Investment "Prihvatizatsiya" by Sergei Matvienko. Part 1
Sergei Matvienko reaps the fruits of Valentina Matvienko’s work in St. Petersburg: plots of land and non-residential premises leased ten years ago to his commercial companies go to private ownership one by one. Governor Georgy Poltavchenko did not even try to save city facilities from planned seizure: on the contrary, he sold them for pennies. It seems that St. Petersburg lost real estate worth 8.4 billion rubles, and they will have to forget about newly promised hotels.
The son of Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko received land plots and buildings from the assets of St. Petersburg. Their market value is about 8.4 billion rubles.
All the mentioned real estate items were transferred to Sergei Matvienko at the time when his mother was the governor of St. Petersburg. Land and real estate was given to the structures of the son of the Speaker of the Council of Federation for his investment projects.
New head of the city Georgy Poltavchenko did not oppose the seizure of assets. The City Administration contributed to the transactions: for example, for the sake of selling one site, it erased a pond from the documents.
Russiangate found nine resolutions of the ex-governor of St. Petersburg, and now the Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko, thanks to whom private companies have leased city property. Most of them were supposed to be used for developing hotel complexes. All these orders by the governor have one thing in common: the chosen investors were the commercial structures associated with Valentina Matvienko's son Sergei.
After ten years, all the items suffered the same fate – the investors became owners of the urban real estate. They took advantage of the priority right to buy out the plots: if the investor's capital structure is on the ground, then, it can be taken away for a penny. And it does not matter that the area of buildings is hundreds of times smaller than the area of plots or houses are monuments of architecture. Officials and businessmen did not care that in most resolutions there was a direct ban on the alienation of assets of St. Petersburg.
For the sake of one of the allotments, the current administration of the city threw out the mansion from the register of cultural heritage sites, and for another – the pond was erased. According to estimates, only cadastral value of the real estate, the owner of which was changed according to this scheme, is estimated at 1.7 billion rubles. The market value, according to the modest estimate of the editorial board, may be about 8.4 billion rubles.
AT THE WARM BEACH
On November 1, 2017, a man, whose initials coincide with the initials of the billionaire son of Federation Council Speaker Sergei Matvienko, got a plot of land in the village of Solnechnoye near Sestroretsk in the Leningrad Region. Down the Laskovy Plyazh (Warm Beach) Charles de Gaulle once walked, and at the local theater staged Maxim Gorky's play Children of the Sun. A dacha in a grove, next to the Gulf of Finland – is it not a dream for a resident of the northern capital, who has money?
It takes less than five minutes on foot to get from the 2nd Borovaya Street, where Sergei Matvienko’s land plot of is located, to the beach. This land (14.07 hectares), according to the documents, is estimated at 530 million rubles and is meant for house dachas development.
In fact, Sergei Matvienko got hold of this plot a little earlier – in March 21, 2017. As follows from the Rosreestr extract, on that day, CJSC Versiya sold him an item with another cadastral number – its location coincides with the site, which now belongs to the son of the Chairman of the Council of Federation. There are only two differences: its area is slightly smaller and it’s slightly cheaper – by 1.7 million rubles.
On the same day – on March 21 – Sergei Matvienko purchased another land plot – 0.79 hectares next to the first purchase. It is also meant for house dachas and previously belonged to the Versiya. Its cadastral value is 29.7 million rubles
Not far from it, right on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, there is another plot of 5.3 hectares.
The coincidences are still the same – it is possible to build dachas on it, CJSC Versiya owned it. The cost is 201.3 million rubles.
Until April 5, 2016, these three sites were one – its area was 20.1 hectares, it belonged to CJSC Versiya (TIN of the company is similar in all the cases). The cost of this allotment was 666 million rubles (now the cost of three plots is 761 million rubles). The main difference is the official designation of the land: earlier, it was possible to build hotels on it, not dachas.
And indeed: on one of the plots, there is a hotel (1237 sq. m.). Thanks to it, the company Versiya managed to transfer the land to the son of the speaker of the Federation Council.
