Lakhta Center is a multifunctional complex in St. Petersburg with the Gazprom headquarter and public spaces occupying a third of the area. Construction was completed in October 2018, now start work on the arrangement of business and public areas. The opening will take place in about a year, when the complex will be fully prepared to meet guests. »

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December 2019:

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The Projects of a Similar Scale have never been Implemented in Russia yet Gazeta.Ru

Gazeta.ru

12.07.2011

The Projects of a Similar Scale have never been Implemented in Russia yet Gazeta.Ru
In the publishing house of Gazeta.ru an online interview with Social and Business Center CJSC Executive Director Alexander Bobkov was held. What is going to be with the project of the construction of a Gazprom office center in Saint Petersburg in the nearest future? Why are the projects of business districts attractive for citizens? These and a lot of other questions were responded by Alexander Bobkov. Unfortunately it was impossible to respond to all the questions.


Good afternoon, Alexander Arturovich! // "Gazeta.Ru"

Good afternoon!

1. Will there still be a heating main laid in the immediate vicinity from the Lakhta Center being designed and, if yes, when will it be relocated underground?
2. Which road junctions including the ones with the railway tracks next to Lakhta Center are planned to be built in connection with the construction of this complex? // Denis


I do not have the data regarding the plans to rehabilitate a heating main laid along Primorskoye highway. However it is obvious that it does not decorate the district. As future Lakhta dwellers we will be very happy if a green area will appear instead of these enormous engineering structures. Or this area will gain another useful function and transform its appearance.
As for the railway nearby, at the moment the negotiations are underway between the city and RZHD Company to rehabilitate this railway line in order to arrange the communication of a modern express train or an express tram.

We are interested in the issue related to Okhta. If the site in Okhta is never sold, will Gazprom implement another project at it? // Pavel T.

The site is prepared for the civil works, the location is very good, it has transport accessibility. Thus in any case it will be useful. What kind of project will be implemented in Lakhta and if it will be implemented on our own or other investors will be involved is unclear at the moment.

I would like to ask about the tower glazing. Which glass will be used: mirror-like or non-mirror-like, clear or shaded, smoked or not? And what producer will deal with the production of this glass? Thank you, wishing you luck in construction. // Dmitry Fedorov


It is envisaged to use glass with a blue grey shade and with high reflecting power. Its producer will be selected in the course of construction. We will be happy if a Russian company will issue to us a good fee and quality proposal.

In Europe there is a term applied to a modern office, an eco-office. Can your future office center be called an eco-office? Thank you // Irina

We would like to make our office an eco-office. In addition to a green motivation we are economically motivated. We will operate the building we are building on our own. And we are going to operate it for a long time. Therefore we plan to return our investments into the ecologic technologies.

The Lakhta Center Project implies a set of resource efficient solutions including intellectual double facades to balance the temperature drops. As for power it will be saved and generated in the course of the operation of the buildings. For example, stormwater will be supplied to the facilities. Modern sanitary equipment will be used, sensors of lighting and temperature levels will be installed, levels can be changed depending on the number of people in rooms.
Much of what has been said is not innovative technical solutions at all, they have long been used in modern construction projects. However you needn’t be eager to implement the most sophisticated and the state-of-the-art solutions when we speak about the implementation of ecologically-friendly solutions. The proper strategy is as many as possible actions aimed at resource saving. This is what we are doing – we design resource efficient technologies at the design stage and will implement them at subsequent stages.
As a result of such an approach our high-rise building Lakhta Center is included in the top 10 list of the most environmentally friendly skyscrapers worldwide according to Consumer Energy Report. A new building of the Bank of America in New York, CIS Tower in Manchester and Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou are on the list too. However in my opinion it is more important that we became an example in the use of environmentally friendly and power efficient technologies in Petersburg and in Russia as a whole.

