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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City Gives University Land for Business Park

The city government has given Moscow State University land valued at more than $12 million for construction of an international business center, which is expected to attract foreign companies to work with Russia's best scientists, officials said Thursday.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov signed an order recently providing 135 hectares of land adjacent to the university's main complex on Vorobyoviye Gory in southwestern Moscow to the university, according to Ilya Kondakov, deputy head of the university.

"One hectare of that territory is valued at over 110 million rubles" (about $94, 000), Olga Bessarabova, an expert for the city land committee, said Thursday.

The university will use part of the area to build a scientific business park offering 500 square meters of office and accommodation space for joint ventures set up by the university and foreign companies, according to Kondakov.

"We are inviting foreign companies to invest in the construction of offices for their bureaus where they will be able to use the university's scientists and researching facilities", said Gleb Tsytovich, the chief construction designer for the university.

He added that the university's condition to the potential investors is that they must also finance the construction of non-commercial buildings, namely a new library, institutes, colleges and hostels, which will be built.

"The university has already received proposals from many foreign companies", Tsytovich said. "None of them are put off by the condition".

University spokesmen said Thursday that the additional buildings would relieve a severe shortage of space at Russia's largest university, enabling it to build new facilities for its numerous colleges and institutes.

Although the university already owns 200 hectares in various parts of Moscow, many of its scientists have found the conditions too crowded to continue research, according to Tsytovich.

Tsytovich said, "I know that many scientists have recently moved to Germany where they are offered new comfortable buildings to work in". Many scientists have also signed contracts to work for foreign companies offering higher wages in Russia or abroad.

"The capacity of our buildings used for studies and accommodation is 50 percent below what is necessary", Kondakov said Thursday. "We have three to five students living in rooms for two".

It may be a long time, however, before the construction of the whole complex is finished, according to Kondakov.

"We hope to start building in 1994", Kondakov said. "But we first have to clear the area of makeshift warehouses and garages which have been put there illegally".

Kondakov said the federal government will also allocate some finances for the construction, but he said the university will rely more on the foreign partners.