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Business news
1st Stage of Underground Mall Complete
10.03.2008 07:25

The first underground level of the 190,000-square-meter Galeria shopping center underneath Ploshchad Vosstaniya has been completed. By the time the center is opened in 2010, it will claim to rank among the largest retail projects in Europe, like Birmingham’s Bullring, Barcelona’s Diagonal Mar and Warsaw’s Arkadia.

Galeria’s central location within walking distance of three subway stations — Ploshchad Vosstaniya, Ligovsky Prospekt and Mayakovskaya — means the centre’s catchment area will encompass more than three million people and draw both residents and foreign tourists and visitors to the mall.

The project’s designers say that the elegance of its facades, the richness of its interior design and the comfort of its panoramic-view elevators will make Galeria a hallmark of the northern capital and a symbol of retail real estate not only in St. Petersburg, but across Russia as a whole. The project’s architects, the British firm Chapman Taylor with the architectural workshop Grigoryev and Partners, LLC, have already completed a thorough investigation of extensive written data on the geological issues related to the site. Additional research is due to be undertaken in November.

“Small land plots are to be selected for excavation of the soil and research,” said Danat Bulavko, CEO of Aditum, a sub-contractor of the project. “This is a short-term exploration which is going to be completed in a few months.”

“When we were selected to carry out experiments on the underground construction, a series of tests took place on a similar pit of the same measurements. The obtained results were included in the project’s documentation,” said Vladimir Ulitsky, head of the Foundations Department at St. Petersburg State Railroad University.

According to real estate analysts, Galeria’s location makes it a unique retail project in St. Petersburg, and the only superregional project being built in the center of the city.

“All operators on the market who have so far only been eyeing St. Petersburg to open their stores understand this advantage. We are seeing talks in the final stages with five new international retailers who are looking to open their flagman stores in Russia in Galeria,” said Stanislava Bilen, Senior Consultant at the retail department of Jones Lang LaSalle, the leasing and marketing consultant for the project.

Over 200 shops including both international and domestic brands will be situated on five floors of the mall, which will also have an entertainment complex including a multiplex theater, bowling alley and family entertainment center. As well as a food court, several restaurants serving international cuisine will offer views of Ploshchad Vosstaniya.

Galeria will also include one of the largest fitness clubs in the city center, as well as two levels of underground parking.

The project is being developed by Briz Construction Company LLC with the Turkish company Renaissance Construction as the general contractor.

“We can guarantee that construction will be completed on schedule and that in early 2010 St. Petersburg will host one of the largest shopping centers in Europe,” said Bulent Sarikaya, managing director at Briz, who also added that Galeria will become a popular leisure venue offering “a myriad of ways for visitors to enjoy themselves.”

The shopping center is currently being actively leased out to prospective tenants. To meet the deadline and minimize costs, the construction company will build the underground and overground parts of Galeria simultaneously.

The volume of investment into the project is valued at $470 million.

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