It is difficult to drive in both directions along Primorsky prospect now because of heavy traffic. And what will be the situation there when the construction has started: the road is narrow, on Fridays everybody is going to the countryside and on Sunday back. How do you plan to resolve the traffic problem during the construction? // Pioneer

One of the advantages of the site in Lakhta is the availability of an actively developing transport infrastructure. Nowadays even an amateur can say that the road construction is more active in this district than in other districts of Petersburg. The Western Speed Diameter is being built with a large road junction in the area of the crossroads of Planernaya / Savushkina streets, new streets in the northern part of Primorsky district are opened. There are plans to extend Primorskoye highway from 2 up to 6 lanes, to build Shuvalovsky avenue in parallel, new 32nd and 49th highways will connect Lakhta with the Ring Road and Vyborsky district.
One of the solutions of the transport problem is the construction of Lakhta Center itself. Over 3,5k cars will drive in the opposite direction. Now drivers go from Primorsky and Kurortny districts towards the center and after the business center is constructed drivers will be redirected in the opposite direction to a new place of work driving on free roads.
The cargo flows to the future construction site are also worked out. A large part of the construction materials and especially large structures will be delivered by water transport.

Why is in the traffic strategy of Lakhta Center so much attention paid to the metro and trams (which is to be built) and no attention is paid to the railway (existing)? // Izya Moiseyevich

The railway station along Primorskoye highway is used inefficiently at the moment. It is obvious for the passengers and car drivers. The city and RZHD Company are negotiating regarding the rehabilitation of the Lanskaya / Sestroretsk line. What will appear at this location, an express tram or a light rail system, is not clear yet.

Good afternoon, dear Alexander! The most widespread question for everybody: what is the exact cost of this project? And what exactly does the management team of the company desire to see in a new building? // Rybin Alexander Yurievich

As for the cost of the project I can advise as follows. For the time being it is not finalized, the exact figures will be known only in several months. However I can say that Lakhta Center will be by far much cheaper than Okhta Center project. And the project on Okhta cost 65-70 billion rubles. We plan to reduce the cost by taking an advantage of a bundle of positive factors: a better situation in Lakhta as compared to Okhta in respect of the soil, and an opportunity to reduce the cost of the construction of infrastructure facilities and of connection to engineering utilities.

As a citizen of Primorsky district of Saint Petersburg I support your project. Is it really so that the progress of the project may be delayed because of a bunch of the so-called preservationists with their absolutely awkward claims? // Sergey

Well, I think that you should not underestimate the preservationists. We do respect any opinion in relation to the project. Among the opponents there are a lot of reasonable people. Though, of course, sometimes the claims are absolutely awkward. For example, at the pubic hearings they said even about the skyscraper becoming a good target for an aggressor intending to carry out a nuclear missile attack on Saint Petersburg! In our turn we assure you that all the necessary procedures related to the approval of the project parameters will be performed in due course and all reasonable and substantiated claims will be incorporated. The public hearings demonstrated that as opposed to the debates on Okhta project this time we have heard more constructive arguments and we can see that the citizens are aware of the fact that Saint Petersburg needs such a modern business district.

Good afternoon! Tell us please what are these skyscrapers for? I understand that Gazprom has much money if such amounts are spent on construction. I have always had such an opinion that if one does something one should do it in favour of the country and its people.
In reality it turns out just the opposite. Nowadays everything is done to satisfy personal ambitions. If you have extra money, could you do something for people of your country who have to do with natural resources too. For example, you can build free sports grounds and people will thank you. Then young generation will play football in yards, play basketball, hockey in winter as we did in our childhood instead of taking drugs because they do not have a place where to go. What do you think? I am sorry for my opinion being in conflict with yours. But my opinion is that this construction is not required by anybody, it is aimed at satisfying Gazprom ambitions and that’s all. What do you think?! // Sergey


The construction of a skyscraper is not a sole project directly unconnected with the operation of the company specialized in gas and oil production and transportation. Gazprom neft is the most publicly conscious Russian corporation. For example, in respect of the above free sports grounds, over many years Gazprom Neft has implemented the most extensive social program in Russia related to the construction of yard sports grounds. We deal not only with the development and support of the professional sport but invest into ordinary boys and girls by granting them an opportunity to train sport. Of course, the pace and scale could have been larger, however you should not ignore such work at all. It is always underway and practically everywhere where there are representative offices of the company.

