Professional Builder: Life Path and Career of Leonid Monosov.

Professional Builder Life Path and Career of Leonid Monosov.

Moscow is the cultural heart of the Russian Federation. The architectural splendor of this metropolis can amaze even the most discerning travelers who have visited many world capitals. Many people shaped the city’s spectacular views, including Leonid Monosov, Honored Builder of the Russian Federation, holder of the Order of Friendship, and winner of the Science and Technology Government Award. Read on to learn more about the life of the top manager and find out what he does today.

First Steps

The future honored builder was born on March 2, 1958, in Mazyr, the administrative center of the Gomel region. He spent his early childhood in this small Belarusian town, but in 1963, the head of his family decided to leave Belarus and move to the capital.

Leonid Monosov was lucky to start first grade at one of the best schools for studying the exact sciences in Moscow. School No. 315 was always the first to get new textbooks and to test innovative educational programs. Thanks to his advanced training, Leonid entered the construction department at MIIT and graduated with great results.

Excellent grades put Leonid Monosov at the top of the career distribution list, and in 1980, he got a job at the main industrial construction directorate, Glavmospromstroy. The professional biography of the young engineer started from the position of foreman, as was the case with all construction university graduates. The young specialist had the perfect organizational skills for the industry, and in just six years, he was put in charge of the company’s construction department; in the following years, he managed to rise to the position of deputy CEO. In total, Leonid worked at the same company for almost 20 years.

How Modern Moscow Was Built

Glavmospromstroy was founded in 1972 when industrial construction was declared a separate sector. It united more than ten sector-specific companies with over 70 thousand employees into one organization. In the 1970s, the company built around six million square meters of industrial space. It is safe to say that Glavmospromstroy built most of the capital’s industrial facilities, which included:

  • Spinning, leather goods, and confectionery factories; 
  • Steel and aluminum structure factories;
  • Woodworking integrated plants;
  • Poultry farm in Solnechnogorsky district, Moscow Oblast.

The company not only built new enterprises but also expanded existing production facilities. New workshops were built for the Kalibr measuring tool company, the Freezer cutting tool plant, and the AZLK and ZIL automobile manufacturers. Glavmospromstroy also worked on complex projects to reconstruct and restore historical buildings, such as the Moscow Kremlin, Red Square, the main art gallery, the circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, and many others.

Glavmospromstroy was responsible for constructing the main sports facilities for the 1980 Summer Olympics. When Leonid Monosov joined the company, it had just handed over the ice arena in Krylatskoye, the country’s first international-level indoor skating rink. The company had no previous experience working on such projects, but this did not stop it from finding several innovative solutions. It was the first company in history to use autonomous cooling technology, which allowed it to fill each sports ground with ice independently of other training spaces. The main speed skating rink was constructed without a single seam using expansive cement.

The World Trade Center was another large-scale complex built in 1980. The project was developed during the international trade revival in the USSR when more foreign companies started sending their representatives to the country. The total area of ​​the WTC was more than 150 square meters. The complex was comprised of:

  • Business center and office buildings;
  • Hotel and apartment hotel;
  • Restaurants and cafes;
  • Spa complex with swimming pool;
  • Railway and air ticket offices;
  • Post office and telegraph service.

During the construction process, Glavmospromstroy specialists implemented several innovative and unconventional solutions. They used the then-advanced sprayсraft technology to cover the elements with a fire-resistant coating when putting up metal structures. The concrete panels were reinforced with polyurethane foam. When finishing the interiors, the builders were the first to use multilayer plasterboard for the partition walls and dropped ceilings, which later became a common practice in construction.

1981, the company handed over the famous “White House” on the Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment. The construction of the administrative building began in the mid-1960s — on the territory of a former car repair shop and defunct furniture factory — but was completed only twenty years later. Glavmospromstroy built its above-ground and three-level underground parts containing a bunker, parking lot, and utility spaces. After 1993, the company was tasked with restoring the fire-damaged building.

Switching to the Commercial Track

Leonid Monosov often calls the construction industry the locomotive of the economy. The statement once again was proved to be fair by a new chapter in Glavmospromstroy’s history, when in the early 1990s, it went through corporatization and was renamed Mospromstroy. During this difficult time for the Russian economy, the construction industry remained unscathed and grew. This was especially noticeable in Moscow.

The era of stagnation left the city with the legacy of dilapidated downtown property unsuitable for housing commercial infrastructures. Meanwhile, Russian and foreign companies, banks, restaurants, and service businesses needed updated modern premises. Large-scale reconstruction of old mansions began in the early 1990s; the first floors of the buildings were redesigned according to the most recent requirements.

Mospromstroy was not only restored, but it also built new real estate. In 1997, the company handed over a shopping and entertainment complex on Manezhnaya Square. It has carried out the project with Zurab Tsereteli, the best Russian specialist. It was a bold idea, even then, to build a large-scale commercial space with a vast underground utility network in the heart of the capital.

Before work began, the company conducted a thorough survey of the area and continued to do so throughout construction. The complex was built without public transport disruptions; moreover, the builders moved all the existing utilities from the construction area. The original technology made it possible to prevent utility shut-offs in the surrounding buildings. In 1997, the project won a prize at the international MIPIM Awards held annually in Cannes.

