The co-owner of “Novatek” Leonid Michelson, who wants to pan out 370 hectares of land in the Kurort area. A part of “Novatek” belongs to Gennady Timchenko, who is known to be a friend of Vladimir Putin.
Nevsky Syndicate "(has been working in housing construction market since 1997, and built 248 thousand m2), owned by Andrei Baklanov, has filed a lawsuit to the court for annulling the results of bidding for a right to lease 144 hectares in the Kurort area, won by Ltd. North West Invest.
The bidding took place in St. Petersburg Property Fund in September 2009. "North-West Invest” bought the lot just for 36 million rubles, but the tenant was to invest in land reclamation (it was estimated at 4 billion rubles).
In this area “North-West Invest” plans to start its project "New Beach" which is building up to 2017 2.5 million m2 of housing. For this project the company plans to pan out 370 hectares of land in the bay area, it will take $ 4.5 billion cost.
"North-West Invest” is under control of Leonid Michelson, principal owner of “Novatek” (the second largest seller of gas in Russia). A part of the "Novatek belongs to Gennady Timchenko, who is known as a friend of Vladimir Putin.
“Nevsky syndicate" appealed to the court in order to return the money invested in the land plot, which “North-West Invest” received at the end. According to the president of "Nevsky syndicate” Andrei Baklanov, in 2003 his company leased of 15 hectares for housing from the authorities. Moreover, the authorities obliged the businessman to create a project plan for 77 hectares of the land neighboring to his site. He argues that he invested $ 1.5 million in this works. But then the project got bogged down in approvals and was not realized: the lease term of 15 hectares expired in 2009, and the land was put up for auction and passed to the NWI.
"Furthermore, we have not even been allowed to the new auctions!" businessman says indignantly.
The market participants interviewed by "Business Petersburg" drew attention to the overall success of the bidding for Leonid Michelson’s company. They attributed this success to the fact that the project "New Beach" had been supported by the federal and local authorities. Thus, Andrey Baklanov did not seem to indulge in illusion about the winner of such an unequal struggle. At least he admitted that he could be satisfied with compensation of his costs incurred by a new investor.
Source: "Business Petersburg" on 22/03/2010