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    Gazprom may build Okhta tower in northern St. Petersburg

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    A subsidiary of the Russian energy giant Gazprom has bought a plot of land in the northern part of St. Petersburg where it may build a 400-meter tall skyscraper.

    A subsidiary of the Russian energy giant Gazprom has bought a plot of land in the northern part of St. Petersburg where it may build a 400-meter tall skyscraper.

    A spokeswoman for the Okhta Business Center company said the construction of the Okhta Business Center on a plot of 140,000 square meters in St. Petersburg's Primorsky District is yet to be approved.

    Plans by Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom to build a complex of office buildings dominated by a needle-like skyscraper, derisively dubbed the Gazoscraper, prompted fierce public opposition. Critics feared that the tower, which was to go up next to the 18th century Smolny Cathedral, may ruin St. Petersburg's unique low-rise skyline.

    The plan was abandoned following objections from UNESCO and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

    Gazprom, which reportedly invested about seven billion rubles ($245.5 million) into the project, earlier said the business center project should be changed as it was designed specifically for the location in the city center.

    "Naturally, the project needs to be changed. I have no idea of who will do it. Our design company received no orders, the existing contract concerns only the previous location," the project's architect, Philipp Nikandrov, said.

    "The tower itself may be built in another location, but its surroundings should be adjusted," he added.

    ST. PETERSBURG, March 10 (RIA Novosti)

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