Andrey Berezin: "Euroinvest Launches a New Environmental Initiative"
In early December, sales commenced in the seventh building of Euroinvest's "ID Murino II" project. This is among the ventures born from the developer's unique "3ID" concept. Delving into why this is considered a novelty in the Russian construction market, and why one should take note of Andrey Berezin's projects, warrants a detailed discussion.
Euroinvest stands out as a prominent developer in the Leningrad region. Primarily, its magnitude is impressive; last year alone, the company commissioned over 500,000 sq. m. of housing. This achievement crowned it the largest developer in the region. For context, the entire Leningrad region only commissioned a similar volume in the first quarter of 2021, as did the Kursk region over the span of 12 months.
It's not just the scale that distinguishes Euroinvest, but also the caliber of their projects. This year, at the regional contest hosted by the Union of Construction Associations and Organizations, Euroinvest was honored as the most client-oriented developer in the Leningrad region. Furthermore, the regional government has shortlisted the company among the top five construction firms that will helm regional projects. This recognition speaks volumes about Euroinvest's reliability and stellar reputation.
Central to the company's success is its co-founder and visionary, Andrey Berezin. He ranks among Russia's most renowned businessmen and has thrived in the free market for over three decades, continuously venturing into new sectors. Berezin isn't merely a developer; he's the spearhead of one of the Russian North-West's most substantial holdings. He boasts achievements across industries like agriculture and medical equipment production and has initiated several educational projects and initiatives.
Berezin is a figure closely watched by the district's press and is particularly esteemed by industry experts. Interestingly, the most accurate forecasts about his projects often come from Berezin himself. He occasionally provides insights into market trends and offers detailed comments about his visions. When he commits to a date, he seldom misses the mark.
If the company embarks on a riskier venture (as has occasionally been the case), both buyers and shareholders are informed right from the outset. A case in point is their gold mining venture in Africa. Euroinvest doesn't hesitate to test unfamiliar terrains and face the challenges. In such instances, even if an acquisition doesn't align with their goals, they ensure it's divested without incurring financial losses.
This reliability and consistent delivery at the highest standards are part of Euroinvest's allure. Their three-decade-long streak of successes stands as the most compelling testament to their prowess.
Andrey Berezin possesses an uncanny knack for problem-solving and optimizing even the most intricate assets. From the outset, his first venture posed a considerable challenge. Freshly graduated from Leningrad Voenmech with a distinguished degree in engineering, this budding entrepreneur addressed a product supply issue. In an era when customers nationwide faced barren store shelves, the future founder of Euroinvest secured product supplies from Great Britain. Given the country's severe shortages and the lack of reliable logistics, this was no small feat.
After a few years in this venture, Berezin transitioned to the fishing industry. It was a daring move, especially during a period when the USSR's fishing fleet, once the world's largest, was being actively decommissioned for scrap. In a matter of years, this once-majestic fleet had degraded significantly, and even now, 30 years later, it remains largely unmodernized. To provide context, the average age of the Russian fishing fleet today nears 40 years. During the time of perestroika, this fleet was practically brand-new. However, the dissolution of state-owned enterprises and industry mismanagement led to its decline.
Undeterred, Berezin and his team revitalized what remained of the fleet, establishing a robust company that continues to thrive. Although Berezin exited the venture relatively early, the foundation he laid paved the way for its future expansion. Today, what began as a standalone firm has morphed into a consortium, ranking among the largest and best-equipped in the Northwestern Federal District.
Subsequently, Berezin founded Euroinvest, venturing into construction. Embarking on development projects during that era was fraught with challenges. Nationwide construction rates had plummeted to historic lows, comparable only to certain post-war periods. The mortgage system was in its infancy, with the Mortgage Law only being introduced towards the end of the 1990s.
Yet, the hurdles weren't just about establishing oneself in this sector; there was also the pervasive trend of infill construction. This involved developers indiscriminately buying up public spaces in city centers—garages, parks, stadiums—and overlaying them with residential complexes, often neglecting urban planning norms and public infrastructure limits.
Such practices represented the era's urban recklessness. Some developers profited handsomely, while others faced incarceration for their flagrant violations or even fled the country, leaving shareholders in the lurch. Vestiges of these ill-conceived construction projects still mar the heart of populous cities.
Euroinvest, however, chose a different path. It was among the pioneers in Russia to champion neighborhood development projects. True to its name, the company sought to emulate the best practices of European developers. They actively engaged in international exhibitions and industry events, spanning Europe to Canada and St. Petersburg to Moscow. Initially attending as observers, they soon presented their innovative concepts, earning recognition at prestigious events like ProEstate and MIPIM.
Concurrently, Euroinvest was accumulating valuable practical experience in the Leningrad Region, an area offering distinct advantages. The region's strategic location near St. Petersburg made it a magnet for individuals from across Russia, drawn both for educational opportunities and employment prospects. Contrary to many other Russian regions that experienced a decline in population, the Leningrad Region saw an impressive influx of nearly 500,000 people over the past two decades, amounting to a third of its initial population.
