St. Pete Projects Go on Show in Cannes

For MTSt. Petersburg will use high-tech innovations, such as this 3-D artist's rendition of its stand, to help attract investors.
ST. PETERSBURG - A delegation of St. Petersburg officials and businessmen will demonstrate the city's largest development projects at the MIPIM international forum for real estate professionals and investors, which opens Tuesday and continues through Friday in Cannes, France.

"Over the last 11 years we have gradually increased our presence at MIPIM. We started with a small stand on the ground floor of the exhibition center. Last year, the Russian delegation occupied a separate pavilion, and we were able to demonstrate our investment potential adequately," Maxim Sokolov, chairman of St. Petersburg City Hall's Committee for Investment and Strategic Projects, said Wednesday at a news briefing.

This year, the St. Petersburg delegation will occupy the same area as last year - a 166-square-meter spot in the Lerins hall - although the audience is expected to grow. Over the last two years, the number of delegates attending MIPIM has increased 43 percent, hitting a record 26,210 participants in 2007. This year, over 28,000 are expected, the forum's web site said.

The exhibited projects include the land reclamation and development under way on Vasilyevsky Island, the Baltic Pearl multifunctional complex, the reconstruction of New Holland Island and the new campus of the Graduate School of Management.

"Two new projects will be included in our exposition this year - the reconstruction of Apraksin Court and the construction of the new passenger terminal at Pulkovo Airport," Sokolov said.

Traditionally, the focus is on investment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industries. Sokolov also expects that golf club projects will raise considerable interest among investors.

In addition to the projects supported by the St. Petersburg government, the largest private projects will also be exhibited. Glavstroi-Spb will display its Yuntolovo residential complex, drawing special attention to its eco-friendly approach to construction. The company is building 3 million square meters of housing - equivalent to the annual volume of new housing in the city.

Other private projects to be exhibited include the Nevskaya Ratusha office and administrative center, Morskiye Bashni multifunctional complex, Petrovsky Arsenal complex and New England multifunctional center, which has more than 1 million square meters of housing.

The projects being displayed this year are worth a total $11 billion, Sokolov said.

"We want to show St. Petersburg as an open city, a city that is developing but at the same time preserves the most valuable parts of its heritage. For that purpose, we will use high-tech equipment and innovations in our stand," said Andrei Rudashevsky, general director of the Agency for Direct Investment.

"Usually models are demonstrated on a horizontal plane, but we will display our projects on a vertical plane so exhibition guests can easily see the models in detail without bending down," Rudashevsky said.

While working on the exposition, officials consulted British creative agency Button. The officials estimated that participating in MIPIM would cost about 20 million rubles ($800,000), 10.9 million rubles of which came from the city budget while the rest was from private companies, including Glavstroi-Spb, Okhta Group and Sea Facade.

n Inteko, the construction firm headed by billionaire Yelena Baturina, said Friday that it would unveil a building in the shape of an orange at the MIPIM forum in Cannes, RIA-Novosti reported.

Gennady Terebkov, the company's top spokesman, said the multiuse complex, to be called Apelsin, or Orange, would be developed in part by British architectural firm Foster and Partners, the news agency reported. Terebkov said the complex would resemble several sliced pieces of the citrus fruit.