If you’re seeking to set up a business in Bulgaria, you will certainly need to consider renting out an office. Local, as well as international realty firms operating the domestic market, are best placed to help you negotiate your way around the choices. Yet, we can certainly offer you a fast summary of your alternatives.
Modern office complex
Rental fees for Class A workplace in Sofia stand at 10-12 euro/m2 at the end of 2018. Although at first glance it appears like there are a lot of high office buildings around Sofia, it turns out there is actually sort of a lack of excellent office spaces that fulfills the requirements of international companies. Bulgaria’s popularity as an outsourcing destination has pushed up the leas and has led to reduced availability. Outsourcing businesses require class A workplace with all the modern-day services for their teams. Additional services related to safety, cleansing, hidden wiring, web and phone accessibility, cooling, cars and truck garage, restaurants and coffee shops, recreational locations, among others, are also needed. That’s why large workplace complexes like the Business Park Sofia still draw in many companies since they offer every one of these additional services, plus outside areas, a selection of dining as well as coffee shop choices, shops, and even dry cleaning. Business Park Sofia remains, in fact, a mini-city.
According to Forton, a real estate consultant, there is presently 1.7 million m2 of Class A and B office space in Sofia.
Most of this is located along the main web traffic highways such as Tsarigradsko Shosse, Bulgaria Boulevard, Todor Alexandrov Blvd, Nikola Vaptsarov Blvd as well as in the residential areas and also the area near Sofia Airport. Significant new projects currently being developed in the prime office segment in Sofia city centre include City Tower (34,600 sq m leasable office space) at Macedonia Square as well as Millenium Centre – 3 high structures near NDK.
Serviced workplace can be a remedy both for long term as well as short-term requirement. Serviced workplace gives fully furnished and also equipped workplaces, IT infrastructure, safety and security and secretarial as well as admin support. This can be a terrific benefit to companies not wanting to make capital expenditure on fitting out a workplace, authorizing long-term rental agreements. Serviced office suppliers offer a great deal of flexibility, consisting of the possibility to alter workplace dimension, per hour rental of conference room, online offices. This is specifically attractive for start-ups and also worldwide companies.
Workplaces in apartment
Many companies still choose workplaces in apartment buildings in the centre of Sofia in spite of negative aspects such as traffic jam, vehicle parking as well as the old facilities of a number of the structures. Most apartment or condos for rental as workplaces are on the ground or on the first floor. The convenience of being situated in the city centre is what leads most companies to select such offices, especially if their organization negotiations happen around. Furthermore, there are some very attractive older buildings around Rakovsky St., Physician’s Garden area, which can add prestige to the firm’s picture. Leas differ hugely from around 4 euro/m2 to equal those of the Course A workplace centres at 12 euro/m2.
Coworking is becoming crucial in Sofia, and there are numerous coworking spaces. Such spaces are Soho, Betahaus,Cosmos Coworking Camp,Trevor Workspaces – Lozenets and more, which offers offices, coworking area, a coffee shop with a yard. Also hosts a variety of exciting events.
Year 2017 that just ended can be defined as the year of the tall buildings in the capital of Bulgaria. The skyscraper projects provoked numerous disputes, protests, and debates about the need for such tall buildings in Sofia and the chosen location for them.
In February 2017 one of the biggest projects – Grand Kanyon Sofia received a building permission. The event was followed by more plans for constructing big office buildings in Sofia including a multi-functional building (215 m) near a large mall, a project for a residential building with offices (100 m) in Lozenets and an office building project (80 m) next to Bulgaria Blvd in Borovo District. In the autumn of 2017, it was reported that there is a serious struggle against the construction of an office building (150 m) in Strelbishte District due to lack of all the necessary documents.
Conversely other two tall office buildings has gained their building permissions and both are currently under construction. One of these office buildings is located on Tsarigradsko shosse Blvd while the other is rising up in the heart of the city on Macedonia Square. The increased demand for business offices in the capital have led to the renewal of several old projects for office buildings as well. In general, the largest office building projects of 2017 in Sofia are mainly focused on good infrastructure and fast transport links, with the new metro lines which are currently in development, being the main factor.
The Today’s Office Building Projects in Sofia
Which are the present worth mention office building projects in Sofia and what will they offer us as work area and environment? Let’s take a look on them.
Grand Kanyon Sofia
Grand Kanyon Sofia is one of the biggest office building projects that will be constructed in Mladost 2 District. The building is situated right next to Alexander Malinov metro station which grants quick access to almost each city point. The investor of this huge project is the Turkish company Garanti Koza.
The project includes modern offices, two residential buildings with 700 apartments, a hotel from an international brand, an entertainment and commercial center with a cinema complex, a spa area, and a park. The investment is expected to reach 120 million leva and the launch of the site is planned for 2020.
Advance Business Center
Advance Business Center is an administrative building on 11 floors in Mladost 4 District. It is built near the Business Park and is expected to be the tallest building in the area. The project has been financed by the foreign investor Global Trade Center. The company plan to open an area of around 14,500 sq. m. with Class A offices right after the first stage of the project is completed.
The investment for the entire project is 54 million euros, and the first building is expected to be finished in April 2019. The second part of the project is awaiting a building permit.
In the very heart of Sofia, only a few meters away from the Levski monument, a hotel of a famous international hotel chain is under construction. In addition to the countless five-star luxury rooms and suites, two restaurants, two bars, and a huge spa center, the Hyatt hotel will offer a large conference hall with an area of 600 sq.m as well as five smaller meeting rooms. The common space for the organization of various business meetings and events will be 1300 sq. m. The company owner of Hyatt Hotel project is Terra Tour Service. It plans an investment of 30 million euros that will support finalizing the project during the first half of 2019.
Building Office A
Located near Tsarigradsko shosse Blvd, this office building will provide office space of the highest Class A. The building will also feature a restaurant, a café and an underground parking area. The investment is 10 million leva and the expected date of completion is December 2018.
Office Building 15
The company Arko Real Property Holding will locate its Office building 15 in the eastern part of Business Park Sofia, not far from the lake. The building features an interesting architecture and offers five levels of offices and two levels of parking lots, as well as a ground floor with shops and restaurants. The roof space will be organized as a small park. The project value is about 30 million leva and the expected date of its completion is December 2018.
Interest in Class B Office Space in Sofia
The optimistic forecasts of the business and the good economic performance in 2017 affected the office property market in Sofia. Along with the new class A office projects the interest in Class B office spaces in Sofia has also revived.
Available Office Premises and New Office Projects in Sofia
The volume of new office rents has increased by 14% in 2017 compared to the previous year 2016. The offices of class A and B available at the end of 2017 are approx. 187,000 sq.m. Under construction are approx. 340 000 sq. m. of office space that are to be completed in the current year of 2018. At the same time, in 2017 were issued building permits for offices with approx. size of 110 000 sq.m. The experts expect that by 2020-2021 another 300,000 sq. m. will be completed.
There is a slight increase in the rental rates, reaching 7-10 euro/sq.m. for Class B offices and 12-14 EUR/sq.m for Class A offices.
The preferred business locations in Sofia remain the same. The interest is towards office buildings located in the districts of Lozenets, Hladilnika, near the Business Park Sofia, around Tsarigradsko shosse Blvd., Todor Alexandrov Blvd and Bulgaria Blvd. These areas have a high percentage of already rented office space at an early stage of the projects. The demand comes from well-established companies that expand their business and from emerging companies that are starting their business in Bulgaria.