In the Moscow Region, Mytischi (228,400 m2), Khimki (172,000 m2), Pushkino (153,400 m2), Podolsk (131,900 m2) and Odintsovo (107,800 m2) lead in terms of the number of frozen projects. At the same time, the availability of retail space is at historic low in Pushkino and Podolsk, which indicates that projects in these cities have the greatest potential. Accounting for the shopping mall projects already under construction in these cities, the potential of these markets will not be exhausted even if these projects are completed.

Top five cities with the most frozen construction of retail space

City in Moscow Region

Frozen retail space (under construction and planned), GLA m2

Availability of retail space, m2

Mytischi

228 400

1 400

Khimki

172 000

1 259

Pushkino

153 400

0

Podolsk

131 900

72

Odintsovo

107 800

1 027

In general, the main reasons for delayed or frozen construction were the 2008 and 2014 crises, which significantly impacted the financial standing of developers and the real estate market in general. Additional financial problems arose in 2014 due to a sharp decline in demand for retail space – many of the newly opened shopping malls had extremely low occupancy. This is one reason why developers postponed construction of new projects.

Among the major “freezes” was the Abramtsevo mall, which was to be built on the site of a former construction materials market in eastern Moscow. Developer Krona-Market announced  construction in 2007 and scheduled the mall's opening for two years thereafter, but the 2008 crisis scuttled the plans. Krona-Market, which had a building permit, put the site on the market in 2013, and considered Renaissance Development as a potential buyer. The site has been fenced and cleared for construction, but no building work has been observed, and  it is doubtful that the project will be implemented.

Sluggish construction is observed on Aminyevskoye Shosse on the site of a long-delayed water park that ended up being demolished in 2014. A multi-functional complex with a total area of 134,000 m2 is currently planned at the site. While a foundation pit has been dug, a schedule for implementation of the project has yet to be determined.

One of the most well-known delayed construction projects in Moscow is the mall on Paveletskaya Square. Construction of the facility began in 2002. Eurasia Investment and Industrial Group bought the project in 2007, and planned to build a 120,000 m2 mall, but managed to build only 7,365 m2. Construction was frozen in 2008 because of the crisis, and the owners' difficulties at the time prevented the plans from being implemented. In 2013, the Moscow city authorities terminated the investment contract with the developer and Eurasia settled with their contractors. As a result, in early 2017, current owner Ledzhi has been issued the previously withdrawn rights to lease a land plot on which the unfinished building is located, and plans to complete the construction of the mall.

The largest active construction projects on the Moscow market are the RIO Mytischi mall on Yaroslavskoye Shosse (GLA 144,000 m2), the Vegas Kuntsevo mall on the Moscow Ring Road (GLA 119,500 m2), the Salaris mall on Kievskoye Shosse (105,000 m2), the Kashirskaya Plaza mall on Kashirskoye Shosse (GLA 71,000 sq. m2) and the Ostrov Mechty multi-functional complex in Nagatino (GLA of the retail space 60,000 m2). 

The largest mall projects in Moscow and the Moscow region are the Sky Mall and Vegas mall, both on Kievskoye Shosse, the mall at the Cherkizovskaya commercial and industrial complex, the mall part of the Tushino 2018 project, the Mega Mytischi shopping mall (the plans for the implementation of which are, however, in question). There are also plans to expand retail space at the Otrada and Mega Khimki malls.

Dina Postolenko, executive director, Retail Property Department, Colliers International Russia: “In highly saturated cities like Mytischi, Khimki and Odintsovo, it is highly likely that frozen objects will remain unrealised due to an extremely competitive environment and current construction projects that are in the active stage. Only local projects within large residential areas will be in demand.”