Yukos 'Smart' House Tops $40M

VedomostiAfter many office moves, Yukos has designed a dream house on Dubininskaya Ulitsa.
None of the oil majors change their Moscow address as often as Yukos does.

But the house-hopping is set to end: In September the No. 2 player on the Russian oil market will settle into a building it is designing especially for itself.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky's company is investing about $10 million in the building's "intellectual stuffing" alone. That is on top of the cost of building, which is estimated to be more than $30 million.

Yukos's nomadic inclinations have been in evidence since the company was founded in 1991. Its first move was to the Russian Academy of Sciences building not far from Gagarin Square.

It wasn't long before the company decided that the academy's facilities were too expensive and moved to a standard block on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. The next port of call was an office on Zagorodnoye Shosse. But soon the company hauled anchor to the home of Menatep on Ulansky Pereulok. According to a source close to the company, Khodorkovsky adheres to the theory that the company must move as frequently as possible so that the staff doesn't get stagnant.

But now Yukos has built a new 27,000 square-meter block for itself on Dubininskaya Ulitsa, not far from Paveletsky Station. A highly placed official in the company said work on the building began in 1998 but stopped immediately after the crisis, due to the general financial difficulties.

Construction was renewed last summer, and by this September, Yukos employees will start moving in. The building is virtually complete.

The source said the company needs a new headquarters because it had previously rented premises originally intended for other purposes. Now Yukos will have its own building -- designed, built and fitted-out especially for Yukos.

The source refused to put a price tag on the building, as did Yukos' press service. Developers polled agreed that construction was likely to have cost between $30 million and $40 million.

But this is just the price of the structure itself. The building, according to Yukos subsidiary Sibintek, which is responsible for this side of the project, will be "intelligent."

Sibintek spokesman Vladimir Golovastov said the cost of the electronics would come to just under $10 million, though additional funds will be required to purchase remaining equipment.

"What sets the building apart is that all its living condition systems will be integrated," said Golovastov.

"All the engineering, starting from the safety systems and ending with regulating the level of condensation in the rooms, will be located in one room of the building where about eight monitors will be set up. As a result personnel will be able to catch problems in the system in advance. Reducing the level of pressure in the pipes for example, in order to avoid an accident," he said.

In each of the 30 working zones on each floor it will be possible to control different climate parameters as well as the level of ventilation.

"In terms of the level of technology, this building can be compared to the new Domodedovo Airport," Golovastov said. According to the developers, slightly similar technology was used in the Gazprom and Sberbank offices as well as in the Tsarev Sad complex, construction of which is presently on hold.

The first "intelligent" residential block in Moscow -- Vremena Goda in Zamoskvorechye -- was erected by Territory Development Corp. The systems analyst with this company, Vyacheslav Pinkush, said high-tech engineering could increase the construction cost to $3,000 per square meter.