Moscow’s oldest tram depot leased for $100 million

Tram service in Moscow has been operating for almost 120 years. The first tram was inaugurated on Lesnaya Street in 1899.

Tram service in Moscow has been operating for almost 120 years. The first tram was inaugurated on Lesnaya Street in 1899.

Press photo
The company will have to restore the building

The Miusskoe tram depot on Lesnaya Street has been rented out to investment group Sigma for 49 years. As a condition of the lease, the company will have to restore the building and pay 120 million rubles (over $2 million) each year for its use.

Sigma was the highest bidder at an auction organized by SUE Mosgortrans – a Russian state-owned company operating bus, trolleybus, and tram networks in Moscow – for the right to lease the Miusskoe tram depot. The complex comprises seven buildings and is located on Lesnaya Street close to Mendeleevskaya metro station. Sigma will rent it for 49 years, RBK reports

The company will pay over 120 million rubles ($2.1 million) each year, totalling about 5.91 billion rubles ($102.5 million) over the course of nearly half a century. Pricing information is listed on torgi.gov.ru.

Sigma, owned by Etibar Amirov, is not known for property investments in Moscow so it’s delving into an unfamiliar market. The company, with a statutory fund of 51,000 rubles ($885), was registered on Nov. 16, 2015.The depot covers an area of 17,400 square meters and is considered part of Moscow’s cultural heritage. The complex will be adapted to “modern conditions” but given its historical status, its forbidden to change the number of levels and structure of the building.

A 2016 survey of the depot’s technical condition revealed the façade’s decorative elements to be badly damaged, the loss of bricks from the walls, and the peeling of plaster and paint.

After reconstruction is completed, Sigma is allowed to use the depot at its own discretion, but the terms of the deal prohibits the storage of explosives and fire-hazardous and poisonous substances. "Noisy and environmentally harmful activities" are also forbidden.

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