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« Withnail and Corum (Telegraph UK) | Main | Destruction of Abkhazia's National Library and Archives by Georgian Forces »
Tuesday
Feb092010

Visit to Costa Rusa 

Saturday, February 6, 2010, I visited the residential and resort development project, Costa Rusa.  The project sits on the Rusian Black Sea coast about 30 kilometers north of Tuapse.

That night I stayed at the Green Apple Hotel on the grounds of Costa Rusa.  The rooms were very comfortable , with attractive decoration and furniture and featured amenities like big screen televisions and internet access. The staff was very friendly and helpful.  I ate dinner at the restaurant just down the hill from the hotel and was pleased with the food and again impressed by the staff.  Later that evening, Mikhail Andreev my host and the CEO of the development, his wife Olga, Roman Levitskiy, President of Ruport Advertising in Krasnodar and his son and I had a Russian sauna experience.  Afterwards, Mr. Andreev and his wife invited Roman and I for drinks at a nautically themed bar on the resort grounds. The bar faced the sea and had a great view of the tcoastline to the south.  

Outside of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, service is rarely to Western standards in Russia, but clearly the staff has been well-trained at Costa Rusa.  I felt that it was the best of any place I have been to on Russia's Black Sea coastline.  They were uniformly pleasant, helpful and friendly; I would not hesitate to recommend a stay there.  

Sunday, I walked the grounds of the development.  There are about 70 beachfront hectares under lease by the development group.  The forested property slopes from modest elevation down to the sea.  Mr. Andreev showed me the development plans.  The idea is to build upscale housing for about 15,000 residents.  The project is bifurcated into two developments.  The larger portion will include a castle and central residential district with apartments and shopping built in the architectural style of a city of Central Europe.  At distances further from the center, there will be large single family homes.  At the northwest end of the project the other development is mixed use with high-end residential condominiums, a hotel and shopping.  In the sea in front of each development will be a marina for yachts and sailboats. The project is impressive and very ambitious.  I have seen nothing that will rival it in the region. 

I think that building the infrastructure and a planned community makes a lot of sense. Most of the development in this part of Russia occurs in a haphazard way.  Most homes are not built to take advantage of the views and the floor plans are not optimal.  Typically infrastructure is rudimentary and often left to the home owner.  Also, there is not a consistent architectural pattern to construction, so there can be tremendous range in the size, quality and appearance of residences.  Since the Russian Black Sea coastline is both short and very valuable, more attention should be paid to this.  At Costa Rusa, all infrastructure is included in the planning. For several years, I have been talking about the need for this in the Black Sea market.

I am typically not a fan of themed residential development.  I prefer either a development with a series of complimentary styles or at the least architectural parameters that homeowners and merchant builders must satisfy.  This way there standards are kept without excessive homogeneity in design.  Themed developments run the risk of looking dated or simply not being appealing to buyers if the design misses the mark,  Costa Rusa, though, is very attractive to me because the architectural style ls similar to the center of Prague orto Cracow. These cities are popular and should be appealing in the Russian market. It has a town feel; there is no sense of identical tract homes and strip centers.  The other development at Costa Rusa is a large modern resort with windows and architecture designed to take advantage of the seaviews. Both projects are to have high construction standards and modern interior design and European appliances.

My principal concern about the design is the two marinas that are planned.  I don't know the potential demand for the slips in Russia. How many potential boat owners are in the market?  The market may be there when the economy returns to a more sound footing, or perhaps the developers have gauged that it will happen with time, since there are few places in Russia with facilities.

Right now they are at a standstill with construction.  Like other places, the credit crisis and economic recession has impacted Russian development.  A lot of projects have been stopped or shelved in Moscow,in cities like Krasnodar and on the Black Sea.  Costa Rusa is in the same position and the development team is trying to work out a plan to proceed.  Hopefully they will be able to secure the financing to move forward with their project.  There is clearly a need for well-planned and constructed residential development in this part of Russia. Russia has about 140 million people and the Black Sea has the appeal of Florida or California for most of them. The coastline is only about 400 kilometers long and there is no competition in Russia for its mild climate and waters. There is a lot of room for growth in the region.

References (2)

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  • Response
    Response: Pierre Kimber
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Costa Rusa is probably one of the best places in this world are well known by every person. I use to go there for every vacation that I am having during the period of my work for business.

Reader Comments (2)

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