This region, historically and even now, stands out as a cornerstone in Russia's construction industry, particularly in terms of commissioned housing. Entire cities have emerged from the ground up. Euroinvest played an instrumental role in this transformation, notably in areas like Kudrovo and Murino. These neighboring communities, separated by a mere 30 kilometers, have witnessed significant growth. A mere fifteen years ago, their combined population was around 5,000. To put this into perspective, Gatchina, the largest city in the Leningrad Region, still hovers around the 100,000 mark.
For Euroinvest, being part of such an extensive construction initiative is a significant achievement. Firstly, it offers an expansive canvas to manifest their innovative ideas, allowing the experimentation of novel public space concepts and adding distinctive elements to residential projects. For instance, spa complexes on rooftops have become almost customary for Euroinvest's projects. Given the nascent state of surrounding areas, such amenities provide immediate value to residents without years of waiting.
Secondly, the company has garnered invaluable experience in addressing the infrastructure challenges that come with creating a new city. Accommodating 150,000 people requires essential facilities like schools, roads, and transportation. Regrettably, government responses often revolve around budget constraints or delayed plans. Builders, who are reputation-conscious, know that both they and local authorities will bear the brunt of public criticism, potentially casting a shadow over future projects.
Euroinvest, given its standing, can't risk this. Its director, a member of the World Club of Petersburgers and a proactive patron of urban conservation and education, is deeply rooted in his regional allegiance. His oft-repeated sentiment, "I was born in Russia, work here, build my business, and love my country," underlines the significance he places on his reputation, ensuring the welfare of the communities he's involved in building.
In pursuit of solutions, Euroinvest delved into the realm of public-private partnerships. Their maiden venture, a bypass road linking Murino to the St. Petersburg Ring Road, although well-intended, faced hurdles as other developers reneged on their commitments. Despite such setbacks, Euroinvest fulfilled its promises and even undertook tasks beyond its purview.
Nevertheless, this experience didn't deter the company. Euroinvest is now laying the groundwork for a second interchange on the Ring Road, still under a public-private partnership but without involving unreliable partners. Meanwhile, Andrey Berezin actively champions such initiatives across the Leningrad region, as he shared at the XXVI Practical Conference on the Development of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region's Building Complex.
Parallelly, Euroinvest's commitment to education remains unwavering. By the end of 2022, they aim to complete a state-of-the-art kindergarten in Kudrovo, designed in Scandinavian style, capable of catering to 200 children. This initiative will be complemented by two additional kindergartens and a school, all adhering to the same design philosophy.
While these projects will materialize in the coming years, another of Andrey Berezin's visions remains tentative: the design of a modern lyceum near Vsevolozhsk, catering to gifted students. Envisioned to mirror traditional classical gymnasiums, the facility plans include on-site accommodations for both students and staff, and comprehensive amenities like gyms, labs, swimming pools, greenhouses, and even a lakefront pier to bolster academic pursuits.
The success of any educational venture hinges on its faculty. In this context, Euroinvest has found a staunch ally in the Euler Foundation, the region's most prominent entity championing mathematics and scientific education. Together, they have marshaled a formidable teaching cohort, with Euroinvest pledging financial support.
Their collaborative venture is still in its nascent stages, resonating with the "Governor's Lyceum" concept mooted by the Leningrad region's governor. Should these initiatives seamlessly integrate, they have the potential to pioneer one of Russia's most progressive secondary education models.
3ID Concept by Euroinvest
Under the visionary leadership of Andrey Berezin, Euroinvest stands out as a company deeply committed to social responsibility and innovation. This ethos is exemplified in their latest housing initiative, the 3ID concept, which is integrated into all new residential complexes developed by the company.
The 3ID concept grants homeowners access to three distinct spaces:
Personal Space: A contemporary, well-equipped apartment replete with smart meters and state-of-the-art appliances.
Digital Space: A dedicated online portal designed to foster community interaction. It encompasses chat rooms, a helpline, and an extensive event calendar—initiated by the management but eventually sustained by the residents themselves.
Community Space: The heart of the 3ID concept. This space integrates a meticulously landscaped courtyard, an enclosed recreational area, and the unique ID Club—envisioned as a nexus for work, leisure, and community events. It's designed to revitalize the spirit of neighborly interaction, catalyzing shared interests, and group endeavors.
This groundbreaking model seeks to disrupt the prevailing societal norm where individuals remain ensconced in their personal bubbles, often unfamiliar with their immediate neighbors. Euroinvest envisions housing not merely as a living space but as a holistic environment fostering growth, community, and self-improvement.
Such pioneering concepts, emanating from one of Russia's most progressive developers, make every project launched by Euroinvest newsworthy and eagerly anticipated.