- The 247 rooms of the Northern Crown Hotel have never been slept in
- Work began on the St. Petersburg site in 1988, but the project was mothballed in 1995
- The hotel has lain empty ever since and is now due to be demolished
In the heart of St. Petersburg is located a huge, luxurious, and fully completed hotel, which has never opened the doors to visitors. This was a major project of the times of the USSR, in which a huge amount of money was invested and which to this day remained a ghost-hotel.
It was decided to build a hotel on the embankment of the Karpovka River in the Petrogradsky District by order of the USSR State Committee for Tourism in 1988. In addition to the rooms, the building was supposed to open five restaurants, six bars, a sports complex with a swimming pool, underground parking, a conference room, and two fast-food cafes. It was planned that the hotel will accommodate up to a thousand guests.
The building was designed in the Art Nouveau style by the St. Petersburg architect Mark Reinberg. According to him, he immediately agreed to build a hotel on the Petrogradskaya side, because he grew up in this area. But in 1988, at the very beginning of construction, the architect left the project, stating that officials did not give him creative freedom: they did not allow him to increase the area of rooms and demanded to build more restaurants.
Workers also downed tools at the hotel in 1995, with the building 90 percent complete after a bank which had been helping to finance the construction ran into financial troubles.
The completion date was postponed first to 1996, then to 1997, 2001, and then to 2003. There was a plan to open the hotel for the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. But for some unknown reason, construction work never resumed. In the early 2000s, “Bank Saint Petersburg” was thinking about selling the hotel: the project was shown to investors at the real estate exhibition in Cannes. However, the deal did not take place, and in 2004 the hotel was bought by “Evrofinance Mosnarbank”. In the same year, Northern Crown LLC was registered to implement the project on the Karpovka embankment.
With the change of ownership, the work on the territory of the hotel has not resumed – the hotel was abandoned until the end of 2018 until Severnaya Korona LLC was bought out by the Moscow firm Venture Capital. The unfinished hotel officially changed its owner on December 21, and demolition began on December 29, 2018.
After the construction was frozen in the mid-1990s, about $1 million was required annually to maintain the building, according. The owners of the hotel, then it was the bank “St. Petersburg”, received money only from the round-the-clock paid parking on the territory of the hotel.
The demolition of the Northern Crown Hotel should be completed in June 2019. After that, there is a plan to build an elite living complex instead of the hotel. The main part of the future six-story building will be located along the Karpovka embankment, and the second building will be erected in the Karpovsky lane.
The area of the residential complex with underground parking, a kindergarten, and 259 apartments will be 33.5 thousand square meters.