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Goodbye Soviet 'Moskva' Department Store, Hello Mall

The Moskva department store, located on Leninsky Prospekt southwest of the city center, first opened in 1963.

Construction company Praktika Development plans to demolish one of the Soviet Union's first department stores, "Moskva," to build a shopping center, news agency RBC reported.

"We plan to start construction of the new mall in 2-3 years, when the economic situation stabilizes. Investment in the project is estimated to be at least $60 million," Praktika Development CEO Bulat Shakirov told RBC last week.

Russia's economy is predicted to shrink by up to 5 percent this year on the back of low oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

The Moskva department store, located on Leninsky Prospekt southwest of the city center, first opened in 1963. At around 23,000 square meters, the store was until the early 2000s the city's third-largest department store after the more famous GUM and TsUM buildings near the walls of the Kremlin in central Moscow.

The mall that will take its place will have underground parking but will retain at least some of the historic character of the building it replaces, according to the developer.

"During construction of the mall, we will preserve the historic atmosphere of the department store. It's possible that there will be a museum [to the Moskva department store]," Shakirov said.

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