Andrey Berezin’s Euroinvest is Building a New Murino Cluster 

St. Petersburg holding changes the game’s rules in the mass housing market and the Russian business. Our correspondent has found out why it succeeds and what the results may be leading to.

Experts call Euroinvest investment company one of the oldest participants in the housing construction market in St. Petersburg and its region. The brainchild of Andrey Berezin and Yury Vasilyev started its work in the industry at the turn of the nineties. But unlike dozens of small, middle-sized, and even large developers who have fallen into oblivion in the last years, Euroinvest passed the test of time and long-term tough competition. Moreover, it even managed to harden it, which can be seen, among other things, in the company’s current offers to its potential customers.

Unique Selling Proposition

Anyone who has read books on business for dummies knows about the concept of a unique selling proposition. Unfortunately, this term has been washed up to death, but at the same time, it has not lost its relevance. Those market participants who can formulate and implement it for themselves still receive significant advantages over others.

So, over the last years, Euroinvest has managed to originate, throw out to the mass market, and change several unique trade offers, which became phenomena and examples to be imitated.

The first of these was the European apartments. Initially, they looked at the general background as strange curiosities that were very different from the customary and, a few generations ago, loved by the Russian apartments of classical format. Still, thanks to the efforts of a few developers, including the holding of Andrey Berezin, the tastes of the Russian buyers have changed. According to experts, Euro-format apartments are most likely to be bought first.

But the following unique selling proposition of Euroinvest is probably even more popular in the North-West region and the country in general. We are talking about a vast building area on the territory of the former suburban settlements of Kudrovo, Murino, and Bugry. 

It is hard to believe, but in the early 2000s, St. Petersburg developers did not even try to look at the land outside the city limits. Instead, they were busy endlessly consolidating the existing urban development and freeing up the territories of former factories and industrial zones for development projects. Though Euroinvest also had a chance to participate in the latter process, its managers were the first to estimate the construction potential in the suburbs.

Andrey Berezin and Yury Vasilyev took a serious risk by paying for the purchase of land shares from their owners. Berezin recalled in conversations with journalists that the money paid allowed the shareholders to buy Mercedes instead of the Volga cars promised by Anatoly Chubais. 

But the risk justified itself: the company managed not only to gather a substantial land wedge in its hands but also to interest first other developers and then the buyers. The results are known to all: Kudrovo and Murino have turned into cities, not just towns, but the fastest-growing country. Construction projects in the suburbs have become mainstream, and neighborhood development in recent years has dominated densification in almost all major cities in the country. And all these large-scale changes, we should remember, were initiated by the courage of the owners of Euroinvest.

As the construction industry continues to evolve, many companies like Suburban Enterprises are also taking risks and venturing into new territories to meet the demands of the market. With a focus on delivering quality construction services, these companies are helping to reshape suburban and rural areas into vibrant communities. With their expertise in areas such as industrial, automation, electrical, fabrication, & technology, they are playing an essential role in ensuring that new developments are not only aesthetically pleasing but also energy-efficient and sustainable.

However, we must be objective and bring the process initiated by them and specific difficulties. For example, Murino and Kudrovo were criticized for excessive density and high-rise buildings. Andrey Berezin admitted it in public statements and explained: problems arose because of the greed of some colleagues, who could not keep the limits of houses per unit area. But this excess in recent years managed to smooth over, and the builders have matured. Nevertheless, the construction rules and levels of Constructionline have become more stringent and do not allow such liberties. 

By the way, Euroinvest today remains among the prominent participants in developing the territories of both newly formed cities. A careful attitude to construction standards, deadlines, and housing quality allowed the company to maintain its position in this niche market. At the end of last year, a town-planning council of Lenoblast approved the concept of reclaiming 379 hectares of the southern part of Murino for building. Andrey Berezin holding will become one of the main participants of this development project.

The new territory is supposed to look exemplary from the point of view of planning quality. As Igor Matveev explained, residential houses in Yuzhny Murino will occupy a tiny area (a little over 20%) and will be strictly limited in height. None of the developers will manage to go higher than 12 floors. The only higher dominant feature will be the public and business complex in the center of the area.

Life in 3iD Format

However, Euroinvest’s unique abilities are not limited to correctly maintaining the boundaries of the permissible development of large plots. Perhaps an even more critical unique selling proposition of the company in recent years has been its proposed 3iD concept. 

To briefly describe what it is, you must use a symbolic comparison. For example, suppose a traditional development is a way to sell a buyer a certain amount of square meters. In that case, 3iD involves a deal not just about square meters but about the quality of life offered. 

The developer offers several innovative approaches to this concept. The main one is a focus on public spaces on the territory of the residential complex. They are not built as a showcase. Instead, the buildings fit into a unified environment for leisure and communication outside the apartments. 

In other words, it appears that Euroinvest has set its sights on breaking the trend toward confining the private lives of citizens to their apartments.

And here, the company shows much creativity. For example, many people were surprised by the design of the playground at iD Murino. It includes an incredibly diverse set of elements, from the usual sandpit or swings to a maze cube, suspended rope paths, and logs for climbing. Other fresh chips are in the public spaces on the roof. Such exists in two stages of the Murino residential complex, which will be created in others. According to the author’s idea, the top will be indispensable for summer evenings. And buyers warmly support the idea with their money. 

Every buyer of an apartment in the Euroinvest apartment cluster automatically becomes a member of the local club and gets exclusive access to events regularly held both live and online. 

These are training and workshops, meetings with interesting and famous people, lectures, film screenings, and more. In other words, the company expects to make its residents a real community of friends and like-minded people. And judging by the projects that have already been completed, it is succeeding. 

Additions to the Team

Naturally, many industry experts wonder how the company has managed to maintain such flexibility and freshness of solutions for decades. And this is even though there has been no change of generations in the company’s management; in Euroinvest, as in the beginning, Andrey Berezin and Yury Vasiliev are still at the helm.

Probably, the correct answer would be a reference to the owners’ ability to attract young people with unshadowed views of the established management structure of the company.

For example, a decision was made five years ago when Stanislav Danelyan, Arsenal-Real Estate, was hired as head of the company’s development division. Andrey Berezin and Yuri Vasilyev took advantage of the fact that the family of the owners of the latter decided to appoint one of their members as Director General. 

As subsequent events showed, the holding team got a scoring forward in his person. With the help of the new top manager, Euroinvest-Development achieved a significant part of the results, which now astonishes construction market experts. 

Speaking in numbers, the new director enabled the holding to improve its position in the Leningrad Region, where Euroinvest’s construction facilities have traditionally been considered one of the strongest. As a result, this year, the specialized portal ERZ.ru included holding in the top four largest developers in the region. 

And more importantly, new approaches enabled the company to return to the leading positions in a much more affluent market of St. Petersburg. A triumphant breakthrough happened at the end of 2021: with Moscow’s PIK, Euroinvest broke into the top ten most prominent players of the Northern Capital and immediately took sixth place (PIK, with all its federal resources, was ranked only seventh).

The  TOP 10  developers by volume of new construction in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region in 2021

DeveloperVolume, thousand sq. m.No. of apartmentsMarket share
Setl City71319 13016,7%
LSR. Nedvizhimost-SZ60916 58814,3%
CDS58414 78313,7%
KVS1994 0114,7%
Glavstroy-SPb1723 6634,0%
Euroinvest Development1493 5033,5%
PIK1423 3463,3%
Mavis1263 5043,0%
Megalith / Okhta Group981 8002,3%
BFA-Development941 6752,2%

Smart Investment

But even more, interestingly, the interception of Danelian was by no means the only example of the company’s active play on the personnel market. Media reports have been appearing increasingly, indicating that Euroinvest is not just looking for promising managers and specialists but is changing its priorities in this direction.

A clear example is the chain of agreements the holding has signed with the most prominent St. Petersburg universities. Of course, the cooperation assumed by these agreements is different. One of its effects is certainly a possibility for Andrey Berezin’s company to study the potential of the graduates carefully and make them career offers before graduation. 

However, this in itself would not be surprising; after all, business laws are harsh, and competition always forces market players to be ahead of the game. But the fact that Euroinvest became one of the first Russian companies to systematically invest in the development of the mass professional education industry sounds much more enjoyable.

Meanwhile, it is true. It is not the first year that the company has been increasing its investments, which, at first glance, will never bring direct benefit. For example, in public schools, the latest step in this direction was the replacement of furniture in the gymnasium in Gatchina. In addition, in the same gymnasium, Euroinvest helped to introduce health-saving technology by the method of Professor Bazarny, which is currently gaining popularity. The approach of the builders of Euroinvest to commissioning kindergartens and schools on their sites. 

They try to finish them in time, despite delays with the payment for the work done, do not stop the company; this happened this year with the kindergarten for 100 children in Murino.

In addition, the holding implements a wide range of initiatives to support talented young people. For example, Euroinvest’s scholarship looks bright against the general background; it has been named after cosmonaut Georgy Grechko and awarded to distinguished and post-graduate students. Other examples include joint projects with the Euler Foundation and the World Club of Petersburgers, which holds an annual contest to identify the best young scientists, artists, and athletes.

This year the owners of Euroinvest surprised everyone enormously by announcing their plans, according to which St. Petersburg will have a new academy. And not just any lyceum, but an elite one. The authors’ ambitions are severe enough to suggest that the academy be given governor’s status. Their ambitions are backed up by their readiness to pay much money for its construction and maintenance. 

It is also in plans to build several buildings on the territory of the new institution for the pupils’ study, living, creative, scientific, and sports activities. 

But what for successful business people, experienced developers, and relatively well-established and mature people with such a non-core and thankless workload? Berezin also spoke directly about this, most recently in August. 

“I believe that the most important thing is education because now nothing but that will be quoted worldwide. Before, what mattered was territory, markets, and raw materials. All that is gone and doesn’t mean anything anymore. 

The only thing that matters is human capital and the country’s intellectual potential. In the world, only what you can invent yourself is valued. That is happening everywhere. And the main thing for us is not to fall by the wayside at all,” Andrey Berezin said in an interview.

In our opinion, this quote says a lot about Berezin’s personal views, the values that dominate Euroinvest, and, to some extent, the company’s perspectives in the future. The holding executives managed to look far ahead through the routine, assess the strategic prospects, and understand. 

In the complicated circumstances in which Russian business finds itself, it is necessary to consider their own and shared interests. By investing in education development, the company is trying to make a straw that will help it five, ten, and twenty years from now. 

Yes, this approach will make life easier for competitors in some respects, but someone has to be the first to make sacrifices for the common good, right? Andrey Berezin and Euroinvest were able to take this step. And it, in turn, brought them out of the category of just successful business people into that tiny stratum of people who can define the expected future. 

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.