Moscow’s richest neighbourhood has seen better days.
Less than a decade ago, Rublyovka was one of the hottest suburbs in the world, with an influx of billionaire residents to live with the likes of Vladimir Putin and Roman Abramovich. Typical of the area was the ultra-high-end mall, Barvikha Luxury Village, opened in 2005.
By 2011, however, the neighbourhood was emptying out, with one third of the houses either vacant or on the market and demand low. Many oligarchs were reportedly moving to the West, and it didn’t help that Russia’s economy was teetering from crisis to crisis. Now with money pouring out of the country at an astounding rate and oil prices painfully low, things are only getting worse.
Business Insider sent photographer Konstantin Salomatin to check out Rublyovka. His photos reveal continued deterioration in the neighbourhood and capture
Rublyovka is a spacious suburb located along the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Highway, west of Moscow. It has been home to Russian elites dating back to Peter the Great.
It's expensive to move in, with land selling for $160,000 for 100 square meters, according to a billboard on the highway.
Everywhere there are billboards inviting people to move in -- understandable with a reported 1/3 of houses vacant or on the market in recent years -- but demand seems to be low.
The answer is probably not. The gate to the Parkville community is guarded. No strangers can enter without permission.
And then there's Barvikha Luxury Village, a ultra-high-end shopping center that's clearly meant to promote the image of luxury.
But this beautiful space was almost totally lacking shoppers when we visited on a Wednesday afternoon.
In fact, many people seem to be getting to the mall via the bus, the schedule for which is posted in the parking lot.
It is hard to understand the point of this place, except to sell the land around it for absurdly high prices.
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