Factory Converted for Leisure Pursuits
Published: June 25, 2014 (Issue # 1817)
On June 21, a new temporary recreation area called Petrovsky Arsenal opened on the shores of the Gulf of Finland in Sestroretsk, a town in the Kurortny district, located 34 kilometers northwest of St. Petersburg.
Following the concept of New Holland island, a popular but now closed recreation area located in the city center, Petrovsky Arsenal offers locals a park, a library, an open-air reading hall, a gallery, an eco-market, a small petting zoo and cafes, as well as a number of sporting activities such as renting a bike and playing football, volleyball and tennis.
“The location is a good fit for an open-air area for relaxation,” said Julia Ipatova, advertising and marketing manager for Jensen Group, the development company behind the recreation project. “The rich historical heritage of this place is also another attraction for locals to spend their summer days in the Kurortny district,” she said.
It was here in 1714 that Peter the Great decided to build a second Peterhof, a project that was never completed due to lack of resources. An arms factory was then built in the area, operating throughout the Soviet era.
Jensen Group, who by 2003 owned the area, submitted plans in 2006 to redevelop the area with a number of commercial and residential buildings, which will house a school, restaurants, cafes, sports clubs and shops while maintaining the area’s historical sites. While waiting for approval from a number of authorities and organizations, Jensen Group decided to find a way to still utilize the area over the summer and hopes the temporary leisure park will attract increased interest in the area and their future development plans from potential buyers.
“We are now seeing more leisure areas open in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, all of which have become popular with locals, so we are sure that our new summer project will also be just as popular with both St. Petersburg and Sestroretsk residents,” said Ipatova.
Petrovsky Arsenal will remain open throughout the summer until the beginning of autumn and will remain open for Sestroretsk’s 300th anniversary celebrations on Sept. 7, when the area will be the location for the main events. If approved, Jensen Group’s development project in the area will begin once the park closes. If the plans are delayed, Petrovsky Arsenal will open again as a leisure park next summer.
“The proposed development project will help the local economy in the Sestroretsk by offering more jobs to locals. As a development company, we see this project as a social one, not just as a commercial one,” said Ipatova.
Entry into Petrovsky Arsenal is free and open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and until 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays.