Due to the extensive land resources of a private investor (the owner of Domodedovo International Airport), the conceptual plan — titled Aerotropolis — involved substantial new construction. Proposed additions encompass a wide variety of commercial real estate: a conference centre, office space, an expo venue, an amusement park, an industrial-logistics park, an apartment complex, and a big-box shopping area. Novaya’s market analysis included a review of best practices for placing certain enterprises near airports and an examination of similar commercial real estate projects in Moscow and the Moscow Region; this informed our collaboration with local stakeholders to optimise the Aerotropolis concept in terms of priority locations and promising courses of action.
The research team selected nine comparable international airports based on of passenger traffic, distance from the city centre, transport accessibility, and related business activity. Analysis of these cases provided a basis for recommending components of the airport zone: hotels, exhibition spaces, conference venues, industry, logistics, offices, shopping, and entertainment. It also revealed significant potential for developing business tourism, which makes up 10.4% of average GDP worldwide but less than 5% in the Russian Federation. It is also promising in terms of economic impacts, which include direct expenditure for accommodations and catering as well as spending by employees of event operators, booking services, and translation firms — not to mention the future impacts of business agreements.
At present, there is a shortage of large, high-quality conference and exhibition centres in Moscow and the regions. Many local facilities were built during the Soviet Era and have become outdated, creating an urgent need for venues with efficient layouts and specialised equipment. Moscow has close to 800 thousand square metres of specialised exhibition space, of which approximately 600 thousand is of high quality.
Domodedovo’s accessible and sophisticated links to other Moscow airports have not yet given rise to an exhibition complex on site, and major events in coming years will likely take place at VDNH-Expo. Construction of an Expocentre in the airport zone is only justified if the Moscow Region establishes a conference and exhibition bureau to supply it with important business opportunities.
Compared to the other international airports serving Moscow, Domodedovo has the lowest supply of hotel rooms in its vicinity. Plans for accommodating more passengers include building two hotels of different classes and a combined capacity of 300–350 rooms. This complex would also contain a conference centre.
Regarding industry and logistics, Domodedovo is among the most advanced areas in the Moscow Region. This is due to the proximity of Moscow as well as the work of real estate development and management professionals. Existing facilities are at full occupancy, and the market can absorb 20 thousand warehouse and industrial enterprises per year. This forecast justifies the considerable space allocated to industry and logistics in the development concept, with potential for increasing the capacity and accessibility of transport corridors.
In contrast to industry and logistics, office real estate south of Moscow is beset with high vacancy and slow return on investment. Thus, we decreased office real estate in the proposal to a compact 5–10 thousand square metres — primarily serving small businesses and other enterprises associated with the airport. Due to the area’s present saturation with shopping centres, we focused on commerce based on targeted visits. This development is to begin in the project’s next stage, after securing agreements with investors for “built-to-suit” facilities.
The amusement park idea was put on hold due to a lack of relevant examples for cost-benefit analysis.