Gostiny Dvor Offered Glass Cupola
‘An important aspect of the new project is the increase of economic activity, profitability and earning power.’
Published: December 11, 2013 (Issue # 1790)
Fort Group, a commercial property developer and now a ten percent shareholder in Nevsky Prospekt’s Gostiny Dvor, has offered to renovate the historic shopping center by turning the interior courtyard into a retail gallery covered by a glass cupola.
On Dec. 4, the project was announced to the board of directors of the joint stock company BGD (Great Gostiny Dvor) but Fort Group representatives did not attend the meeting, reported Fontanka.
Nevertheless, the board of directors approved the changes in the development of Gostiny Dvor as well as the partial opening of Yelena Obraztsova’s International Academy of Music there next year. The academy is due to be fully operational by 2015.
The renovation has been a topic of discussion since 2005, when a proposed reconstruction was turned down. It is now believed that renovations are necessary at the St. Petersburg landmark.
Gostiny Dvor, located in the heart of the city, has often been compared to the Galeries Lafayette in Paris or Harrods in London.
Built in the 18th century by architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe, it is St. Petersburg’s oldest shopping center and also one of the oldest shopping arcades in the world. The appearance of various shopping malls and complexes throughout the city however has seen the complex start to lose its former grandeur.
“According to our evaluation, Gostiny Dvor is no longer efficient and does not correspond to the demands of the time. It has the best location in the city and it is part of St. Petersburg’s attraction to tourists,” said Anna Nikandrova, head of the Retail Real Estate Department at Colliers International, St. Petersburg.
Its location in the city’s main retail and entertainment district, and its metro station are the main advantages of the building, according to Knight Frank St. Petersburg.
“Gostiny Dvor is a unique building occupying a large area in the city center but, at the same time, only its perimeter is used for retail. The retail concept of the existing building is rather uncertain — it consists of several small, independent parts,” said Igor Kokorev, the Deputy Head of the Strategic Consulting Department at Knight Frank, St. Petersburg, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times.
“We are sure that Gostiny Dvor will become relevant again from both a commercial and social point of view after its reconstruction,” said Nikandrova.
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