What car park is designed in the complex? // Eugeny Tochilkin

The car park designed is two-tier for 2000 car slots. It will be underground. It is planned that it will be open not only for the employees of the companies operating in a new business area but for visitors of public buildings located in the complex in Lakhta as well.

If we compare the new Lakhta Center Project and the previous Okhta Center Project, which is better and larger? // Eugeny Tochilkin


I think that Lakhta Center Project is better. Apart from technical and economic parameters which are better here than on Okhta promontory (soils, location, etc.) this time we have another important resource, I mean time. We have an opportunity to revise properly the project, to master it in order to build a really modern, safe and comfortable building. We would like to build the main building about 470m tall. At these parameters the project will look like even more elegant. Previously the 400m restriction of height at Okhta site did not allow constructing a building with the original height as was designed by the architects.

Good afternoon. Russian companies are not experienced in the construction of such tall buildings. How will this task be resolved? Who will build Lakhta Center? // Artem

Various contractors will be involved at various stages. RMJM Architectural Bureau is already involved in revising the architectural project. Russian and foreign highly professional specialists work out structural solutions of the building. In any case the major part of the work will be done by Russian subcontractors. It will give them an opportunity to gain experience which will be then used in the construction of similar buildings in other Russian cities.

How unique is the Lakhta Center skyscraper for Europe and the whole world? Will it be the highest building in Europe? // Pavel Т.

Undoubtedly Lakhta Center will be unique, unlike any other counterparts. At the same time the investor is not chasing after high scores and is not eager to be above everybody. The company has another mission. Among the development projects announced so far the tallest building in Europe will be Federation Tower 506m tall, of course, if it is completed. However it is known that all the height records do not live long. The skyscrapers are being built in London and Paris and the height of the buildings grows as the technologies of the construction and operation advance. For our project to be included in the Guinness’s Book of Records is not our objective, though we may be included there because of the comfort and efficiency of operation of the building.

What companies will operate in Lakhta? // Pavel Т.
When will the construction of the skyscraper and enabling works start?// Sasha.
When will the design of Lakhta Center be completed? When will the construction be commenced and completed? Could you specify the total amount of investments into the project? //


The readers have asked a set of questions related to the dates of the project completion and companies which Lakhta Center will host. I will try to respond to all of them at once. The date of the completion is spring 2018. By September next year we plan to obtain all the necessary permits in order to start the civil works.
Gazprom group companies will occupy the building. Firstly it is Gazprom neft registered in our city since 2006. It is the plans to move out which the intention to build the complex was connected with. A factual relocation of Gazprom neft corporate center will have been completed by the end of this year, however for the time being the employees about 1000 people will work in an office rent in the center of Saint Petersburg.
Recently Gazprom Export has announced their plans to move to Saint Petersburg and in future to move to Lakhta Center office.

How is it planned to accommodate Gazprom employees, is it planned to build residential buildings adjoining to the office ones? // Lyusya


Speaking about the future relocation of Gazprpom neft corporate center, the issues of the provision of the accommodation for employees are resolved on an individual basis, by a rent or a purchase. Under the existing Lakhta Center concept the construction of residential building is not planned however in future investors may appear who will start building residential property on the adjoining areas by taking an advantage of the opportunities opened up due to the construction of our project.

