Question of the Day: does business need renovation in St. Petersburg?

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Question of the Day: does business need renovation in St. Petersburg?
Question of the Day: does business need renovation in St. Petersburg?
29 September, 17:30Photo: novostroev.ru
In St. Petersburg, after the scandals, a public company was launched to discuss the renovation program. The authorities are discussing the topic with potential migrants. But business is practically not involved in the discussion. Novye Izvestiya tried to find out whether this program is of interest to builders in principle.

Alexander Dybin, St. Petersburg

After the violent reaction of the townspeople to the law on renovation, the governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, proposed to suspend certain points of this scandalous document. But the topic of integrated development of territories (CDT), which is also called renovation, has not left the information agenda. The public headquarters began to discuss the law, which was formed by the city legislature. If the residents of the quarters that the city authorities have identified for renovation perceived the innovation as a threat: they would take away the apartment and move it to the outskirts, then for a significant part of the business, KRT remained a mystery, since nothing was known except for the approximate renovation zone. According to the experience of the regions, renovation is carried out in conjunction with economic incentives: soft loans, infrastructure and some kind of future - what the city wants to see in place of renovated neighborhoods. In the case of St. Petersburg, no such input was given.

According to Alisa Timoshina , head of the Bureau of Spatial Development, expert of the St. Petersburg Strategic Initiatives Club, in terms of renovation, the northern capital did not follow the path of Moscow and other regions, but chose its own option.

“Regional practice has shown that the regional authorities themselves conduct an economic and spatial analysis and determine the areas that are most attractive in terms of urban development potential, what is the number of inhabitants, what can be built in accordance with the general plan, etc. These calculations are made by the regions, - the expert says, - there are successful practices, there are competencies, there are people who are able to analyze and offer working options. In million-plus cities, at the first stage, 3-4 territories of no more than 3 hectares each are usually allocated for renovation. In St. Petersburg, everything went according to a different scenario. Everyone saw the map prepared by the municipal deputies, they showed the areas where the houses are located that meet the conditions of the law with construction dates from 1957 to 1970. This is a very large fund. Therefore, it is premature to say which locations will be selected for pilot projects. Despite the fact that in most of the districts, residents are categorically against it. From the point of view of business, there are more questions than answers: the residents are against it, the location is not clear, the conditions for the investor are not clear, the conditions for resettlement are not clear, will there be support?”

The expert notes that for the declared scale of renovation - the areas of Khrushchev's development, in which up to a million people live - the Moscow option is most suitable. But all the work there is carried out at the expense of the city budget, St. Petersburg does not have that kind of money. At the same time, there are territories in the Northern capital that are more suitable for renovation: the private sector, dilapidated or barrack buildings.

“In other regions, the KRT was launched about a year ago, and there it did not cause such resistance,” says Alisa Timoshina , “somewhere, like in Kazan, they completely abandoned the renovation of populated areas, somewhere a dilapidated and low-quality fund fell under the program where the inhabitants were glad to move at least somewhere. In St. Petersburg, good real estate fell under renovation. I think business is more interested in other areas for renovation. This is the private sector, barracks. This is in the Kurortny, Krasnoselsky districts, where the population density is not so high and it is easier to negotiate with residents. At the same time, there is no discussion of this program with entrepreneurs. They repeatedly asked what entrepreneurs think, is there any economic efficiency? But while this is all in the civil and legal field, what business thinks is not clear, because there is nothing to discuss: no plots, no conditions.

secret interest

Immediately after the renovation thundered in St. Petersburg, there was talk that there was some interest behind such a strange bill, which so far has not shown itself. The President of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Real Estate, Dmitry Shchegelsky , believes that without the interest of big business, the law would not have appeared in this form.

“Since this project has surfaced so suddenly, it means that someone needs it, there are beneficiaries, secret customers who see some interest, while we already have a renovation program running, there is a whole company that, at least in 16 years, that built something, but made tears,” says the expert.

The mentioned renovation program is the built-up area development program (BDA). It is implemented by only one company - "SPB Renovation", but in it the conditions for resettling houses are more stringent.

“Most likely, there are those who find it interesting to build housing in super-developed places, provided with transport, social and cultural life. Build and sell, - says Dmitry Shchegelsky , - but the question arose: what to do with people? They decided not to give a damn, since such a law was issued, which implies resettlement anywhere or payment of only the market price. What is the market price? What will you buy with this money? And if this is a communal apartment, the person will receive money for the room and where will he go? People need to be offered more, and then we can talk about justice, maybe someone will agree to change the well-established life in a good area. Plus endure 10 years of construction under the windows. One more question for the program. Where to build? In these areas, in the nineties-zero, everything was compacted. There is not a single free spot, to demolish a kindergarten in order to put a “zero” house for resettling the first Khrushchev?

According to the head of the Bureau of Spatial Development Alisa Timoshina , a conspiracy version is possible, but a company from the capital can stand behind it.

“St. Petersburg is an attractive place for construction companies to work, many want to come here, everyone wants to occupy a niche,” says Alisa Timoshina, “the transformation of this Khrushchev ring can be in demand, with a competent analysis of the territories. In Moscow, before the start of the renovation, they conducted a survey, and the pilots launched where the majority was in favor of the renovation, this helped to create an image for this program, to show that everything works. Petersburg did not do that. In addition, CRT involves many options, including those without the participation of residential areas. The very fact that they decided to adopt the KRT specifically for residential development and include Khrushchev buildings in it suggests that they probably did this for some kind of investor or someone's interests.

"Construction Can't Stop"

The budget of St. Petersburg will not invest its money in renovation, but builders are interested in such projects only if there is a demand for new apartments. And will it be in the conditions of sanctions and crisis? President of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Real Estate Dmitry Shchegelsky believes that it will.

“Of course, people will buy apartments. The real estate market is almost not affected by external factors, - he says, - plus, there is a time lag. The object is being designed for a year, it is being built for a year or two, no one knows what will happen in three years. And the developer cannot say “let's wait”, it will be difficult for him to start the mechanism again later. Construction is a factory, if you stop it, then, consider yourself dead. You have to be constantly producing something. Yes, small companies with low turnover will drop out of the market. They will leave or be swallowed up by the big ones. Maybe there will be an oligopoly. We already have 4-5 developers owning 50% of the market, despite the fact that there are more than 100 companies.”

At the same time, the location itself: close to the center, with ready-made infrastructure, simply “dooms success” to any object that may appear after renovation, even if in terms of quality it does not go far from Khrushchev.

“There are very good places there,” says Dmitry Shchegelsky, “even if they buy in settlements, then they will buy at Blucher or Gagarin, all the more so. Despite the fact that even now there are not very bad houses. In these quarters, one of the best Khrushchevs is the 507th series. Officially, they wear 40-41 percent. Before the overhaul, they stand for another 60 years. And it is a myth that such houses were built for 25-50 years. Any textbook on property management says that the service life of Khrushchev is 100 years.

Recall that the law on the integrated development of the territory in St. Petersburg was adopted last summer. The townspeople did not like the law so much that the residents of Khrushchev immediately organized themselves into groups and chats, began to prepare to resist the plans of the authorities. People were embarrassed by two aspects: under the terms of the program, they could be relocated to any part of the city, or they could pay the market value of housing, which is clearly not enough to significantly improve their living conditions. Against the backdrop of dissatisfaction, Governor Alexander Beglov proposed to stop the operation of certain points of the law, which he himself introduced to the legislative assembly. Now the issue of renovation is being discussed by the public headquarters, assembled on the basis of the city parliament.

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