‘Kazan can safely be ranked third after Moscow and Petersburg in attractiveness for developers’

Federal housing developers started to be interested in Kazan — landlords are presenting development concepts of territories

‘Kazan can safely be ranked third after Moscow and Petersburg in attractiveness for developers’
Photo: ASG

ASG investment group of companies and Mann, Cheremnykh and Partners consultancy discussed a land development strategy in the Kazan agglomeration. According to Muscovites, their clients — large federal and regional developers — expressed big interest in housing development in the Tatarstan capital. Founder of the company Igor Mann doesn’t yet name specific players but assured Realnoe Vremya that new developers from other cities would soon enter the local market.

Everybody is interested in how to set up a business with the city

The meeting with experts in land development took place in ASG’s Guest House, a restored mansion on 18, Karl Marx Street, where guests were taken on a tour before the beginning of the discussion. The residential Empire-style house was erected in the late 18th century, later it was rebuilt according to Kazan governmental architect Foma Petondi. 17th-18th-century paintings and antique furniture convey the atmosphere of that era well.

Restoration of architectural landmarks is one of the areas of ASG’s activity whose prospects became another topic for discussion. As an owner of the biggest land bank, the Tatarstan company has repeatedly presented development projects of the territories it manages in Kazan’s historical centre and in the Kazan agglomeration.

Muscovites initiated the meeting, their clients — large federal and regional developers — became interesting in housing development in Kazan and intend to enter the local market.

“I can’t so far name the companies, but a lot of large developers are interested because it is one of the fastest-growing regions and the average salary here is high enough than in Russia on average. So there are all prerequisites for any ambitious developer to arrive in Kazan. I think your city can safely be ranked third after Moscow and Petersburg in attractiveness for developers, including those from other regions. They have reached certain saturation point in their region, covered the amounts of quality housing and, of course, they are interested in going somewhere with a higher price for a square metre and a growing stable demand. This is why you will soon hear about these contracts,” thinks marketer, co-founder of Mann, Cheremnykh and Partners Igor Mann.

The meeting with experts in land development took place in ASG’s Guest House, a restored mansion on 18, Karl Marx Street, where guests were taken on a tour before the beginning of the discussion

“The interest in Kazan is big,” Director of Land Development at ASG GC Rinat Aisov confirmed to Realnoe Vremya too. “All developers have the same questions: ‘Where to start working and what are the rules?’ Everybody wants to get an answer to how to set up a business with the city. We, in turn, try to provide as much information as possible, work to make sure the developers who want to develop their projects in our region have a good understanding of the areas and the land development concept we created, we discuss with Kazan’s Executive Committee.”

Meanwhile, only the vice head of the Executive Committee of Zelenodolsk District was at the meeting among representatives of authority agencies — Kazan functionaries didn’t attend the meeting despite the invitation.

“We are discussing the creation of necessary infrastructure with Kazan’s Executive Committee”

Nonetheless, ASG said that they had a dialogue with the Kazan authorities, however, the city has “its own outlook on land development and has certain priorities for developing industrial zones”. Kazan’s Executive Committee aims at this work, though it doesn’t exclude the necessity of preparing new areas, “the only thing is that they doubt what is more important”. However, the company doesn’t have problems with areas in urban development.

“Every Kazan parcel has 2-3 developers who are now defining what a project they see there. I think we will already be working on these parcels in 1-1,5 years. Big projects in the Eastern Arc and Big Zelenodolsk project are the next great interest for us. We are elaborating the latter with the Tatarstan Ministry of Construction now, its preliminary concept was presented too, while as for the Eastern Arc, we are discussing the creation of necessary infrastructure with Kazan’s Executive Committee,” Rinat Aisov told our newspaper.

During the meeting, experts of Mann, Cheremnykh and Partners presented market research results, discussed proposals for ASG’s development concept of the Kazan urban agglomeration and priority approaches to land development. In particular, they talked about the agglomeration development strategy since the USSR until recent examples in modern Russia. They evaluated international experience of land development and trends of the urban engineering policy of Russian metropolises and towns. After a break, they switched to the development concept of the Kazan agglomeration with an analysis of a new site plan of the Tatarstan capital.

During the meeting, experts of Mann, Cheremnykh and Partners presented market research results, discussed proposals for ASG’s development concept of the Kazan urban agglomeration and priority approaches to land development

“It is good Kazan’s site plan has been updated, moreover, experienced specialists from Moscow were invited to this work. Why is it good? Growth points are singled out as an important aspect in the site plan to provide polycentric, sustainable and balanced development of the city as well as distribution of business activity, because if we have a look at statistics, it is concentrated in the centre, and a reduction of the load on the transport network. And as we seen in the scheme, a big number of ASG plots are within these growth points,” noted Marina Shpilko, an architect at architecture bureau Dyer’s Moscow office.

Later, representatives of Parametrica design bureau (Moscow) and Avan Project (Kazan) presented concepts of comprehensive land development created by their companies.

Land development is our common task

During the meeting, the participants stressed several times that construction issues in Kazan and in the Kazan agglomeration were topical nowadays considering the necessity of delivering more housing. The Tatarstan president paid great attention to this problem at a meeting of the Tatarstan Economy Ministry on 15 February. Rustam Minnikhanov noted that the republic had a task of delivering 1,6 million square metres of housing within the Kazan agglomeration, but the problem of commuting can’t be solved without creating jobs and other infrastructural facilities, which will lead to a serious transport collapse.

“The main message of the meeting — an ambitious task set by the president — is to increase housing delivery nearly 1,5 times. Here both the accessibility and comfort are the point, the national project is called Housing and Urban Environment. There are a lot of factors that influence the implementation: economic conditions, stimulation of demand and supply, administrative obstacles. Preparation of new sites for construction or land development as we call it is another factor. It is an important moment influencing demand, and we go back to the economy. It is no secret that the price for a square metre in Kazan exceeded 100,000 rubles. Questions already arise when we talking about accessibility of housing, solvent demand,” said Vice Director of ASG GC Robert Khayrullin.

During the meeting, the participants stressed several times that construction issues in Kazan and in the Kazan agglomeration were topical nowadays considering the necessity of delivering more housing

According to him, the situation of the market played a certain role — few projects were launched. On the other hand, the introduction of the preferential mortgage, which gave birth to this demand, made an impact. Given initial restrictions on terms — it was announced until late 2020 — many had a desire to jump on the bandwagon. But the preferential mortgage was extended, moreover, other support measures designed to stimulate demand, for instance, programmes to buy a private house or concessions for families with two or more children are created. On the other hand, experts often fear that this brings to the reverse effect, for instance, the preferential mortgage caused a serious rise in housing prices in some regions.

“The government also has such initiatives: the preferential mortgage programme should probably be cancelled for a certain period for those regions that, in fact, allow such a big growth of housing prices, the growth reaches 20% somewhere. As in this case state support measures aren’t effective. But we think that the higher demand for prepared territories is in the market, the more developers will participate in the national project. This, undoubtedly, will influence the price and create the optimal conditions. It is anyway 80,000-100,000 rubles per square metre, but the prices won’t grow so much. This is why we are working in this area, it is our mission, our understanding of the president’s instruction, in fact, preparation of territories. We are discussing this theme as openly as possible to make the process public and transparent. It is our common task,” Khayrullin thinks.

By Vasilya Shirshova. Photo: ASG
Tatarstan