The construction of a major center that will sell and service Audi cars has begun in Minsk’s northeastern neighborhood of Urucha.
A capsule-laying ceremony at the construction site took place on Wednesday evening.
The construction of the center is expected to be completed by June 2014. The facility will have a floorspace of 6,000 square meters and occupy a land plot of 17,000 square meters. It will be built by Belarusian companies with funds provided by Belarusian investors.
Reports have it that Triple, a conglomerate controlled by EU-blacklisted business tycoon Yury Chyzh, will finance the construction project, which is expected to have a payback period of five or six years.
Dozens of fir trees that screen houses against traffic noise and smoke from Independence Avenue are being cut down to make room for the Audi center.
Local resident Vyachaslaw Pilipuk told BelaPAN on Wednesday that he was planning to send a letter to the headquarters of Audi in Ingolstadt, Germany, to complain about the construction of the auto giant’s center in the heavily vegetated area.
Local authorities insist that the project is entirely legal and that a public hearing was held to discuss it.
While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Uladzislaw Turkin, director general of Awtasalon-AV Ltd., the official importer of Audi vehicles in Belarus, said that Audi was the most popular premium car brand in the country. As many as 850 new Audis were sold in Belarus in 2012, and more than 900 are expected to be sold this year, he said.
The center will be a very high-tech facility and in no way inferior to the other 400 Audi centers around the world, Mr. Turkin said.