Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled the plan for the construction of the Tuchkov Buyan park in the center of St. Petersburg and ordered to complete the construction of the judicial quarter on this site, to which the Supreme Court should move. informs BBC Russian Service with reference to documents. The corresponding order was given by Putin on December 29.
Since 2017, the construction of the court quarter has been carried out by SK Segment, affiliated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as Putin’s chef. Earlier, the St. Petersburg authorities claimed that the construction was frozen and court buildings would be erected elsewhere.
The concept for the construction of the court quarter in the Petrogradsky district of St. Petersburg emerged 10 years ago and was approved in 2016. Until that moment, a residential complex for the VTB structure (headed by the son of the then governor of St. Petersburg, Sergei Matvienko) was designed on this territory. Then the presidential administration took over the territory, and VTB received 11 billion rubles of “compensation” from the treasury.
The new project of the court quarter included, in particular, the construction of a residential complex for judges with 600 apartments. Initially, the contract with the general contractor of the Office of the President of the Russian Federation was concluded for 36.65 billion rubles, and the construction was supposed to be completed on December 31, 2019. Then the cost of the project was reduced by almost 1 billion rubles, and the completion date was postponed by two years. By December 2018, the project was completed by less than 10%.
In 2019, the governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, announced during the election campaign that a park would appear on the Neva embankment instead of the court quarter. President Putin supported the idea, promising that the park “will even be” slightly better than Moscow’s Zaryadye.
The park was supposed to be located on the former territory of the State Institute of Applied Chemistry (GIPH) between the spit of Vasilyevsky Island and the Peter and Paul Fortress. In 2020, the winner of the international competition for the concept of Tuchkov Buyan Park was announced by Nikita Yavein’s Studio 44 architectural bureau and West 8 Dutch bureau. “. The cost of holding a tender with a predictable result amounted to 90 million rubles, wrote “New Newspaper”.
The winners of the competition were asked to “rethink the concrete foundations of unrealized projects”: more than 60% of the area allocated for the park was occupied by concrete foundations. This is what the presidential administration did not clean up after the unfinished construction. Almost 5 billion rubles were spent on laying these foundations.
Environmentalists opposed the construction of the park. They emphasized that GIPH was developing and testing various substances, including chemical warfare agents, radioactive and rocket fuel – heptyl. In 2012, the GIPH was demolished, and the territory was thoroughly surveyed. Then it turned out that 70% of the soil was contaminated with hazardous substances, and 30% – with substances of a high hazard class. According to the study, hazardous waste penetrated into the soil to a depth of 5-10 meters, wrote Rosbalt.
In mid-December 2021 at the press service of the St. Petersburg Administration reported “Fontanka” that the park project will be implemented. “The park will be there. With light and musical fountain. The concept is being developed, ”the administration said, advising to apply for further clarifications to the Presidential Property Management Department.