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What building houses really means. Prospects for low-rise building construction

Today, many companies are mastering a new field of construction work – the building of low-rise complexes. About how much interest and benefit the business, what problems to be overcome in the realization of projects of low-rise buildings, our conversation with the CEO "StroySvet" A.V. Kraschuk.

- Alexander, in your opinion, just how promising is it for construction companies to work in this new sector of the market - low-rise building construction?

- Studies conducted by us showed a developing trend towards cottage construction near St. Petersburg. The demand for houses and for land has long outstripped supply. Large companies increasingly seek to organize high official business outside the borders of the bustling metropolis, while push for acquisition of personal land and housing is equally constant: families’ desire for autonomy and independence encourages them to acquire their own housing as soon as the opportunity arises.

Among the most significant projects presented today are the investment projects and development of reservations in the Pushkin area - namely agricultural land owned by enterprises of the agrarian complex - SPK "Detskoselskiy" SPK "State Farm Lensovetovsky" SPK "Shushary and St. Petersburg State Agricultural University. It is known that the land is expected to be transferred to a different category, in accordance with the town-planning documentation for this district: from the status of agricultural land – to land for urban development. Of course, when these lands become commercially available - investments shall increase sharply, and the number of cottage settlements will grow considerably.

- What are the problems facing the developer, dealing with low-rise building?

   - The players in low-rise construction, indeed the entire construction industry in St. Petersburg as a whole, are experiencing a difficult period. The city is known to be operating a new system of land allocation for development and construction – by the use of auctions. Facing the force of new federal laws, St. Petersburg has adopted a number of normative documents which regulate the activities of members of the construction market. With the adoption of the Federal Law "Participation in Collaborative Construction ," we, the builders, have to develop new schemes of work with consumers. And all this should be solved now, while there is a noticeable decrease in purchasing power.

- Alexander, in your opinion, how should cottage communities be managed?

- Until recently, the most common form of governance in country towns was the use of homeowners' associations. This form of management of cottage villages is still very common, but it has its drawbacks. For example, collegiality in decision-making clearly slows down the execution of work.

A different approach is: at the time of signing the investment agreement with the prospective landlord the developer offers the services of a management company. This is the best option for solving problems with the further exploitation of the housing market.

The emergence of asset management companies in the process of building cottage settlement did not come about by chance. There are several reasons why the developer has to maintain a management company. First, few organizations are able to effectively manage complex engineering structures, while also maintaining working communication. Second, ideally the management company would do more work at the design stage, and take part in the installation of engineering structures. Allowing other management onto the construction site can only hurt your project. The builder can not afford to risk the dissatisfaction of house owners through unprofessional exploitation affecting the quality of construction and of the engineering equipment.

The presence of a management company, which for a reasonable fee takes care of maintenance and content of communications, ground maintenance, security and other services, of course also raises the prestige of the settlement.

And how effective the public services are can be seen in the very first visit to the village: well-kempt lawns, flower plots, paths and sidewalks, clean water, surrounded by trees and bushes - proof that the developer is very much on the right path.

Rose Mikhailova. «Construction and municipal services in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region» №80, September 2005


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