While many moguls had the foresight to plan ahead for economic down times, some were not so savvy. Take, for example, the CEO of Mirax Group, Sergei Polonsky. The Russian billionaire, who, according to Forbes, was worth $1.2 billion in 2008, is now getting hit with hard times. Polonsky posted a letter on his blog late last week recognizing that Mirax Group would stop all construction, perhaps even including the high-profile project, Federation Tower, a building scheduled for completion in 2010 which would measure up to be the tallest building in Europe at 1,500 feet.
The Moscow Arbitration Court froze company assets when Mirax failed to repay a $242 million loan to Alfa Bank. “During the past year, we haven’t managed to secure a single loan for construction, and in the past month we haven’t sold a single square meter of housing or collected any installment payments for the real estate we’ve already sold,” Polansky declared on his blog. Mirax is “struggling with the storming seas of the economic crisis” and may not survive, he wrote.
Mirax is also heavily invested in the Miami waterfront condominium tower Aqua on Allison Island situated on the waters of Indian Creek in Miami Beach. Polansky made headlines in 2008 when he was quoted saying, “those who don’t have a billion [dollars], can go to hell.”