The government of Moscow won the case against McDonald’s Corporation about the rent for the restaurant and the central Moscow office of the company. Moscow wants McDonald’s to pay the rent in accordance with the minimum rate in the city center, RIA Novosti reports.
Moscow signed the lease agreement for two offices with McDonald’s in the beginning of the 1990s for the period up to December 24, 2041. The agreement stipulates an extremely low price for the rent of one square meter in two buildings in downtown Moscow – one ruble a year.
McDonald’s rents 1,577 square meters in Moscow’s iconic Arbat Street, where one of its first Russian restaurants is located. The corporation rents another building in the Moscow center – 859,2 square meters – where the company trains its personnel.
There were other precedents, where the office rent in Moscow was also evaluated at only one ruble per square meter a year. However, by 2009 the low rate had been preserved only for two McDonald’s offices in the center of Moscow.
In the summer of 2009, the Moscow government filed a lawsuit against the fast food chain claiming an appropriate rent which would correspond to the minimum rate in the city. In 2009, the minimum rent made up 1,000 rubles per square meter a year, and it would be raised to 1,200 rubles in 2010.
McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Moscow on January 31, 1990 on Pushkinskaya Square. Thousands of people came to the square and lined up in front of the restaurant in a hope to eat a Big Mac and fries. The restaurant served sandwiches to 30,000 customers during the opening day, which set a world record for the first working day in the history of McDonald’s. Two new restaurants opened in the Russian capital in 1993.