Family of State Duma member to overbuild VDNKh with cafes and shops as compensation for Ferris wheel

Family of State Duma member to overbuild VDNKh with cafes and shops as compensation for Ferris wheel
The MP Zelimkhan Mutsoev Photo: Dmitry Duhanin / Kommersant

The Regions Group of Companies, owned by the family of a State Duma member Zelimkhan Mutsoev, will practically build a shopping mall on 3.4 hectares.

In addition to the construction of the Ferris wheel at the VDNKh Exhibition Center, the Regions Group of Companies will start the development of the adjacent territory. The company is owned by the sons of a State Duma member from the United Russia party Zelimkhan Mutsoeva — Amiran and Alik Mutsoevs, as well as their uncle Amirhan Mori. The businessmen obtained two sites near the Ferris wheel at the southern entrance to VDNKh. Each of the land plots is ​​1.7 hectares. A source of Vedomosti in the Mayor’s Office reported that Regions will use these sites to build commercial properties.

The total area of the big wheel’s adjacent infrastructure will be 43.500 sq. m. Most of it (15.400 sq. m.) will be allocated for souvenir shops. Cafes and restaurants will occupy 7.000 sq. m, a cinema — 4.200 sq. m., and the remaining 10.000 sq. m. will be used for an underroof promenade area. Moreover, the investor will build a multi-level parking for 35.000 sq. m. The official from the Mayor's Office clarified that the visual landscape analysis will be carried out for this whole building complex.

The infrastructure of the Ferris wheel will be the largest construction project in the territory of the VDNKh. Until now, this title was held by the 12.000 sq. m. aquarium introduced a year ago. The VDNKh press-service refused to name other objects that can be constructed in the territory of the exhibition center. The Regions Group ignored the request of the media outlet.

According to the Head of strategic consulting at JLL Julia Nikulicheva, Mutsoev’s family needs additional infrastructure to the Ferris wheel capture the full benefits, since the construction of the Ferris wheel will require large investments. Director of the department of consulting and analytics at Knight Frank Olga Yasko believes that a large regional shopping mall will be in fact constructed at VDNKh, which will be difficult to fill in with stores and shops. In addition, she believes that restaurants are unlikely to provide high returns because the Ferris wheel does not work the whole year. The demand for a full-scale multiplex cinema is also doubtful, Nikulicheva said.

Previously, the CrimeRussia reported that the Head of the anti-corruption policy of the Yabloko party intended to appeal to the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Prosecutor's Office with the request to check the Regions Group’s plans for the Ferris wheel on suspicions of corruption.

The new wheel will be 135 m in height against the previous 75 m. It is to be located to the left of the southern entrance to the exhibition center, behind the pavilion № 7. The project cost is estimated at 14 billion rubles.

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