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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Good, Clean Living in the 'Chelsea of Moscow'

While several new business complexes are set to open in the Frunzenskaya region, the area south of Park Kultury remains best known for its standard of living, offering parks, monasteries and good views of the river for renters who are willing to pay.


Dubbed jokingly by one realtor as the "Chelsea of Moscow," the region sits in a bend of the Moskva River and carries a reputation for being as ecologically clean as one can find near the center of town.


The area boasts two major religious sites -- the 16th-century Novodevichy Monastery near the peninsula's northwestern embankment and St. Nicholas Church near Park Kultury metro -- and a park and sports complex at the Lenin Stadium.


"When we started this business, that district used to be a little bit less popular," said Belinda Donnelly of the Home Sweet Home realty firm. "But now it's becoming one of the most popular areas because it's central, it's green and you've got the river."


With the increased popularity have come higher prices for apartment rental.


Those found at the center of the peninsula along Komsomolsky Prospekt and near Sportivnaya metro can cost less, but Frunzenskaya Naberezhnaya demands high prices that can peak at $6,000 a month for a four-room flat, said David Green of Moscow Realty.


"It's an incredible amount of money, but that's what the market is out there," he said.


A Western-style two-room apartment would fetch about $2,400 a month, according to realtors.


Apartments throughout the region date from the Stalin era, and are often marked by good natural light and high ceilings rimmed with moldings. Many belonged to government and Communist Party higher-ups, Green said.


Metro access is relatively good for most of the area, although Donnelly said reaching the Sportivnaya, Frunzenskaya or Park Kultury stations from the embankments can be difficult.


Also, while the area does offer some retail shopping and restaurants, it is less than replete with Western stores, Donnelly said.


"There are a lot of furniture stores there," she said. "But as far as Western supermarkets go, I would say that in that district there aren't as many as an area that's central."


Covered parking is also hard to come by, she said, but added that there is more outdoor parking available than could be found in the city center.


Although far from overrun by commercial enterprises, the region is host to several new Western-style office complexes -- Elbert Place, Japan House and the International Business Tower -- totaling 26,000 square meters of space and ranging in base price from $850 per square meter to $1,000.


Western companies located in the area include U.S. West and Philips, in addition to several law firms, said Tamara Kushwaha of the commercial realty firm DTZ Debenham Zadelhoff.


But one drawback is distance from the center.


"It's not the kind of area where you'd actually call clients over to you," she said.


"It's not a major mecca for the service provider. But for the multinational company that needs a quiet place to work, it's a possibility."