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Big project for St.Petersburg has begun


Work is underway in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on a massive $1bn commercial and residential development at Vasilievsky Island that will include new cruise and ferry facilities.
Land is being reclaimed to create waterfront real estate for housing, shops, restaurants, a theater, convention center and possibly a casino. A new port channel and basin are being dredged, and seven berths for passenger ships are planned.

A terminal and two berths, of 331 meters and 295 meters, are expected to be ready in 2008, said Shavkat Kary-Niyazov, president of Marine Façade, the developer of the Vasilievsky Island project. The second phase, also planned for 2008, will add a third cruise berth and a mixed-use (cruise and ferry) berth. The third stage, with two cruise berths and another mixed-use berth, is targeted for 2010.

Dredging begun last year is continuing with the goal of moving 10m to 12m cubic meters to create the new port channel and reclaiming 5m cubic meters of new land in 2006, Kary-Niyazov told Seatrade Insider.

Miami-based Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, which created the port master plan for Marine Façade, is now reviewing designs for the first phase of the cruise facilities.

St. Petersburg expects to handle 336,702 passengers on 312 cruise calls in 2006. For 2007, the figures are likely to reach 351,382 passengers on 325 calls.

Kary-Niyazov said approximately 400,000 visitors per year arrive by water transport, including ferries. He cited several studies that project huge potential for growth in land and sea tourism.