Good afternoon! What will Social and Business Center JSCJ do if the application of the deviation from the land use regulations is rejected? Do you plan to change the land use regulations? There has been such a precedent in Petersburg. Is it in fact legally possible to litigate the decision regarding the deviation from the land use regulations at this location? Also we would like to know when the second stage of the project construction is planned, whether there will be next stages. I do hope that the project will be implemented. // Nikas

By initiating the process of obtaining a permit to deviate from the permitted height we build upon the existing legislation. Such a procedure is stipulated in the law and we are confident that our arguments are substantiated. We will not change the land use regulations – there is no such procedure for investors in the Russian legislation.
As for the rejection of the request to deviate from the height limit: we consider such a risk and a large-scale investment will be channeled into the project only after all the necessary permits and approvals have been obtained.

Does Social and Business Center Okhta CJSC or other companies connected with Gazprom plan to purchase the adjoining sites in order to develop the public and business district in Lakhta? // Alexander

Outside developers will develop the adjoining areas.

Who is the author of Lakhta Center architectural concept? Does Philip Nikandrov still work on the project? // Olga

The Lakhta Center architectural concept is based on the project which was previously designed to be implemented in Okhta. The outline of the tower and adjoining base buildings will be revised to be adjusted to a new site with different engineering and geological properties and a different configuration. The project will be revised by the international team of RMJM Architectural Bureau. As for Philip Nikandrov, as far as I know RMJM plans to engage him as well to work on the project.

In Lakhta there still is Yuntolovsky Nature Reserve. Some years ago much was said that hotels, car parks would be built. But the public was able to defend the nature resort. Nowadays nobody is interested in its fate and this natural monument will be destroyed in the course of the construction of Lakhta Center. Which plans do you have in respect of existing eco-systems? // Arseny


It should be emphasized that Lakhta Center will be built on a reclaimed area which was previously used to store sand. Even in the course of the construction the project will not have any impact on Yuntolovsky Nature Reserve.
The ecologists think that the construction of a high-rise building is as safe as the construction of residential buildings, in particular keeping in mind that the state-of-the-art green technologies will be used in the construction. After the construction is completed the loading on the adjoining natural complexes will be lessened. The site will not be contaminated (sandstorms, industrial waste water). A simple example: nowadays a sand storage yard is not equipped with any water treatment facilities and a sewage system, everything is discharged into the Gulf of Finland. Lakhta Center Project implies the construction of the most advanced engineering utilities. The development of the green types of transport will significantly reduce the emissions of exhausted fumes into the atmosphere. Also the creation of vast green areas will improve an ecologic situation in the district.

How much money does the company plan to allocate for compensation ecologic measures to create a nature reserve in the water basin of the Gulf of Finland and artificial sandbanks to feed birds? // Alexander


This year the specialists of Saint Petersburg State University are conducting an Assessment of the Impact of the Construction on the Animal World and Vegetation in the Adjoining Areas including Specially Protected Areas of Saint Petersburg: Yuntolovsky Nature Resort and Northern Coast of Neva Bay.
If compensation payments are required or not will be clear at the stage of the assessing the impact on environment, the so-called Environmental Impact Assessment Report.
By all means we will conduct all the necessary approvals related to the environmental protection. In the implementation of the project all requirements of the ecologic legislation will be met. It is extremely important to us. Environmental friendliness, harmony with nature is one of the key factors in the ideology of our project to be located on the boundary of the urban development area and natural complexes. We create this project for ourselves as well and of course we would like it to be surrounded with landscaped areas, parks, and water in the Gulf.
As for the concerns of the preservationists regarding birds, as future dwellers of Lakhta we desire to be surrounded by nature and birds but unfortunately according to the preliminary data of ecologists over the last decades the area of Lakhta Bay has lost its significance as a stop of migrating birds, now the routes of migrating birds have moved towards Kronstadt.

