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Depending on the volume of investment, buildings of former factories and scientific-research institutes that can be converted into business centres of any class, from C to A.   

Facilities with favourable locations are redeveloped into business centres. Old buildings are being reconstructed, and their interior space is adapted to fit office layouts.

Active redesigning of former industrial buildings and scientific-research institutes occurred in the post-perestroika period, when most industrial branches of production had become economically unprofitable. Then these buildings were typically adapted to host low quality offices and this adaptation was done by the business owners themselves. In the mid-2000s the objects with advantageous locations were actively redeveloped into business centres of different classes. Usually the bulk of the building was reconstructed: the external framework of the building was preserved, and the internal layout was adapted to host offices.

Targeted Programme 

Among the largest projects of reconstruction into high-quality office centres CEO of EastReal, Albert Kharchenko, distinguishes such projects as Business  Centre "Linkor” which previously was the main building of the scientific production association "Dalnaya svyaz” (“Long distance communication"); Business  Centre "City Centre" – one of the buildings of the factory "Vibrator"; Business  Centre "Jensen House" - the former factory “Nevskie Berega”; Business  Centre "Aquatoria" - previously the main building of the Project and Research Institute No.5; Business  Centre "Tkachi” - the former spinning and weaving factory named after Peter Anisimov. He notes that larger part of the business centres in the network "Senator" was the result of the reconstruction of the buildings of the former industrial workshops.

CEO of Surveyor International Group, Arsen Kelemenyan, names the Business Park "Polyustrovo" as an example of the largest and most striking project from architectural and technological points of view. The Business Park is built on the territory of the mechanical plant "Promet" (the plant "Russia") and it includes four business centres ("Benoit", "Zima", "Osen" and "Leto"), and office buildings redeveloped on the basis of historic buildings, as well as the developed related infrastructure. 

Head of the Consulting Department of ASTERA in alliance with BNP ParibasRealEstate, Alex Gulevsky, names among the most recent projects Business Centre "Victoria Plaza" (formerly Scientific-Research Institute "Electronstandart") on Pobeda Ploshad. Reconstruction of the building was carried out by the company "Adamant" in 2013 and it resulted in the increased rating of the object, changing its class from C to B.

Class Distinctions 

"Class of office centres set up on the basis of such facilities varies greatly," Head of Strategic Consulting at Knight Frank St. Petersburg, Igor Kokorev, says. 

If the building is simply adapted to perform certain business functions, then it is senseless to speak about a building class higher than C. These buildings are usually outdated and they offer premises of very moderate quality. 

"If the process of full reconstruction is started, then everything depends on the location, Arsen Kelemenyan said. - If it is advantageous, then it influences the value of the land plot and, therefore, it is advisable to build a business centre of class A. The best example is the business centre "Langenzipen", created on the basis of the concrete factory shop "Znamia Truda.

"If the location is less advantageous, then these places suits for business complexes of class B construction. «To conduct a full-scale reconstruction of the building aiming to create objects of class C is not economically feasible," Arsen Kelemenyan says. 

The cost of redevelopment varies quite significantly depending on the hazard class of the production facility under reconstruction, the technological processes used, and so on. According to Albert Kharchenko, the average investment is $ 1200-1500 per 1 square meter, but the volume of investments may be lower if some creative solutions are implemented, such as the use of the existing decorative finish of "old" buildings.

Preserving the History 

Most of the plant buildings in Saint Petersburg are monuments of industrial architecture of the twentieth century. 

"Their demolition will deprive the city of a unique resource reflecting its identity," Arsen Kelemenyan says. Renovation allowing these building to further perform social and business functions will preserve these objects while greatly increasing the capitalization of the territory. 

At the same time, as Alex Gulevsky notes, the redevelopment of areas for housing purposes is more cost-effective. It pays back in 5 years, while office redevelopment projects will pay back in 6-8 years. But if there is no already existing residential development in the vicinity, then construction of commercial buildings is more logical than construction of residential ones.


Maria Mokeicheva - maria.mokeycheva@dp.ru

"Delovoi Peterburg", № 146, 24/09/2014

Short address for the article:  http://www.dp.ru/103hcu/