Heritage Council Rejects Malaya Sadovaya Stalls

Heritage Council Rejects Malaya Sadovaya Stalls

Published: October 10, 2012 (Issue # 1730)

The council for the protection of cultural heritage has spoken out against restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin’s proposal to set up retail stalls in the city center.

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s company submitted an application to set up retail stalls on Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa back in the spring.

“We consulted specialists from the Committee for State Control, Use, and Protection of Historical Monuments [KGIOP] and decided the proposed plan is unfeasible,” explained Yury Mityurev, the city’s chief architect, at a meeting of heads of the Town Planning and Architecture Committee.

“The investor, however, is very assertive: He appealed to the authorities, and we were asked to consider the issue at a council meeting.”

The blueprint for the project, which would see the appearance of the stalls along the entire length of the pedestrianized street, was revealed at Thursday’s meeting. The stalls would be positioned in the center of the street.

Prigozhin’s Concord group comprises nine restaurants in St. Petersburg and Moscow, a chain of chocolate stores under the name Chocolate Museum, two food production facilities and a catering company. In 2009 the group opened a restaurant in the White House in Moscow. Prigozhin’s company was also responsible for renovating and reopening the historical Yeliseyevsky store on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa earlier this year.

Prigozhin was not present at the meeting, at which the council unanimously rejected his proposal.

“The street’s center point must be preserved; it is a unified ensemble, and the open space should not be closed off, not to mention the fact that there are already a number of shops in that area,” said the architects.

Former KGIOP chairwoman Vera Dementyeva recommended that the street be cleared of minor business operations altogether. Her view was supported by a number of architects. The chairman of the Committee for Economic Development agreed that it was inappropriate to set up retail stalls near cultural and national heritage sites.

Prigozhin declined to comment on Thursday’s decision. The city governor will be informed of the council’s decision, said Alexander Makarov, head of KGIOP.

A representative of the Kroshka Kartoshka baked potato café-chain supported the council’s initiative. The pedestrian zone should be wide enough to allow people to move along the street unhindered, said Eduard Mezentsev, the chain’s deputy regional marketing director.

Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa is already home to a number of outdoor cafes that are included in City Hall’s approved street plan. Coffeshop Company has opened a summer terrace there for the past three years, said Alexei Fyodorov, the operational director of Kofe Set, the brand’s master-franchise in Russia. He said that the footfall of customers in the coffee shop would quadruple in the summer. He added that obtaining permission from the city authorities to open a summer terrace usually takes about two years.

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