Mr. Yen Doc Song
ZAO Lotte Rus
ZAO Lotte Rus
Dear Mr. Song,
We have learned from the press that your company is negotiating on purchase of OOO Fontanka Hotel in St. Petersburg to build a hotel at 23 Fontanka Embankment.
The building at this address, also known as Abaza House, is a historical building, since it was built before 1917. According to St. Petersburg laws, in the city center (protected area), historical buildings may not be demolished except for cases when the building is in an extremely poor condition and cannot possibly be repaired. Even in this last case the building must be built again without any change in its appearance or dimensions.
OOO Fontanka Hotel had earlier designed a reconstruction project for this building, according to which all the building would be demolished except for three floors of the façade wall. Residents of adjacent houses, cultural heritage protection organizations of St. Petersburg, and descendants of the Abaza family from many countries have been fighting against this project for several years. We have many times appealed to the prosecution office and other government authorities. Should permission be granted for this project (or a similar one where most of the building would be demolished), it can be sued in court, and cultural heritage protection organizations will struggle against its implementation with every legal means.
OOO Fontanka Hotel has a certificate that the building is in a poor condition and should be demolished; however, this certificate was issued by the Expert and Construction Commission of St. Petersburg, which commission has been officially ruled illegal and terminated.
The only legal way to adapt this building for modern use is keeping all the outer walls, dimensions, and courtyard of the building. This, unfortunately, creates some problems with car parking and restricts the possible area of the future property.
The Abaza House has great historic value. It was built in the 18th century and belonged to the family of Alexander Abaza, a renowned state person, for many decades. Many famous writers and composers have visited here including the great composer Pyotr Chaikovsky, and this is the place where the Eugene Onegin opera was first ever performed.
We fear that OOO Fontanka Hotel, Colliers, and the St. Petersburg administration might not have made you aware of this information. Please kindly take it into consideration when you make any business decisions in investing in this project.