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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Great Expectations: WTC-2 Set for Completion by 1997

The second phase of Moscow's World Trade Center, construction on which has been mired for years due to inadequate financing, will open its doors by 1997, officials said.


But despite such bold statements about the lethargic project, managers for the site were unable to say where they would find the financing to bring an end to the center's lengthy saga.


The complex is a sister project of the World Trade Center, or SovinCenter, which was built in 1980 with the help of industrialist Armand Hammer for that year's Olympic Games. That project has also come under criticism of late, as some tenants charge that service and conditions hav fallen below standards


Located on the river near the Krasnopresnenskaya fairgrounds, the newest phase was begun in 1990 and has been reported to cost up to $200 million.


N.M. Rothschild and Sons, the consultants on financing the facility, advised developers to scrap their plans to finish the project outright and instead said they should tackle it in phases, according to Andrei Zverev, financial director at SovinCenter.


"The Rothschilds' proposal was to phase out construction of the World Trade Center project and to arrange financing so that each part of the project will be formally separate," Zverev told a press briefing. "The office accommodation will be funded first."


Until recently, priority had been placed on finishing the administration offices of the building rather than the money-making commercial offices, which will be leased.


"The revenue generated from the first phase would be used for the construction of the last phase," Zverev said.


Meanwhile, builders from the former Yugoslavia at the site have continued their work despite underfinancing by SovinCenter, according to Interfax.


Klarin Damljan, secretary of the Union of Yugoslav Builders in the CIS, told the news agency that subcontractors have already invested $5 million of their own money into the project, and have carried out work worth a total of $40 million.


SovinCenter officials told Interfax they are negotiating a $160 million investment with Western financial institutions.


However, most realtors in Moscow remain skeptical about the project, which was originally scheduled for completion in 1993.