yoo’s Moscow City Condominiums Slated for Completion in April 2009

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorMoscow, Russia—yoo, a London-based international branding, design and investment property company, has announced plans for the premier of its Eurasia Tower, a mixed-use tower comprised of 146 condominiums and approximately 360,000 sq. ft. of office space, in April 2009.“The Russian development market is quite unique in the sense that there hasn’t been much development in many years and now there’s a flurry of activity,” John Hitchcox, founder and chairman, yoo, tells MHN.The company’s first project in Russia, the 66-story Eurasia Tower, is part of the approximately $7.5 billion to $10 billion Moscow City International Business Centre, a 189-acre mixed-use project developed in a public-private partnership that will combine residential, commercial and entertainment spaces. Located in the western Presnensky district, Moscow City will include a new metro station, which will connect directly to Moscow’s airports.“I’m very fond of working in emerging markets because they have a need for renewed office and residential stock that has been neglected. I felt that we could bring some value to design, in terms of residential, to the Moscow community,” says Hitchcox, noting that the glass Eurasia Tower “is quite a long way from some of the more traditional Russian design.”In addition to yoo, which is designing the residences and common areas of the tower, the project team is made up of Eurasia IPG, investor; Mos City Group, developer; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, architect; and Bovis Lend Lease. Sherbank of Russia; BTA-Bank; Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate money management and services firm; and Kalinka-Realty also worked on the project, and the Moscow City government is supervising construction.The tower, which will be situated atop a three-tiered podium, will include an entertainment center, restaurants and neighborhood retail. Apartments will comprise the top 19 floors of the tower, and the first 43 floors will be used as office space.Eurasia Tower will offer studios, one-, two- three- and four-bedroom turnkey residences, ranging in size from 1,000 to 5,000 sq. ft. Hitchcox notes the uniqueness of this, explaining that the Russian market does not normally include finished apartments. Amenities will include a fitness center, spa and concierge services.    Despite the downturn in the global economy, Hitchcox remains optimistic that sales at Eurasia Tower will be steady. “Moscow City has been economically thriving for the last decade or so. My suspicion is the stall in the market will end quickly. They’ll have a tough time until the money starts flowing again, but the underlying demand is there,” he says. “If you have a brand and a product that people like, and identify that it has some value and appeal, I think that is going to transfer into something that is more marketable and has value. We are seeing, I think, a greater level of sales on our projects than some of our competitors at the moment.”Construction on Eurasia Tower is slated for completion in 2010.