Peace Out

A Petersburg developer asked not to use the name “Mir” (“Peace”) in advertising its [new] residential complex. The company decided to refrain from using the word, which had “taken on additional meanings.”

The screenshot of RBI’s request to shutter the name “Mir” (“Peace”) for its new residential complex on Mirgorodskaya Street (Mirgorod Street) in central Petersburg. Ironically, the street itself is named for the city of Myrhorod in Ukraine. Several other streets in the same neighborhood are named after Ukrainian cities, including Poltava, Kharkiv, and Kremenchuk. It should be pointed out that “mir,” in Russian, also means “world” and “peasant commune.”

RBI’s official website still identifies the residential complex as “Mir,” and this is the case on some other real estate resources as well. And yet, for example, one of the largest industry websites, TsIAN, already refers to it as the residential complex “On Mirgorodskaya, 1.”

Our source at the company told Rotunda that the advertising campaign for the complex had not yet been launched. And that was why they asked their partners — i.e., real estate agencies — “to refrain from directly advertising the sites before the official start of sales.”

Officially, RBI had only the following to say about the meanings implied by the word “Mir”: “As for the word itself, ‘MIR’ in this case refers to the location of the house, as well as to the World of Art [Mir iskusstva] art group.”

Source: Rotunda, 8 August 2022. Translated by the Russian Reader


MIR Club House is a world for connoisseurs of beauty in the very heart of St. Petersburg, a striking house featuring original, artistic architecture.

Compositionally, the complex consists of two buildings: a building of varying heights (six, seven, eight and nine floors) containing 243 apartments, and a small six-story building containing 20 apartments. They are united by a street-facing arch and form a closed courtyard.

The apartments offer picturesque views of Feodorovsky Cathedral, the famous “Kremlin wall of Petersburg,” the historical center, and the new business-class quarter.

Sales start soon: https://mir.rbi.ru/

Source: RBI Group, YouTube, 7 July 2022. Annotation translated by the Russian Reader

Art Clusterfuck

What would a big city and its citizens want when they already have absolutely everything a twenty-first-century city and its citizens could want, including free and fair elections, grassroots democratic governance, economic parity, high incomes, affordable housing, good schools, free, high-quality health care, incorruptible officials, a clean, safe environment, state-of-the-art public transportation, hundreds of kilometers of dedicated bike lanes, ethnic harmony, just courts, and friendly police? That’s right: they would want a new “art cluster,” and they would want it to look like this:

2-soviet-4_ver_11_0007

RBI plans to invest 3.4 billion rubles [approximately 45 million euros] in two developments in [Petersburg’s] historic center. An art cluster with spaces for temporary exhibitions and art studios is planned for 2nd Sovetskaya Street, 4, while Poltavskaya, 7, will get a residential complex. The company has spent three years obtaining permits for the projects. Due to strict legislation, investors virtually have no opportunity to reconstruct residential buildings.* All they can do is develop the remaining gaps.

The developer acquired both sites in 2013. The art cluster is planned for the site of the former labs of the Northwest Scientific Hygiene Center on 2nd Sovetskaya Street. The company Vek has drawn up plans for a nine-story, 23,000-square-meter building. Halls and special spaces for temporary exhibitions are planned for the first floor. The upper floors will feature workshops and studios for sale, 244 spaces ranging in size from 22 to 129 square meters. The company says they are not meant to serve as dwellings.

RBI received a construction permit for the building in late March of this year. It has already hired a subcontractor, Allure, to dismantle the existing one- and two-story buildings on the site. According to RBI, the former labs were built after 1917 and have no historic value.

A commercial project like this is a new thing for Petersburg. But RBI argues that research shows Petersburgers are ready to purchase several types of real estate: an apartment, a country home, and a space for self-realization or a small office to boot.**

Source: Fontanka.ru, April 25, 2016. Image courtesy of Fontanka.ru. Translated by the Russian Reader

* That is, demolish listed gloriously beautiful eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early twentieth-century buildings and build crap like the “art cluster,” pictured above, in their place. Despite the supposedly “strict” legislation, local developers have been doing plenty of slash-and-burn-style development of this sort in the historic center over the past ten years, as readers of this blog will know.

** According to Petrostat, the average per capita monthly income in Petersburg in February 2014 was 34,129 rubles, when the Russian ruble was still trading at a rate of approximately 35 rubles to the dollar. Today, the ruble was trading at 66 rubles to the dollar, and there is no evidence, in the midst of a severe, prolonged economic crisis, that the average monthly incomes of Petersburgers have risen since February 2014. So who is going to buy those 244 “spaces for self-realization”? Or is some kind of economic miracle planned for the near future?