Plans Announced for Cherkizovsky Site

MTThe Cherkizovsky market in northeast Moscow will be taken down to make room for several new shopping centers.
The sprawling Cherkizovsky market in northeast Moscow will be replaced by a trade and entertainment complex, the city said last week, Interfax reported.

The market, which was supposed to be torn down in time for the 2010 Junior Olympics, won a slight reprieve when Moscow lost to Singapore in its bid on Thursday.

Vladimir Malishkov, head of the city's consumer markets and services department, told Interfax last week that even if Moscow failed to win the Junior Olympics, a section of the market would be closed by the end of the 2008. The section located on territory of the Russian State Physical Education Academy "will hang on a little bit longer," Malishkov said, Interfax reported.

Construction on two multipurpose centers will begin this year on the territory freed up by the closing market stands, the news agency said. AST Group is the investor behind one of the centers, which would have some 80,000 to 100,000 square meters.

AST-controlled holdings owned more than 50 percent of the Cherkizovsky market, renting some of the land from the city and some of it from the academy, Interfax said.

The other planned complex will be built by Safra Instruments with an expected 140,000 square meters of space. The facility is expected to include a four-star hotel, offices and shops, the company told Interfax. Safra has put investment for the project at $200 million.

The bustling Cherkizovsky market, which encompasses 20 hectares between the Lokomotiv football stadium and the Izmailovo Hotel, offers everything from clothing to crab meat in its labyrinth of stalls.

A blast there in 2006 killed 10 people and wounded more than 50 -- many of whom were immigrants from Asia. Three ultranationalists were later charged in the attack, which prosecutors called racially motivated.