In 2007, Governor Valentina Matvienko and her subordinate vice-governor Alexander Vakhmistrov assumed that a “low-rise hotel and recreation complex” of two or three floors would appear in Solnechny. For these purposes, they rented Versiya the city for 29 years.
At that time, CJSC Versiya belonged to Sergei Matvienko. However, even now it is probably connected with the billionaire and the son of the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament: in the USRLE, the founder of the company is MST-Holding, associated with Matvienko. According to other sources, the owner of the company was replaced – it is owned by the North-West Financial Company (NWFP). The structure of the shareholders is looped: NWPC owns the Institute for the Coordination of Innovative Development, which in its turn established the NWFP. Such schemes are often used to hide the true beneficiary.
So, in 2007, the company planned to build a hotel in the Japanese style. Everything for the rest of the townspeople: 24 rooms, 25 VIP cottages and a SPA-center. Soon, the problems began: the company had to pay 143 million rubles to the city treasury for several quarters, but somehow forgot about it. The term of the investment contract was extended anyway – up to 49 years.
There is also an agreement for the pond that was on a huge plot: since the pond is a city property, in 2011, Versiya signed a lease agreement. The pond was rented until 2059.
In 2015, the movement called Open Coast took down the fence, which allowed ordinary mortals to the water, wrote Novaya Gazeta. Access to the pond was blocked again, as it follows from satellite images on Google Earth: all four sections are surrounded a single concrete fence.
However, now the defenders of the Gulf of Finland are powerless. Smolny's officials threw the pond out of the register of water objects, “as he began to feed on sediments,” the journalists of the Kanoner newspaper found. In September 2015, authorities claimed that it could dry up, as the territory under the pond was formally listed as land. However, in the Regional Information System (RGIS) and Rosreestr, the object is present – as in reality.
So how did the site on the shore of the Gulf of Finland become the property of the billionaire? The documents of arbitration cases tell us: Versiya built a mansion by 2011, and decided to obtain the right to purchase the whole land from the city. As follows from the case file, the company wanted to purchase 20.1 hectares for 10% of the cost, that is, for 66.6 million rubles.
The Committee for Property Relations of St. Petersburg (KIO) has long resisted. Some courts recognized a refusal to buy out, others returned the case for a new trial. But in June 2015, Versiya suddenly abandoned the claims, and September 21, 2015, was already a full owner of the desired plot of 20.1 hectares on the 2nd Borovaya Street. At the time of the acquisition of land, KIO was headed by Julia Ludinova, and her work was supervised by Vice Governor Mikhail Mokretsov.
On what terms Sergei Matvienko bought the two neighboring sites later is unknown. At the end of 2016, Versiya reported revenue of 101 million rubles.
Assuming that the rent did not change, Versiya paid about 500 million rubles to the treasury, plus 66 million rubles for the purchase of the land. It was an advantageous acquisition: the market value of the three newly formed plots may amount to 2 billion rubles based on the price per square meter in the area. On the website of the Property Fund of St. Petersburg, Russiangate did not find a resolution on privatization.
The city residents witnessed a cunningly implemented scheme. First, the relatives of the former governor rented the real estate item, then, the authorities broke it into four pieces for some unknown reasons. Three of them were mysteriously transferred to Sergei Matvienko and CJSC Versiya.
It looks like no investment conditions are now needed to be met. Dreams about the “hotel and recreation complex” in the Japanese style are not destined to come true – and maybe they even were not at all. Now on this land, the owners can safely build houses.
THE GREAT ALLEY
The two-story mansion of the Swiss citizen Follenweider on Kamenny Island in St. Petersburg was built in 1904 by the design of Robert-Friedrich Meltzer – an architect who worked on royal orders. Northern Art Nouveau, neo-Gothic – the interior of the mansion is partially preserved, including ornamental molding, marble fireplaces with mirrors, stoves and stained glass.