Why did in the selection of the location of the new construction the company reject six alternatives as proposed by the preservationists and purchased a plot of land unfavourable for construction (as set out in the Deviation Application Form)? // Alexander


The preservationists did not propose any alternative directly to us. They submitted their proposals to the city’s administration. They were reviewed there by taking into account all the characteristics of the area (not only the distance from the main sights). As a result the city proposed two sites to us, in the south and in Lakhta. At first sight it is few, but the selection criteria for such a project are not as simple as that, a distance to the historic center is just one of a dozen of different parameters. The transport infrastructure, the availability of the main highways, railway stations, airport, engineering utilities, the provision of the required power capacity, the plans of the future economic, social and architectural development of the district and the city and other facilities jointly were thoroughly assessed by the experts. The site in Lakhta satisfied the Investor’s needs in respect of the main parameters and is promising from the point of view of the urban planning, complying with the plans of the development of the district and the city as a whole.

As Gazprom neft OJSC shareholder I would like to ask several questions: 1. How much does the construction of Lakhta Center cost? 2. How much money was spent on the cancelled project of the construction of Okhta Center? 3. How much will the relocation of Gazprom neft company cost keeping in mind all the bonuses to the employees? 4. Why is Gazprom Neft relocating in December 2011 when the construction of the office is not started yet? What will be a rental fee paid for the office? 5. Who has taken a decision to relocate the oil company when all the state authorities are located in Moscow and why? // Vladislav


I have already responded to the question regarding the cost of the project. The cost of Okhta Center project was in the order of 7 billion rubles. These costs include the costs of the site purchase, site preparation including the demolition of old Petrozavod plant shops, archeological investigations, an architectural contest, design development, etc. Over five years we have conducted all the necessary works related to the preparation for construction, which is demonstrated by a positive conclusion of GlavGosExpertisa. In fact we were ready to start constructing.
The rest questions asked by you refer to Gazprom neft activities and it will be reasonable if somebody from the management team of this company will respond to these questions.

Could you answer how are you going to promote the project? How do you plan to explain to people that the project is vitally important to Petersburg? As far as I see generally only opponents are interested in it and ordinary people shape their opinion based on the rumors about “a cemetery for best managers of the company”… // Nikas


The project can be discussed only in the process of the communication where there is a listener and a teller. Such communication with the citizens of Petersburg and experts is conducted on a regular basis, through a web site, interviews, a live contact during public hearings, expert forums. This internet conference is one of the examples showing that we are open. You can see that the issues vary much and they are from both opponents and supporters. We try to respond to all the questions.

Why did Social and Business Center Okhta CJSC divide the site on Okhta? // Alexander

In fact, at present the documents are being executed to divide the Okhta site into two parts: a completely investigated area where it is possible to carry on business without any restrictions and a site where the fragments of underground parts of Charles’ Nienschanz fortress blueprinting the outline of the bastion and covering its area were found. The status and possible restrictions of the use of this site is a competence of the monument protection authorities. The decision to divide the site was accepted upon the results of the consultations with the relevant committees. Thus a question may be resolved regarding the future of the site; whether to preserve the scarce fragments of the moats and wooden structures which were not destroyed in the different periods of the industrial development on Okhta (if appropriate experts will take such a decision) and at the same time to give an opportunity of channeling investments into this area.

When will the metro station be built in Lakhta? // Alexander

According to the Program of the Petersburg Metro Development approved recently the station near Savushkina street can appear in 2020.

Do not you think that it would be useful to use the experience of the Bank of Saint Petersburg which in compliance with the law has built an office 100m tall not far from the planned construction site of Okhta Center? And they started the project at the same time with Gazprom but they already have an office built with a view towards the city much more interesting than that from Lakhta. // Sergey

Our projects are similar functionality-wise but they are different in scale. The projects are aimed at resolving different tasks and objectives: Petersburg Plaza is an office center and Lakhta Center Project implies the construction of an entire modern power efficient environmentally-friendly mini-city. Also the project is aimed at resolving a task important for a large city, the creation of a city with a poly-centric structure, new centers of business, cultural and public attraction.

