History of the building
The history of the site development began in 1730-s, when Saint-Petersburg construction commission, which developed the city planning and building projects, assigned the spot between the Fontanka river and Glukhaya river (later – Ekaterininskiy canal) for construction of the Naval regimental yard. Four years later the northern part of the block initially allotted for the regimental yard was reassigned for construction of a market under the order of the Senate.
Considering merchants’ wishes the State Duma pointed the place for construction of the market on the territory of the third Admiralteyskaya part of Saint-Petersburg by the intersection of the Ekaterininskiy and Nikolskiy (Krukov) canals.
The Nikolskiy market construction was funded by merchants and trading bourgeois, i.e. it was private. On the 29th of October 1787 the blueprint (author is unknown) was submitted to the State Duma. It was approved by the Catherine the Great. The construction began in the same year. The completion was scheduled on the 1st of July 1789 but the actual completion date is unknown.
Initially the market buildings consisted of rows of identical sections – shops each of which had a separate entrance and individual communication between floors inside the shop. The ground floor was meant for trading premises, the first floor housed offices and storehouses. All the trading premises were connected with the open gallery on the ground floor restricted by the arcade. Similarly to the exterior facade the open gallery existed along the perimeter of the courtyard.
The courtyard was built up in the beginning of the XIX century. There is wooden rows indicated on the Shubert’s plan dated 1828. In the south part of the courtyard there were two lengthy building and in the northern part in the parallel row there were six buildings of different length and a chapel. Up to the end of 1850-s there were wooden rows named “iron rows” because of the goods sold there, the wooden chapel and the stone building of the slaughterhouse. By the present time the initial courtyard structures were not preserved.
The arched basement ceilings designed not in a very reliable manner fell into decay and were replaced by short-span vaults on girders (so-called Swedish arches or Mainier arches) by the end of the XIX century.
The timber floors gradually were becoming outworn and were being replaced by short-span vaults on girders. As the owners of shops made their own decisions within the limits of their premises the constructive solutions applied were different. By now all the initial timber floors of the external gallery are replaced by either vaults or concrete slabs on steel beams.
During the XIX century the arches of the internal gallery were gradually mured by the shop owners and by now are completely bricked up.
In 1856 upon the project of Dmitrievsky and Ferry de Pigny fire separation walls were erected between sections. They were preserved until now.
There were open staircases leading to the basement placed inside the arcade tubs which existed approximately until 1930th.
Works executed under orders of different owners by different architects and contractors led to that the building was significantly rebuilt inside.
During the World War II the building was not in use and was not damaged.
In 1980-s under the project of capital repairs of the floors all the historical brick vaults were replaced.
In the period from 1960-s until the present day Nikolskie Ryady were used partially for industrial and partially for trade purposes.
For the first time the former Nikolskiy market was taken under the state protection in 1960.
A new chapter of Nikolskiy market began in the second half of 2010, when Nikolskiy market was purchased by tender by its present leaseholder, CJSC "Nikolskiye Ryady" (more than 70% of the building is in disrepair) to restore the building and adjust it to be used as a modern multifunctional hotel complex.
A contract was signed with international hotel operator, InterContinental Hotel Group, in November of 2010. Project concept development and approval: the project includes complete renovation and modernization of the former Nikolskiy market building located in downtown Saint Petersburg and its subsequent adjustment to be used as a modern multifunctional hotel complex with a 4-star hotel with 334 suites managed by InterContinental Hotel Group (Crowne Plaza brand) and developed infrastructure that includes class "A" business center, conference halls, a fitness center and SPA, and underground parking. Total space of the complex including the old building and new constructions exceeds 50 thousand square meters.
2011-2013 – approval of all the necessary documents and commencement of construction.
2014-the first six months of 2015 – assessment of market conditions in view of the new realities. Questions regarding the efficiency of the implemented business model and project concept. In the second half of 2014, the Russian economy encountered a heavy monetary and financial crisis caused by a sudden drop of global oil prices, on which the revenue of the Russian budget largely depends, as well as economic sanctions against Russia due to the events in Ukraine. These factors resulted in a significant drop of ruble value as regards the foreign currencies, followed by the rise in inflation, decline in consumer demand, economic recession, and increase of poverty rate and reduction of real income of the population.
The crisis and depreciation of the ruble resulted in review of the project concept in order to find the most efficient solution to preserve the returns on investment. Furthermore, the key task, as before, was preservation of the initial appearance of the building. A decision was made to optimize the project concept.
The second half of 2015 was dedicated to the development and approval of a new project concept: the "Nikolskiye Ryady" project envisions restoration of the historic building of the Nikolskiy market located in downtown Saint Petersburg and its subsequent adjustment to be used as a multifunctional hotel complex with a 3-star hotel with 244 suites under the brand of Holiday Inn Express with total area of 10,300 square meters and a hostel under the brand of HolidayInnExpress with 158 suits and total area of 7,300 square meters (Meininger), and a well-developed infrastructure.
The complex is scheduled for opening in May of 2018.