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Business news, 21.05.2004 14:02

Land-lease auctions ready

Land-lease auctions ready St. Petersburg's first open auction on land leasing rights will take place June 9. Auction winners will be offered 6 year leasing contracts enabling them to carry out construction in the leased areas.

The bidding will be organized in the form of a complete auction, including an auctioneer, a gavel and number plates for participants. "This is going to be a real system, auctions will be held on a regular basis," said Andrey Stepanenko, acting director of the St. Petersburg Property Fund at the city government at a press conference Thursday.

"This system will be transparent and allow us to determine the market price of the land plot accurately," he said. "Even if the prices at the first auction do not exceed the nominal prices much, we estimate to get $9 million worth of revenues in the city budget," he said.

As many as 20 more land plots are currently being prepared. At the leased land plots, investors can construct only those buildings that correspond to the town planning documentation. Limitations on size and purpose of use - such as housing or commercial construction - of the prospective real estate are extensive.

Roughly 2 million square meters of housing land and about the same amount of land for commercial real estate construction will be auctioned this year alone.

The land plots to be auctioned off in June are sized from 19,000 to 46,000 square meters and are located in Primorsky, Vyborgsky and Nevsky districts.

The city, slowly distancing itself from burdening property, is also hoping to sell its shares in hotels. This year, Moscow and Oktyabrskaya hotels will be sold to private owners. Among smaller hotels to go on sale possibly this summer are Vyborgskaya, Kievskaya, Yuzhnaya, Tourist and Chaika. The city's 30 percent stake in Astoria Hotel was marked as the next in line.

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