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City Hall to Auction 2 Landmark Buildings for 1 Ruble Rent

Two new heritage-listed residencies will go under the hammer, with City Hall looking for interested investors to cover full restoration costs in exchange for a heavily reduced property lease of 1 ruble per square meter.

The Dec. 16 auction will see two properties — the city residence of merchant Mark Gusev, built at the beginning of the 19th century at 65/74 Bolshaya Polyanka Ulitsa, and the residence of Cherntsova-Vargin-Baranov built in the same period at 14 Pyatnitskaya Ulitsa, Interfax reported, citing City Hall.

During the restoration works, the investors will pay market prices for the lease of the properties, or 72,000 rubles per square meter ($2,300) annually for the Gusev residency and 33,000 rubles per square meter annually for the place on Pyatnitskaya Ulitsa.

Investors will have five years to complete the restoration works, after which the rent will be reduced to 1 ruble per square meter.

The 1 ruble lease program was introduced by the city administration in April, with 20 interested parties bidding for three historical buildings in Moscow, according to the city planning policy department.

Under the program, the winning investors will sign up for a 49-year lease and have five years to restore the building to its original state to take advantage of the heavily reduced lease from year six onward. There are 50 expressions of interest for 244 heritage listed buildings in critical condition, Kommersant reported April 26.

The program is based on the 1 euro principle used to attract private investors to restore heritage-listed properties around the world.

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