In October 2009, Valentina Matvienko rented the historic mansion to Business-Invest LLC. The ex-governor believed that there would be a hotel there. The lease agreement was supposed to active “for the period of carrying out works on adaptation for the modern use.” The plans included a five-star hotel with 30 rooms, a restaurant and a SPA center.
The land (0.5 hectares) on the Great Alley was rented to entrepreneurs at a discount of more than 100 million rubles, say sources of Russiangate. The market value of the facility was 209.6 million rubles in 2000. The mansion was rented out for 109.4 million rubles. Additionally, the investor had to spend at least 19.9 million rubles for the restoration of the monument of architecture.
But instead of a hotel, a double fence and a checkpoint was built there. The entrance for ordinary city residents and guests is closed – the mansion “sailed away” into private hands.
In 2012, the plot under the mansion (0.5 ha) was divided into two. The plot of 1154 sq. m. is still rented by Business-Invest. In March 2015, the city authorities renegotiated the lease: the company can use the territory until 2020.
The second part of the plot (3895 sq. m.) was transferred to the ownership of Business-Invest in March 2015. The market value of the plot can be about 600-700 million rubles.
The mansion of Follenweider has actually been transferred into private hands even earlier. On July 29, 2011, Business-Invest got a non-residential building of 1383 sq. m. In Rosreestr, it is indicated that the four-story building was commissioned in 1916, as well as the mansion of Follenweider. In it, two premises with an area of 92.8 and 1291.1 sq. m. are registered. In addition, the premises coincide in their location.
The Fallenweider mansion is considered an object of cultural heritage of regional importance, according to the website of the Committee for State Control, Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Government of St. Petersburg. The market value of the house can exceed 550 million rubles.
So who are these lucky owners of the company Business-Invest? It seems that its owners are well acquainted with Valentina Matvienko and her son: since December 2015, Alexander Zaitsev, the full namesake of Sergei Matvienko’s father-in-law, has been the owner of the company.
Thus, the urban real estate with a market value of 1.3 billion rubles went to the father-in-law of the billionaire and son of the Federation Council Speaker.
During the transfer of land, Ludinova and Mokretsov were responsible for the urban property. The mansion fell into the hands of the private company under Valentina Matvienko. Then, Dmitry Kurakin and the vice-governor Roman Filimonov supervised the city property.
Yulia Matvienko, the billionaire’s wife, could not resist and showed off the apartment on her Instagram. She has dozens of photos both in the apartment, reminiscent of the style of the Follenweider mansion, and nearby. On the photo, there is a fence, bench, path and a water object, which are located on the territory that most recently belonged to all Petersburgers.
Russiangate did not find the new investment agreement with entrepreneurs, which would explain how 1154 sq. m. of the will be used, on the city government's website. As well as what is now the ex-investor required to do on the territory of 3895 sq. m. and a mansion on it, which has lost its value for officials from the Smolny. On the website of the Property Fund of St. Petersburg, the deal was not published.
How did it happen that the company does not carry out the investment project, but gets a historic mansion in its property? Why Smolny gave the object of cultural heritage so easily? These questions should be answered by the employees of the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General's Office.
A similar story occurred with another building on the Great Alley in St. Petersburg. In November 2006, Valentina Matvienko rented another land plot on the Great Alley, 6a to her son’s company – Megastroy LLC. In the resolution of the former governor, it is said that the investor was supposed to adapt the residential house of V.S. Likhareva to a hotel complex.
The budget was supposed to receive 18.7 million rubles, plus 4.9 million rubles to spend on the reconstruction. At first, the lease period was 22 months, but soon it was extended to 49 years.
On March 7, 2008, Megastroy became the owner of a two-story building of 1299 sq. m. built in 1917. The cadastral value of the real estate item is estimated at 72.7 million rubles, as indicated in Rosreestr.
On June 22, 2010, the same company took possession of the land under the house. Its area is 1537 sq. m., and cadastral value is more than 70 million rubles. The item is intended for multi-apartment buildings. The market value of the house and land can reach 600-700 million rubles.
The company Megastroy has only founder – Sergei Matvienko.
All the persons mentioned in the given article refused to comment on the real estate transactions.