Abramovich Won New Holland Tender
In November, 2010, Roman Abramovich’s Millhouse company won the right to invest 12 billion rubles in construction on New Holland island.
The committee in charge of the tender to redevelop the island, situated in the center of the city, opened the envelope containing applications for the reconstruction of the island. Applications were submitted by two companies: Novaya Gollandiya Development (NGD) and Meridian.
NGD, which is affiliated to oligarch Abramovich’s Millhouse private investment company, offered to invest more than 12 billion rubles ($388 million)
The city has been trying to decide the fate of the historic site since 2006, when Lord Foster’s project was canceled.
Abramovich is reportedly the 50th investor to want to renovate the towering galleries and arches of New Holland. Formerly owned by the Admiralty and housing tsarist fleet sailors, the site is a forbidding, derelict spectacle today that some believed to be cursed after one project after another came unstuck, and a deputy governor tasked with the scheme died in a train crash.
New Holland is artificial island built in 1721 by Peter the Great as Russia’s first military port, New Holland has always been a symbol of St Petersburg, especially because of its majestic 23-meter arch designed by the French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe. From that arch, vessels could slip along canals to the Neva river, and from there to the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea.
In the 1730s, warehouses were built for the drying and storing of timber for building ships. More recently, those warehouses belonged to the Leningrad Military and Sea Base. Off-limits to the public in Soviet times, the territory was handed over to the city of St Petersburg only in 2004.