Good afternoon! Tell me please if there are already some suggestions to whom the areas will be rent out or the extra administrative areas will be sold? Is it possible to engage in Saint Petersburg other large players (from an economic point of view) who wish to be accommodated in Gazprom skyscraper? // Galina

It is too early to speak about specific proposal on the rent of a part of the areas. However the issue is in line with one of the objectives of the construction of Lakhta Center, to engage new investors to the city.

Would Gazprom like to finance the construction of an innovative archeological park museum on Okhta promontory? // Viktoria

The company had similar plans. As far as you remember, Okhta Center project implied the project of museumification. We conducted a lot of consultations with specialists, worked out several options of a museum and landscaping and interior elements reflecting various periods of history of this place. We approved our plans in Rosokhrankultura. However unfortunately the project which had been prepared and proposed was not implemented.

Why have not you called the tower Gazprom Center or just a house built by Gazprom because for example the stadium was called Gazprom-arena... // Konstantin

The complex which we plan to build will have not only office functions but public functions as well. Therefore in the Okhta Center project the decision has been taken that it will be not only a business but a public and business center. We have not considered an option where in the name of the complex Gazprom will be mentioned. This site is becoming a site attractive for tourists and citizens and the objective of this project is to harmoniously blend it into the city’s life instead of indicating an investor even such as Gazprom.

Dear Mr. Bobkov, have the top managers considered an idea to construct Gazprom skyscraper lying on the side? It will apparently be cheaper and will not arouse any claims. The most important thing is that there have been such precedents in Petersburg. // A passer-by

In the architectural environment there is a notion “a groundscraper”. It is exactly what you mean: a large office space stretched lengthwise on the large site. A classical example of a groundscraper is a Soviet ministry or authority stretched horizontally. Getting inside a person has to pass kilometers of corridors before getting to some destination. Groundscrapers reflect a red tape system. The ideology of groundscrapers does not suit a modern business. A large company is in search of management instruments which will enable it to be more dynamic, modern, flexible and manageable.
We prefer the ideology of lifts to the ideology of corridors. It is more in line with the spirit of opportunities and a drive for result.

What is your personal attitude towards the fact that the skyscraper will be seen against the background of the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Spit of Vasilievsky Island almost at the same level with the Rostral Columns? The response alternatives: 1) positively; 2) negatively; 3) I am indifferent to it; 4) I have not decided yet. // Alexander

I am not indifferent to the fate of the city, that’s why I support the project of the construction of Lakhta Center. During Saint Petersburg Economic Forum there was a discussion on the modern urban planning headed by a famous European architect Jose Acebillo. He said very well about the essence of a city. “Could you imagine, he said, a city where there are no old people. Or a city where there will be no young people. Either is nonsense”. The same as it is difficult to imagine a city where there will be only new buildings or only old buildings.
The model of the development of a city and its spaces has by far more complicated consequences than it may seem at first sight. In this regard an example of Paris is a case in point where since the time of Baron Osmand the restrictions on the height of the buildings have not been changed. And as late as last year after taking not a simple way of public discussion the mayor’s office and city’s council issued a permit to build high-rise buildings in the city. The emergence of high-rise buildings in modern cities is not just a transformation of urban esthetics, it is also a solution of social objectives. Because of a conservative policy business started leaving Paris for the outskirts and people followed it. The city was losing economic and human capital. Esthetic discussion should be anyway but you should not forget about a public, social and economic component of the development of the city.

Why does each time Gazprom select such a bad location for construction, is it really so that it can be improved only by building a skyscraper several hundred meters tall? Maybe a better site can be found? Regards, Mikhail. // Mikhail

There is no ideal area for development, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Modern cities develop around high-rise landmarks, it is a worldwide practice. Traditionally new spaces were set up around the landmarks. Our project should be regarded not just as the construction of the headquarters of Gazprom and its subsidiaries. The project mission is not over there. A principally new urban environment is created based on a principally new ideology: the maximum of free public spaces as opposed to densely populated districts. It will be a new urban environment both comfortable and functional. And the combination of these was possible because of this architectural design.
A high-rise building tends to draw other new projects. It is not obvious at first sight but this it the case. It should be remembered that in Krasnogvardeysky district in the course of the discussion regarding the proposed construction site of Okhta Center several dozens of very interesting development projects emerged.

