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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luzhkov Pushes for Parking Space

Mayor Yury Luzhkov approved a measure to accelerate the building of multilevel garages and street parking spaces at a Moscow city council meeting Tuesday.

"We can assess our current situation like this: In comparison with the 85 years during which Moscow had a total of 60,000 [parking] spaces, our progress has been decent," Luzhkov said.

From 1996 to 1999, 220,000 parking spaces were built in the city at a cost of $630 million. Private investors financed a majority of the work.

No one is sure of the exact number of parking spaces in Moscow, but there are more than 400,000, city officials said.

"We need to persuade investors to participate in this process," Luzhkov said. "This is absolutely necessary. It’s a happy situation when investors are interested. It’s not so happy when we can’t get the documentation in order for them."

Unlike the selling and leasing of real estate for housing construction, which has always been a priority for Luzhkov’s administration, garage construction has long been plagued with problems — ranging from basic disorganization to investor dissatisfaction.

According to the accelerated project, about 70,000 commercial and residential parking spaces are to be built every year through 2004.

By the end of this year, a tender committee will be established to organize bids for each project. The committee will also ensure that contracts are signed and that all property and licensing documents are in order.

The plan also divides up the parking spaces between the government and investors. Inside the Garden Ring, the city government will retain 15 percent of the spaces, while the investor gets the other 85 percent. Outside the road, the percentages shift to 10 percent and 90 percent, respectively.

"There are 455 investors and companies that are already registered as participants in this program," said Valery Silin, general director of a city-owned company that specializes in experimental construction. "This is a relatively small number over the course of four years."

The relatively small number of investors is attributed to the lack of information available about garage projects, Silin said, adding that it is in the best interests of the owners of shopping centers — whose clientele go shopping by car and park on the street — to take part in the project.

"They might wake up one day and find out that there are ‘No Parking’ signs hanging on the streets around their store," Luzhkov said.

Before the August 1998 crisis, parking was built partially with funds from securities issued by the city, Silin said. The crisis basically put a stop to this kind of financing and is only now being reintroduced. He said his company might begin issuing securities next year, but they would not be backed by the city government.

Mikhail Moskvin-Tarkhanov, a Moscow City Duma deputy, said he was ready to implement more extreme measures. He recommended that a special-purpose fund be created in the city budget for resources earmarked especially for garage building.