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Living the Dream: Luxury Real Estate

Published: June 29, 2014 (Issue # 1817)



  • The interiors of the Castel di Notte are just as impressive as the vineyards surrounding the estate, but such extravagance comes at a price.
    Photo: Advecs / For SPT

The tallest tower in Monaco, a medieval castle in Tuscany or a mansion with a magnificent view of Palace Square in St. Petersburg — for many years such homes seemed little more than an unobtainable fantasy for many Russians. Today, however, dreams such as these really can come true with the only question being how much money people are ready to pay for the luxury of living like a king.

While the current economic instability has caused a slight decrease in the number of customers interested in buying pricey, unusual buildings, the luxury residential real estate market still has plenty of opportunities to satisfy the most demanding tastes. The most expensive residential real estate in St. Petersburg falls within the socalled “Golden Triangle,” the area bounded by the Admiralteyskaya and Dvortsovaya Embankments, the Fontanka river and Ulitsa Gorokhovaya. Residential property accounts for just over half of all the property located in this area, with restaurants, offices and shops occupying the rest.

The list of St. Petersburg’s most expensive districts also includes Krestovsky and Kamenny Islands, and the area surrounding Tavrichesky Palace, according to Penny Lane Realty.

“We have seven listings in St. Petersburg priced at $10 million or higher,” said Pavel Pikalev, head of Penny Lane Realty in St. Petersburg, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times. “These are either renovated, furnished apartments or places like a reconstructed four-story mansion on the Moika Embankment with a view of Palace Square and the Hermitage.

“There are also plenty of listings in nearby suburbs, mostly in the Kurortny district. Prices there depend on how far the property is from the Gulf of Finland, the size of the land plot and its landscaping,” he said.

However, despite the large number of high-end properties on the market that are located close to the city center, it is not enough to entice some Russian buyers. Instead these buyers are beginning to look across to foreign shores for property purchases where entire islands, such as Wadigi in the Fiji Archipelago, can be bought. Occupying eight hectares, an island such as this is only 50 minutes by boat from the mainland.

“On one hand, it is an ideal place for solitude, where a public figure can hide from unwanted attention,” said Alexander Romanenko, president of Advecs Real Estate, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times. “On the other hand, it is also a developed and successful business, which includes a five-star villa with three bedrooms and everything necessary for stand-alone accommodation.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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