Did you know that Moscow has skyscrapers? There is a plot of land located near the city downtown area that will remind you of other similar places in Paris (Defense district) or London. Moscow international business center is the main commercial district of the Russian capital located on Presnenskaya embankment just minutes away from the White House government building.
This district is also called Moscow City that everyone knows for its tall buildings. The idea behind this major project was to build the symbol of new Russia. The state government wanted to establish Moscow as one of the global financial centers and demonstrate it the world.
They planned to complete the construction in 2007, but the timeline has shifted to 2018. Initially Moscow government wanted to build 22 skyscrapers and a number of state administration buildings. These plans have changed due to the economic conditions. Today Moscow City includes 15 buildings with the total number of 20,000 parking lots and about 130 restaurants and cafes. Moscow city towers are visited by almost 200,000 people every year.
Moscow City Skyscrapers
70% of the space at the Moscow international business center district is used by offices. 20% of the space is taken by residential real estate and 10% used by commercial tenants. Some of the well-known office tenants include KPMG, BASF, IBM, Zara, General Motors, Hyundai, Japan Tobacco International and many others.
Here is the list of the main buildings and constructions that they have managed to build so far: (from tallest to the shortest):
Moscow Federation Tower
Moscow Federation Tower is actually the tallest building in Europe and Russia. It is 374 meters tall and has 95 floors. There is a restaurant called Sixty located on the 60 floor that has some of the greatest views of Moscow.
OKO Towers contain both residential and commercial space. One of the towers is 352 meters high that makes it the second tallest building of the district. There is a restaurant with Russian cuisine called Ruski located on the 85th floor and a skating rink on the 86th floor!
Mercury City Tower
You can recognize Mercury City Tower by its gold color. It is 339 meters tall and has 75 floors which makes it the 3rd tallest building in Europe.
Eurasia Tower is 309 meters high and its the fourth tallest building of the district with its 71 floors. It has both residential and commercial space.
Capital City Towers (also known as City of Capitals)
This complex consists of 2 buildings. The first one is called “Moscow” that is 302 meters tall and has 73 floors. The second is called “St. Petersburg”. It is 257 meters high and has 65 floors.
This spiral shaped office and commercial building is called Evolution Tower. It is 255 meters high and has 53 floors.
Empire Tower is 239 meters tall and has 60 floors. It includes both residential and commercial real estate.
IQ Quarter includes 3 buildings that have both office and residential space. The tallest tower is 173 meters tall and has 43 floors.
Tower 2000 was one of the first office buildings constructed in the district. Its total height is 130 meters that is shorter than most of the skyscrapers located in Moscow city.
This is a pedestrian bridge that connects Moscow international business center area with one of the main streets of Moscow called Kutuzovsky prospect across Moscow River. It has an excellent observation area that overlooks all these Moscow skyscrapers.
After you cross the bridge you’ll find yourself surrounded by the old Moscow buildings where people actually live. It’s nice to walk around the area and explore Moscow City Skyscrapers from the other side.
Here the architecture dates back to the Stalin era. Most of these buildings were constructed in 1950s and remain to be in relativelly good condition. You can see the contrast.
That’s a 6 floors modern mall that has more than 400 stores, more than 50 restaurants a bowling club and an IMAX movie theater. So that a regular department store similar to the ones you can find all around the world. There is really nothing more to add here.
Hotels at the Moscow international business center district
There are two hotels in the business district. The first one is Novotel Moscow City and the second one is Empire City hotel located on the 55th floor of the Empire tower.
Moscow Skyscrapers Residential Area
As I have mentioned before 20% of the Moscow City’s space is allocated to apartments. The prices vary depending on the size, interior design and floor. Here is one of the examples that I found on one of the popular Moscow real estate websites.
This 500 square meters (about 5,500 square feet) apartment located on the 54th floor of the Federation Tower is on sale for $6,000,000. It features an expensive interior design by the well-known Hirsch Bedner Associates headquartered in California.
The apartment has 5 rooms including a 150 square meters (1600 square feet) living room. Looks nice!
The most expensive apartment in the district is located on 2 floors (58th & 59th) of the Empire tower. It occupies the space of 950 square meters (about 11,000 square feet), includes 270 degrees panorama windows and costs $17million.
Where to Eat
Moscow City has plenty of food options. There are all kinds of cafes and pizza places that located in various buildings of the international business center. But it really makes sense to visit some of the restaurants with a view if you are there. As I have mentioned before the first one is called Sixty. This place has a mixed cuisine and has been opened several years ago. The other one called Ruski is quite new and has slightly more buzz around it at the moment. Another place I wanted to mention doesn’t have any city views at all but has some good quality sushi. It’s called Bubba by Sumosan and it’s located at one of the Capital City towers. Its easily accessible from the embankment.
Delovoy Tsentr Subway Station
Moscow City can be accessed using three subway stations: Delovoy Tsentr (translated as business center), Mezhdunarodnya (international) and Vistovochniy Tsentr (Exhibition center).
Delovoy Tsentr station was opened in 2014 and has modern design as opposed to most of the other Moscow subway stations built during the soviet times.
It has an exit towards AFIMALL City shopping center that is merged with the Vistovochnaya station.
The construction started in 1992 when there was plenty of unused land all around the city. The state started to move production facilities built during the Soviet era outside the downtown and offer the land for construction. Some of the urban architects question the whole idea of building these skyscrapers in Moscow. There was no need for the city to grow taller similar to Hong Kong or Manhattan that simply lack the available plots of land.
Another great problem of The Moscow City district concerns the lack of parking space. Back in 1990 the number of cars registered in Moscow equaled 1 million. There were no traffic jams and there was enough free parking for everyone. Today there are almost 5 million cars in the city! It turns out they didn’t project that kind of growth and didn’t consider the world’s best practices for that kind of projects. As a result the whole Moscow international business center doesn’t have enough parking for everyone. Only a small portion of people working at the offices located there have their underground parking spaces.
Another thing I heard people complain about is that this whole Moscow city skyscrapers area becomes so empty during the evenings. There aren’t too many people who actually live there and its public area lacks major attraction points for the people except several higher class restaurants.