What will be the future of Petersburg and the citizens with regards to the construction of such a large-scale business project? // Eugeny Tochilkin

You should not exaggerate the impact of the project. However undoubtedly the project will not be an ordinary one. Firstly, by building on the outskirts of the city a new draw of business activity we principally change the urban development strategy, we free the historic center from business, we redirect the traffic flows, create conditions to develop the adjoining areas. Secondly, our project will set new standards to form urban spaces, comfortable for life and work and environmentally friendly. We plan to use power saving technologies and approaches to environmental protection new for our country but already used in Europe. And of course you should not forget about large amounts of tax revenues into the city’s budget, new jobs and social facilities which are missing on the outskirts of the city, sports, theater, and exhibition venues. In addition we are considering an opportunity to allocate a techno park in the complex where children and teenagers could try themselves in various professions using the well-equipped grounds and professional equipment.

Dear Alexander Arturovich! I do not know if my question will be published or not but I will try. I wonder how you appeared on Okhta. It is much written about you in the Internet but the most important thing is that you still own a company group named GSK dealing with the construction of infrastructure projects. Everybody who is somehow connected with the construction in Saint Petersburg is aware of the fact that you have connections in the city’ administration who transfer infrastructure projects to you, the roads, viaducts, etc. Why did you move to Lakhta? I would not believe that you would quit a dynamically developing company in favor of Lakhta Center. It is obvious that you are going to drag through the companies owned by you to perform the work under Lakhta project. Or am I mistaken? // V.K.


I think that if we ask any employee of Okhta Center the similar question why he has made a choice to select this project, the response will be as follows “It is a unique project and as a professional I am interested in the implementation of the project”. I will support the colleagues. To participate in the project and to manage its implementation is not just professional experience but a huge responsibility. And the responsibility is not only before the investor but before the city and citizens as well. As for my experience in the sphere of construction it was likely to be decently assessed while considering me as a candidate and as a result my experience was useful in the project.

Why not build a Gazprom office in Moscow? There is already Moscow City there. Another skyscraper would not spoil the picture. After Okhta Center Project was cancelled there were proposals from Omsk, Vladivistok, Armenia… Why did you occupy the location in Saint Petersburg? // Vasily

The location for the implementation of the project was studied by Gazrpom group consciously by taking into account the commercial interests of the company. The part of the Group business has long been present in Petersburg. These are Gazprom neft Scientific and Innovation Center and Gazprom neft Marine Bunker and a series of sale companies. By the end of this year all Gazprom neft departments will have been accommodated in Saint Petersburg, Gazprom Export will also move to the city. In addition in Petersburg after a Nord Stream marine gas pipeline has been launched a gas hub will be built. Therefore the construction of a Gazprom group office center in Petersburg is not only reasonable but necessary as well.

Alexander, why is Gazprom not for the first time in conflict with the legislation of Petersburg? I mean the height. Is it really so that the construction of such a tall building by breaking the law is so important and it is impossible to build a business center in accordance with the legislation without bringing about a next “permit to deviate”? // Alexey

As I have already told you, such a large scale project will be implemented strictly within the legal field. The procedure of the receipt of the deviation from the limit parameters is also set out in legislation and is not invented especially for us. The investor will act strictly under the law, it is essentially needed in order to minimize the risk of the loss of investments.

