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A RUB40 billion (€533.98 million) contract for construction in the judicial quarter of St Petersburg, Russia, has been awarded to Yevgeny Prigogine, a Russian billionaire who is reportedly close to country’s President, Vladimir Putin.

The project involves building residences of the Russian Supreme and Arbitration Courts, according to recent statements of representatives of the businessman.

The new quarter will be located in the historic centre of St Petersburg, on the banks of the Neva river, next to the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island and the Peter & Paul Fortress. The total area will be more than 10ha.

It is expected that Prigogine will attract leading construction companies both from Russia and abroad for the building of the quarter.

In addition to court buildings, under the terms of the contract, the businessman will, through his Concord Management & Consulting subsidiary, be responsible for the building of a new residential complex.

The plan is for 600 apartments for judges within the quarter, as well as the Palace of Dances, which will be managed by a well-known Russian choreographer Boris Eifman.

Construction works will start in the second quarter of 2019.

Prigogine came to construction from the restaurant business. Several years ago, Concord Management & Consulting received several contracts for the reconstruction of some historical buildings in St Petersburg, but the majority of these projects are said not to have been implemented.

In the meantime, the latest project may come up against ecological difficulties.

According to an official spokesman of the St Petersburg regional government, the new complex will be built on a former site of the Russian State Institute of Applied Chemistry, which is known for its large volumes of chemical waste.

The new Judicial Quarter is scheduled for commissioning by 2021.

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