Moscow business symbol is dying unfinished?

Moscow-City, or Moskva City, was conceived as the heart of business life of the Russian capital, which would concentrate offices of numerous large and small companies. It was assumed that nearly the entire business community of Moscow would be concentrated in the beautiful skyscrapers on Presnenskaya Embankment in the Central Administrative District of Moscow. Today, however, it becomes clear that the future of the Moscow International Business Center was highly embellished.A modern business center with skyscrapers, which was made a symbol of the Russian capital through a series of powerful PR campaigns, Moskva City, may not materialize according to its original plan. It has been reported that there is actually no one, who would be willing to rent an office in the new business center of Moscow. One-fifth of the offices remain empty. What will happen next?

The construction of the business center has not been completed yet, but several of its towers have already been put into operation. Surprisingly, there is no hype when it comes to the rent of its offices. Analysts say that the state of affairs will remain as it is. As many as ​​90,000 square meters of offices remain unclaimed, which accounts for 19 percent of all Moscow City offices, the Vedomosti newspaper wrote with reference to Valentin Gavrilov, the director of the market research of CBRE said. The owners of premises are forced to make 10 percent discounts in the event there is a need to quickly lease an office.

Tower 2000 and Bagration Bridge, Expocentre, Capital City, the Tower on the Embankment, North Tower, Empire Tower, The Central Core, and the Federation Complex of the business center have already been built. According to Gavrilov, the rooms of the skyscrapers were in such poor demand due to the reduction in the share of international companies in the total demand on office space. Previously, the figure made up 30-35 percent, although currently the proportion of such companies makes up only 15 percent.

However, the shortage of attention will not make developers forget their long-running plans. In 2013, they plan to open the Mercury City Tower and Eurasia Tower. Thus, the market will receive approximately 100,000 square meters of new office space, of which 88,000 refer to the Mercury Tower.  Some experts say that the Moscow City will soon see better times.

A spokesman for Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), who works in the field of commercial real estate, said that the business district on the Presnenskaya Embankment with its numerous offices will come in handy, when the center of the city will experience a shortage of quality office space to rent. This time will inevitably come in light of restrictions on new construction.

The market may recover at this point already in 2014, when Europe comes out of recession. No one can promise that, of course, but brokers are hopeful.

We can only hope that like any project of this scale, the Moscow City will not remain out of business, and modern skyscrapers that indeed look very impressive will find their proper use. 

Maria Snytkova.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov