Reborn Russian Mirax to top up Moscow’s tallest tower

Swiss Aminona resort still a Polonsky project, he says

Architect's drawing of the CHF350 million resort complex in the Swiss Alps, Village Royal: Russian developer Serge Polonsky says his renamed company is still backing it

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND -Mirax, whose colourful founder Sergei Polonsky, literally ate his tie during a TV interview in January 2011, has in the past week re-started construction on the building that in 2013 is expected to become Europe’s tallest building, at 360-plus metres with a spire that will reach nearly 200 metres higher.

The Moscow Times reports that “The ambitious project at Moskva-City, on the west side of the capital next to the Third Ring Road, is slated to become Europe’s tallest skyscraper, outdoing the current leader — the Commerzbank building in Frankfurt am Main.” A west tower was completed in 2008, then the project “stalled” under the weight of the global financial crisis and problems Mirax ran into with bank loans.

But the money appears to be flowing again, with Sherbank, which is loaning money to continue construction also promising to buy two floors near the top of the 93-torey building. Developer Mirax, reborn as, says the office space is”booked far in advance”, reports the daily paper. The cost: $9,000 a square metre.

Polonsky remains the main shareholder, according to an English-language web site about  his current business operations and projects that claims to be his official site. Few other projects from the former Mirax portfolio are mentioned except for one in canton Valais in Switzerland.

The tie-eating episode, according to Moscow Times, dates back to a promise Polonsky made in 2008, and subsequently failed to come through with: that Mirax apartment prices would increase 25 percent in 1.5 years.

Mirax was the developer behind the Village Royal Swiss luxury resort project in Aminona, canton Valais in Switzerland, currently stalled as the federal supreme court reviews requests by environmental groups to block it. Polonsky’s newly-named Nazvanie group is backing the project, he said 3 November on his web site, although at a press conference earlier in 2011, it was unclear if the developers were still tied to Polonsky.

Polonsky has most recently been in the news because of an on-camera tussle with British media tycoon Alexander Lebedev.