For a few years already public organizations have been operating in Petersburg fighting against the project of the public center (and for the preservation of historic views of Saint Petersburg), for the project to be relocated to another site. Lakhta was among the possible locations of the project. And now the project of the tower is relocated to the edge of the city however still there are the same opponents and they proceed delivering speeches against the skyscraper to be built this time in Lakhta. I believe that Petersburg is not worse than Paris, London, Berlin and modern architectural landmarks should appear there as well. What do you think the protests will not be so strong this time? // Ivan

Any new activity is always criticized of. Nobody has ever implemented similar projects in Russia. Since 2006 when it the launch of the project of the construction of Okhta Center was announced we have faced various opinions addressed to us, both bad and good. It is clear that the discussions will proceed after the completion of the project. However if we compare the course of the discussion on Lakhta Center and on Okhta Center, the progress is evident, we can hear more constructive proposals.
In connection with the relocation of the project a lot of new supporters have appeared, out of the opponents of the project on Okhta who liked the project but did not like the location.
I think there will still be opponents, but they are unlikely to increase. Rather on the contrary. Firstly, this time the distance from the historic center to the new location of the high-rise building is 9,5 km. Secondly at the site of the sand yard till 1976 there was sea. It is difficult to find any historic monuments there. In addition the location of the complex will enable to resolve a lot of existing problems.

Keep your hands off Petersburg! Do not commit a sin, do not build a skyscraper! Why is Petersburg deprived of the right to choose the way of the development? Why a 5 million city can not develop due to industry, tourism and trade in the end, why should it be business? Over 300 years the city has lived without Gazprom, it will live well without it for the same period. Let Petersburg remain the most important tourist city in Russia where you can have a rest and Moscow will be a dynamically developing large city and the capital, a world economic center, a city of opportunities! Keep your hands off Petersburg! Why is Gazprom in conflict with the opinions of the citizens? // An anonym

I will answer the questions though it is published anonymously. There are data obtained by sociologists. They speak for themselves. In March an international company Gallup International published the results of the opinion poll conducted in Saint Petersburg. In the course of the opinion poll it turned out that over 65% of the citizens think that it should combine the opportunities of a tourist and business center and unique facilities and 74.1% of the respondents would like to see unique facilities in the district.
Here are other data. In June a Russian company ROMIR conducted an opinion poll in Petersburg: 67% of the citizens of Primorsky district supported the construction of Lakhta Center.

In Lakhta the area is marchland practically the same as on Okhta. In addition the land there is reclaimed. Where is the guarantee that a skyscraper half a kilometer tall will not be sucked in? // Engineer

The geological investigations enable us to assume that in respect of the quality characteristics the soils in Lakhta are even better than on Okhta promontory. Solid Vendian clay on which the foundations on Okhta were to be build upon were 30m deeper than on Lakhta. There are no grounds for suggestions similar to those made by the author of the question.

You have said much about the public functions of the new district. What else will be included in Lakhta Center apart from the offices? // "Gazeta.Ru"

Lakhta Center is a pilot project of the development of the outskirts of Petersburg and the construction of public and business areas on the outskirts with modern high quality jobs, comfortable residential and developed public and transport infrastructure.
The project concept implies the construction of the large office center and a research and educational complex for 6000 employees, students and visitors. Also at the site of the center it is planned to build a modern sports complex, a health center, a children’s technological park. There will be an observation deck on the top of the tower, as well as shops, restaurants, cafes, dry cleaners’, laundries, etc. At the next stages of the development of the district modern residential property, schools, hospitals may be built.
The total area of the buildings and facilities will be 330k sq.m. Offices and a scientific center will occupy about 43% of the area of the site, the car park 24%, on the rest territory public and cultural facilities and green areas will be located. We would like to achieve an optimal ratio between the office and public areas providing conditions for fully-fledged comfortable life in one district.

Alexander Arturovich! Our traditional question: what would you like to wish to the readers of Gazeta.Ru? // "Газета.Ru"

Above all I would like to thank you for your interesting questions showing that the readers of Gazeta.ru are not indifferent to the future of our city and of our project.
I wish everybody believe in your opportunities, achieve the goals set despite there always will be people who do not share your desires.

In conclusion of our talk I would like to invite everybody to Saint Petersburg and after our project is implemented assess the views of our city from the height of a flying bird.



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