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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

All Work, No Play? Not Moskva-City

For MTA diagram of the 150,000-square-meter shopping and entertainment complex under construction at Moskva-City.
Construction work began last week on the covered streets, shops and squares that should inject life into the mammoth Moskva-City business district.

The shopping and leisure center development, on a similar scale to that of the first Mega Mall, in the city's south, is intended to provide a focus for the area when it opens in early 2008, according to the developer's schedule.

Designed to be Moscow's new business district, Mosvka-City is currently a highly accessible building site with some high-class offices and a metro station but so far has very little else.

Coupled with a multiplex cinema and a large concert hall, the retail center will aim to attract consumers from around the city in the evening and on weekends while harnessing the spending power of thousands of white-collar workers who developers hope will fill the surrounding skyscrapers toward the end of the decade.

Covered by a huge glass roof, the long, narrow Central Core is to offer 150,000 square meters of retail and entertainment facilities above three levels of car parking and a metro station. The plans also include several public parks and squares.

Bringing some color to the office district, the center's theme is the four seasons. Although plans have not been finalized, the winter garden is likely to include ice skating, while the summer garden may include sand and water elements, said Rumen Kalchev, marketing manager of the project's developer, Stroinkom-K.

Maxim Gasiev, head of the retail department at Colliers International, said the retail center would likely face competition on weekends from several planned retail centers around the Third Ring Road, including large shopping centers near the Leninsky Prospekt and Avtozavodskaya metro stations.

Unlike those developments, however, the mall in Moskva-City's shopping area will be built above a metro station, forcing workers to walk through the shopping galleries to get to their offices in the surrounding high-rises and ensuring business during the working week.

Getting shoppers to visit the upper levels of the three- to six-story buildings, however, could prove a challenge, Gasiev said.

The mall is likely to find success similar to one in Paris' La Defense office district, said Maxim Karbasnikoff, head of retail at Jones Lang LaSalle in Moscow. That development's anchor store Auchan has one of the highest turnovers in the country, he said.