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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mirax Eyes Skyscraper Expertise

For MTThe Federation Tower in Moskva-City will be double its current height when it is completed in the second half of 2008.
Mirax Group, the Russian developer behind the Federation Tower, has set up a company to manage the tower and other skyscrapers popping up around Moscow.

"There is currently no experience with high-rise management in Russia," Mirax vice president Maxim Privezentsev said in a statement last week announcing a deal with Knight Frank to provide consultancy services to the new Federation Tower Management Company.

To begin with, the company will focus on running the Federation Tower, an 85-story twin-tower project going up as part of the Moskva-City skyscraper development, 4 kilometers west of the Kremlin. It will then offer its services to other Mirax projects and to third parties.

Currently in Moscow, developers have little option but to manage their own high-rise buildings. Turkish construction giant Enka, for example, runs its own high-rise projects, like the 34-story Swissotel and the 56-story Naberezhnaya Tower, whose final phase is under construction.

Many skyscrapers are single-purpose, housing only office or residential space. The 49-story Triumph Palace is only residential.

The Federation Tower, however, will have to balance the interests of a hotel, offices, apartments and shops, all of which will have to compete for entrances, elevator time and emergency systems.

"The tower is among the most complex projects to be built in Russia," said Kirill Starodubtsev, general director of Knight Frank.

"We need a system that will work for everyone."

Above all, managing a skyscraper is a logistics problem, said Alexei Belousov, the commercial director of Capital Group, which is building the 72-story Capital City development, a rival skyscraper in Moskva-City to the Federation Tower.

Capital City will have to service customers to a major shopping center, white-collar employees working in the building's offices and the residents of the apartments -- all of whom will be forced to share the same road access and a 2,100-space car park.

The complexity of the project, described by the company as a city within a city, requires a new level of management expertise, Belousov said.

Moving people and things up and down -- whether by elevators, escalators or stairs -- is the key issue in managing high-rise buildings, said Enka managing director Tolga Guzelce, whose company probably has the most experience managing high-rise projects in Moscow. It currently has no plans to offer management services to third parties, however.

"The most important thing is transportation of people, goods and garbage," he said.

Security is also an obvious concern.

The Naberezhnaya Tower can be evacuated in two hours, while the building is designed to withstand flames for four hours, Guzelce said. Two-thirds of the Federation Tower can be evacuated in 40 minutes, Mirax said.

While Capital Group usually operates its own buildings, it will most likely hire a Western company to operate Capital City, said spokeswoman Nina Byvsheva.

She said it was unlikely they would use the services of their rival, Mirax Group. "If it was a strong enough team it is possible, but it is too early to say," she said.

Building work on Capital City has so far only reached the third floor, she said.