Future of Chisinau’s satellite-city is less certain than ever. IPN economic analysis


The information about the construction by the Moldovan-Italian Company “Prospera-Habitat” of Chisinau’s satellite-city at a distance of 2 km from the “City Gates” and 3 km from the Chisinau International Airport is known for two years already. But several decision-making authorities, contacted by Info-Prim Neo said that “no real steps were undertaken for the implementation of this project”. Many of them solicited anonymity protection for the given information. The subject was opened again in mid May, within a work visit of the president Vladimir Voronin to the Chisinau Mayoralty. The president gave mayoralty’s authorities understand that the persons from the mentioned-above company “are not serious” and a decision must be taken on this issue. According to him the investigations proved that they have debts in their country. In this context Vladimir Voronin said that some investors come to Moldova to buy land. Later, the mass-media from Chisinau reported, referring to “informed sources”, that the joint Moldovan-Italian Company “Prospera-Habitat”, which announced its intension to build an urban complex and invest 1 billion euros, suspended the implementation of the investment project. The news was also mentioning that the decision belongs to the Italian founders, as a result of some disagreements between the Government and investors. According to the quoted source the company did not stop irrevocably the activity, but is waiting for a positive signal of the Government and of the country’s leadership. On September 23, 2004, the Republican Urban Council approved unanimously the plan and the construction of the satellite-city, and 3 days after the Government of the Republic of Moldova and “Prospera-habitat” signed an intention agreement on the urbanization of the territory and construction of the dwelling complex with the entire necessary infrastructure. “Prospera-Habitat” did not solicit financial guarantees from the Government and took upon itself all the responsibility for the commercial risks. The deputy chairman of company’s administration board, Anatol Zolotcov, declared for Info-Prim Neo that the company did not give any official information on suspending the activity and that everything develops as planned, and that the Italian investors are ready to start the constructions. He denied the information about a conflict with the Government, although he mentioned that the process of making a final decision on the implementation of this project is delayed. According to him, the General Urban Project was approved by the Republican Urban Council and afterwards was sent for approval to the Regional Development Agency (RDA). According to Zolotcov, the Agency did not exceed the dead-line stipulated in the legislation. On the other hand, he understands the possible delay of the approval by ARD, due to the fact that it is restructured now in a Ministry. Zolotcov says that at present the investment project on the construction of the satellite-city is being elaborated. About 90% of 134 ha were already purchased from the farmers of Bacioi commune, Chisinau municipality. Along 10 years, in order to implement this project about 1 billion euros will be spent for designing and constructing about 1.500.000 square meters of useful spaces, including 900.000 square meters of dwelling spaces, 300.000 square meters of commercial spaces and 300.000 square meters for offices and service area. Supplementary, “Prospera-Habitat” intends to build social destination edifices of about 900.000 square meters that will be given into the property of the Republic of Moldova, says the deputy Chairman of the company’s administration board. In order to change the destination of the lands and excluding them from the category of agricultural lands, “Prospera-Habitat” intends to transfer to the Republican budget 42.8 thousand euros per hectare or 5 million euros for the total area. The company also plans that the value of the taxes paid to the state during 10 years will amount to more than 200 million euros, which will contribute essentially to the increase of social funds and even of Moldova’s GDP. According to Zolotcov, some works will attract local economic agents which will come with nearly 6 thousand construction workers and about 20.000 employees from other areas of the economy. They will be paid with a salary 35% higher than the one settled at present in the construction field. The company also intends to create an industrial complex for producing construction materials. Zolotcov states that one of the main founders of “Prospera-Habitat” is the Italian enterprise “Italcantieri”, which has experience in constructing urban complexes of this type, being know worldwide for the implemented projects. This enterprise had built the Italian satellite-cities Milan-2 and Milan-3. Sources form RDA declared for Info-Prim Neo that this company did not obtain yet the approval of the local public administration for transforming the agricultural plots into construction lands, and this fact is very important for the implementation of the satellite-city’s project. The mayor of Bacioi, Ion Bivol initially declared for Info-Prim Neo that this issue is the competence of the Government and Parliament and not of Bacioi authorities. But when asked if the local administration approved the change of the agricultural lands for the construction of this city, Bivol said that “Prospera-Habitat” did not address any request to Bacioi Local Council. At the same time, the Mayor declared that from the start, the representatives of the company did not want to “collaborate” with the public administration of Bacioi, considering that the issue will be solved at a state level. According to the national and international legislation, the Government can not make a decision on changing the destination of the agricultural lands without the approval of Bacioi local authorities, Bivol added. Sources that solicited anonymity declared for Info-Prim Neo that besides elaborating the General Urban Plan, which is only a “concept” on how the satellite city must be constructed, the company must obtain a series of approvals on the project in order to be accepted for debates within a meeting of the Government, especially the approval of the ecologists, specialized authorities, cadastre authority etc. The same sources consider as “incipient” the stage of gathering all the necessary documents that should be sent for examination to the Government, saying at the same time that “Prospera-Habitat” did not make the necessary efforts in this sense. “Although initially, when presenting the project, it created the impression of a serious company, it did not make real steps in adjusting the project to the legal requests”, emphasized the quoted sources.