Office space in White District, the cluster of business centres near Belorusskaya metro and railway stations in central Moscow, has attracted strongest demand out of all business centres in the O1 Properties portfolio since the start of 2021. More than 6,000 sq.m. of space, excluding renewal agreements, was leased in the district during the first five months of 2021. The vacancy rate at White Square business centre has dropped to 1% and its neighbour, White Stone business centre, is 100% leased. These are the best vacancy figures in the O1 Properties portfolio since 2014.
Cushman & Wakefield reports that the neighbourhood around Belorusskaya metro is one of the three most desired business districts in Moscow for class-A office tenants (the other most popular locations are near Vystavochnaya and Dynamo metro stations). The zone around Belorusskaya metro is also one of the three Moscow zones with biggest supply of premium office real estate. Total supply of class-A office real estate around Belorusskaya is 222,000 sq. m., representing 7% of total supply inside the Third Transport Ring, which defines central and near-central districts of the Russian capital.
Pavel Barbashev, Commercial Director of O1 Properties, said: “Established locations in the central business district attract tenants by their high-quality infrastructure and convenient logistics. White District has always had a reputation as a status location and this is especially important today, when employees are returning to their offices and companies are striving to offer their staff a new experience, which entails tougher requirements for buildings and their management. White District is more popular than ever, confounding pessimistic forecasts about demand for office space in the post-pandemic period.”
In April 2021 Deutsche Bank leased 2200 sq. m. in Building B of the White Square business centre (CBRE was consultant to the transaction) and Russian pharma company Solopharm has rented a 300 sq. m. office in Building A. At the same time a Kimchee restaurant has opened in the retail zone at White Square and a gaming store is scheduled to open there soon.
At the White Stone business centre, the Russian highway company Avtodor-Engineering previously rented 1580 sq.m. and an existing tenant has expanded its office space to 2200 sq.m.
Natalia Nikitina, Partner and Head of the Office Group at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The number of inquiries we are receiving from clients shows that the tendency to reduce leased space may be temporary. Several IT companies and firms with growing volumes of e-commerce hired more staff while working remotely and are short of work places now that they are returning to the office. So we are receiving requests for increase of office space and prestigious locations such as White District will remain in high demand.”