekt, noting that this is the area of responsibility of the city administration.
A source close to Smolny told Kommersant-SPb that Grandproekt’s application “was more of a legal than an investment”: allegedly, neither the composition of investors, nor the volume of investments, nor other parameters were contained in it. And its purpose, the source suggests, was rather to fix the fact of an appeal for a subsequent appeal against the refusal, rather than the actual development of the site.