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Business news, 11.03.2008 09:49

Real Estate Awards Come to City

This year, for the first time the Commercial Real Estate Awards ceremony will take place in St. Petersburg to recognize the specific achievements of leading local developers and real estate professionals. 350 market players will attend the ceremony, which will take place on March 28 in Smolny Cathedral.

Annette Wassenaar, managing partner of Commercial Real Estate Awards, said that St. Petersburg companies have actively submitted their projects during the five years that the CRE Awards have been held nationwide.

However, recently the St. Petersburg market has undergone major changes that have led the awards committee to consider a separate ceremony. Last year 22 local buildings were submitted for the award, while this year the number increased to 50 buildings.

“Because of its historical aspect, St. Petersburg needs its own evaluation criteria. We cannot compare the buildings that are being built in St. Petersburg to buildings in Rostov or Chelyabinsk,” Wassenaar said.

Initially, St. Petersburg companies competed in just two categories — office and shopping centers. This year there are local projects in five categories — office centers, shopping centers, mixed-use projects, industrial premises and hotels. In addition, special nominations have been introduced.

Nominees for Person of the Year title include local entrepreneurs Igor Vodopianov (Teorema), Alexander Olkhovsky (VTB), Andrei Rogachev (X5 Retail Group, LEK and Makromir), Lev Khasis (X5 Retail Group), Alexander Sharapov (Becar) and Maxim Sokolov, chairman of City Hall’s Committee for Investment and Strategic Projects.

Colliers International, Jones Lang LaSalle, Becar, IB Group, Knight Frank and GVA Sawyer will compete for the title of Consultant of the Year, while Teorema, Renaissance Development, Adamant and International Logistic Partnership will compete in the Developer of the Year category. The awards committee will also announce the Architect of the Year, Engineering Company of the Year and the Best Social Project. 200 market professionals cast votes, the results of which are being audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“The CRE Awards have a reputation for being the most transparent and honest awards. Possessing a CRE diploma makes it easier to negotiate with clients and prove your professional qualifications,” said Oleg Barkov, general director of Knight Frank St. Petersburg, which was named Consultant of the Year at the national ceremony last year.

Last year a number of local buildings received awards at the national CRE Awards ceremony, including the Apollo business center, Senator business center and Mega Dybenko shopping center.

“Just a few years ago I could barely list 5-7 high-quality business centers in the city when foreign experts inquired about the local market. Now we are seeing quite a different level of market development. The CRE Awards are a good evaluation tool for the companies and projects,” said Yury Molchanov, vice governor of St. Petersburg.

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