Family business: will Alisher Usmanov’s stepson be able to become a major developer?

Anton Wiener is trying to conquer the real estate development market for the second time. His previous foray into big business ended with the intervention of his famous stepfather

“I think the Rodina Group is a terrific project,” Alla Gryaznova, president of Russia’s Financial University, said at a presentation of the development company of Alisher Usmanov’s stepson #7 Anton Wiener in February. – This is a signal that we are leaving the stage of initial capital accumulation and are moving towards a civilized society and business “with a human face. Other guests of the presentation such as Olympic champion Alexei Nemov, actors Sati Spivakova and Konstantin Khabensky were generous to Wiener and his partners. There are thousands of development companies in Moscow and the region – none of them could boast of such allies at the launch.

“Rodina” announced its first major project – a 330 000 sq. m residential complex in Odintsovo district. Four months have passed since the loud presentation. The partners are still promising to invest 18 billion rubles in the construction of a new type of residential complexes and to build more than 1 million square meters in Moscow and the Moscow Region. But Anton Wiener’s speeches are much less specific now, and his partners Pavel Rodin and Denis Borodako refused to answer Forbes questions (one of the partners is not in Russia at the moment). Why did Rodina stall?

“Children are our backbone.”

“We want to build residential complexes of a different type, so that parents do not have to take their children to a sports section, theater or music school on the other side of town,” Anton says about his future projects in an interview with Forbes. We are talking about the close proximity of residential buildings and sports and educational infrastructure.

In theory, schools, kindergartens and fitness centers are already an obligatory part of any large construction. But in Rodina’s projects, Konstantin Khabensky will be responsible for acting schools, Vladimir Spivakov for music, and Alexei Nemov for sports. All of them and many other famous people have agreed to join the expert council, which Wiener first created under the group. “We will train if not Olympic champions, then at least healthy, physically developed children,” Wiener says. – Children are our backbone, we plan to build cadet corps, to engage in patriotic education. That’s why the company is called Motherland.

The stakes of the partners in the group were not disclosed. The concept of the synergy between the residential and sports clusters belongs to Anton Viner. Pavel Rodin, a partner of Best-Novostroy real estate company, should be in charge of sales. This company is part of Best-Novostroy Real Estate group and was founded by Rodin and other top managers of the head office in 2009. Direct construction is the responsibility of the third partner, Denis Borodako, who worked for several years at Terra-Auri, a company that served as a technical customer for housing construction.

According to Viner, the Rodina Group is a vertically integrated holding consisting of three legal entities: the parent company, the investment company, and the company managing development projects. SPARK database managed to find only one of these three companies – “Rodina Project Management” LLC with the registered capital of 10,000 rubles created in March of this year. The owner is Denis Borodako. Both Borodako and Rodin declined to answer Forbes’ questions.

“We’ll make a show.”

Wiener still says it is ready to invest 18 billion rubles of its own and borrowed funds. The company plans to build 1 million square meters of housing over the next four years, but does not disclose any details. “Information about our projects is like the presentation of a new iPhone,” says Wiener. – We’re going to make a show.” Where the project will be located, he doesn’t say. When to expect the show? “Within five to six months.”

What stage is the pilot project in the Odintsovo district now? The businessman didn’t give any specific figures here either. “We don’t want to shine a light on the Odintsovo district, it’s too early,” he explained. However, according to the top manager of a real estate consulting company, the partners have not been able to “agree on the land with its owners” since then, so the idea has stalled.

“We are at a good stage in the land negotiation process,” Wiener comments cautiously. – Perhaps we will buy somewhere and pay with square meters built.

Declaring a serious investment of 18 billion rubles, Viner is looking for financial partners at the same time. Alexander Khrustalev, the owner of “NDV – Real Estate” confirms that he received offers to become a co-investor in projects of “Rodina Group”. “Yes, I know Anton [Wiener], he offered me to do something together, to invest,” says Khrustalev, without specifying which project in question. – I’m not ready yet, but we will see in the future. He is an energetic, talented man, I think he will succeed. “This is an attempt to create a fee-development company,” says one real estate market consultant about “Rodina”. – They don’t have any money or land”.

“My son helped.”

Under Anton Wiener’s belt, he has several partially completed development projects, the largest of which is the Novogorsk Olympic Village multifunctional complex in Khimki on the banks of the River Skhodnya. Anton Viner worked closely on this project with his mother, the rhythmic gymnastics coach Irina Viner (she coached, for instance, Alina Kabaeva) and his stepfather, one of the richest men in Russia, Alisher Usmanov.

The Olympic rhythmic gymnastics team has trained at the base in Novogorsk since 1983. In 2008, the construction of a sports complex under the auspices of the International Academy of Sport Irina Viner began one kilometer north of the center. “It’s a very good place: it’s environmentally friendly and it’s not far from Moscow,” Wiener told Forbes. – I always dreamed that there would be a gym nearby where the junior team that I supervise could train as well, so kids could watch the adults. I met Governor Boris Gromov and he gave me the land for the sports complex I dreamed of.

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