By the late 1990s, Leonid Monosov was part of the company’s top management and was directly involved in all major projects. Interestingly enough, a few years later, he had to return to Manezhnaya Square again — this time as the CEO of Moskapstroy — to restore a fire-damaged exhibition complex with its famous Betancourt’s roof beams (a unique wooden structure under which horse parades were held in the 19th century).

In 1997, Mospromstroy began working on another large-scale project — constructing the second stage of the Bolshoi Theater, with an area of ​​25 thousand square meters. The company specialists had an important task: minimizing equipment noise and erecting the new building without damaging the old one. The solution was found in the top-down technology. It was the first time a scale building was erected using this soil retention method, allowing the builders to reduce the construction period significantly. Later, the method was used to construct the Pushkin Museum and the new stage of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater.

During the same period, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was constructed. Leonid Monosov considers it one of the most ambitious projects in his career. The complex was built almost from scratch in place of the abandoned Moskva outdoor swimming pool. The company executed the most complicated processes in stages:

  1. Dismantling old structures, modernizing, and strengthening the foundation.
  2. We are constructing the stylobate part with the Transfiguration Church.
  3. I am building a monolithic concrete frame for the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
  4. They were raising domes that were gold-plated using the ion-plasma method.
  5. Cladding walls with marble.
  6. Organizing the refectory chambers, the patriarch’s chambers, the hall of the Holy Synod, the library, and other ancillary areas.
  7. They are erecting unique scaffolding for interior decoration and wall painting.

The frescoes in the cathedral were created by a team of artists from the most famous Russian schools. Thanks to the efforts of three hundred painters, the interior works were completed quickly. In 1999, the preparations for the cathedral’s opening were well underway, but Leonid Monosov was not part of it. By then, the executive had resigned and accepted the offer to take charge of the Moskapstroy company.

Also, Read Wrongfully Accused? Your 5-Step Guide to Clearing Your Name

Technical Representative Service

Leonid’s twenty years of experience in the construction industry helped him quickly settle into the new job. Unlike building contractors, Moskapstroy, as a subcontract technical representative, was involved in organizing the work processes — from site selection to handover. The company obtained the necessary permits, got project approvals, hired contractors, and monitored the work quality and deadlines.

As the executive noted in an interview, Moskapstroy absorbed up to 150 billion rubles in capital investment annually. Still, its turnover was only one and a half percent of this amount. The high-quality services allowed Leonid Monosov to increase profits; even major real estate developers, with their technical representatives, turned to Moskapstroy for assistance. The company managed up to 1.5 thousand projects simultaneously and constantly improved its financial performance.

Under the leadership of Leonid Monosov, it became a market leader and took on even the most complex engineering projects. Commenting on the successes of Moskapstroy, the executive noted that they often won contracts because there were no competitors. Other market participants did not enter the competition because of the tight deadlines or complexity of the projects.

Despite the rapid growth of the construction industry in the 2000s, Moskapstroy was never directly involved in real estate development. However, Leonid Monosov admitted that if this had been the case, it would have been possible to increase the revenue significantly.

In his conversations with journalists, the top manager noted, “We cannot compete in this market; we are not a construction company. Not everything is measured by money.”

A competent approach to organizing business processes helped the company protect its position as a market leader. Leonid Monosov established a design office and several documentation management departments. Construction was carried out by a dozen real estate development partners; a separate company was responsible for supplying equipment to the construction sites. All these companies valued their partnership with Moskapstroy and never violated deadlines.

Leonid Monosov always adheres to a certain principle in his career — he believes that you will win if you do your work honestly and ethically. Moskapstroy was famous for its high-quality services and impeccably fulfilling its obligations to its partners. The company always abided by the agreed payment schedules and would even take out loans if there were any client financing delays. However, this was a rare scenario — Leonid Monosov preferred not to use borrowed funds and mostly relied on the profits already made.

Today, Leonid is the vice president of Moskapstroy-TN. The company specializes in property investment and real estate management. Among other projects, its portfolio includes the Topolya residential complex in Maryino. The complex was handed over in 2021 and consists of three buildings and underground parking. Apartments here are in demand due to the developed social infrastructure and subway proximity.

Family and Children

The executive is a father of two adult children and grandfather of three grandchildren. His son, Andrey Monosov, was born in 1981, and his daughter, Alina Monosova, is nine years younger than her older brother. When talking to journalists, the executive avoids personal topics, so little information about his family life is available to the public. However, it is known that Leonid Monosov finds time for sports and plays tennis.

Andrey Monosov is an economist and executive who works in the construction industry. He graduated from MGSU in 2003 and made a career in a big real estate development company, starting there at the bottom. He and his wife are raising three kids.

Alina Monosova is an MGIMO graduate with a master’s degree in public administration. She worked briefly at the front office of Channel One and then went to the UK to complete a course in global management. She worked in marketing for over ten years and then switched to investment projects. Today, she owns a Telegram channel and studies psychology.

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