St. Petersburg Officials Drop Zenit Stadium Developer, Put Out Call For Replacement
St. Petersburg officials have canceled a contract with Transstroy, the developer for the $1.1B Zenit Arena football stadium, and are putting out a call for developers. “The annulment of the contract is a technical measure, aimed at ensuring uninterrupted construction of the stadium,” a spokesperson for the city’s construction committee told SBD Global. “We’re annulling the contract not because we are unsatisfied with the developer’s performance but because due to substantial changes to the projects over the last few years, the city made a decision about holding a new tender,” she said. A tender for a 12B ruble ($375.8M) contract will open around Oct. 1, and the winner will be announced in the second half of November. Both local and foreign companies can participate in the tender.
WORK WILL GO ON: City Hall insists the replacement of the developer will not have a negative impact on the work schedule or the project’s budget. Earlier, city officials said that the total cost of the project is to be 34.9B rubles ($1.1B), and the stadium, which is to host 2018 World Cup matches, is to be inaugurated in '16. The construction of Zenit Arena began in '06, but the project was revised and the capacity raised by 5,000 seats to 70,000 when Russia put the arena on its application to host the World Cup. The new stadium is being erected on the site of FC Zenit’s former home arena, Kirov stadium, built in the '50s and demolished in the mid-2000s. The construction stirred controversy when the cost of the project went up drastically from the initial 6.7B rubles ($202M). Allegations about corruption and embezzlement were made but no proof was ever found.
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.