Dozens of industrial areas lie idle in Moscow as redevelopment has been hindered by fragmented ownership structures. However, through a new law enabling local authorities to expropriate these areas, regeneration is expected to pick up and drive a rebound in the local real estate market, as Jacopo Dettoni reports.
The regeneration of the industrial zones has emerged as a key part of the city government’s vision to redistribute jobs and residential space more evenly across Moscow's urban area and fix the city’s imbalances.
“We need new jobs behind the city centre and new homes in the centre,” says Tatyana Polidi, executive director at the Institute of Urban Economics, a Russian not-governmental organisation. “Unused territory within old industrial zones makes up about 20% of Moscow’s territory. Besides this, we have big deficiencies of land plots for new construction. These are the main elements for emphasising the redevelopment of these zones.”
LSR’s ZilArt mixed-use development aims to take a step in this direction. LSR expects some 55,000 residents to live in the new riverside neighbourhood once the redevelopment is completed in 2026. Another 30,000 people will be working in the planned 435,000 square metres of office space. Cultural facilities, such as a Moscow branch of the Hermitage Museum designed by internationally renowned architect Hani Rashid, will complete the development.
The ZiL factory is not the only industrial area of Moscow currently under redevelopment. Between 2011 and 2015, 47 projects were approved, with 20 now in the construction phase. Yet this represents only a “negligible” number, says Ms Polidi, as until now ownership issues have hampered redevelopment.
“In the past, we had no mechanism for encouraging the private owner to develop his own property, [meaning] that these zones stood ‘dead’ waiting to be recognised as residential space,” said Marat Khusnullin, the city’s deputy mayor for construction and urban development, at the Moscow Urban Forum in late June this year.
The Financial Times