Nearly 50,000 square meters of new office space were commissioned in Rīga last year. Currently, the total available area of office rooms in Riga and Pierīga reaches 640,000 square meters. According to Diāna Frīdenberga, Chair of the Board of the company Ober-Haus Real Estate Latvija, the increase was due to the commissioning of four new office buildings – Z-Tower, Origo One, Jaunā Teika and River Side.
“Unfortunately, all these buildings are filling very, very slowly. (...) Many are in a waiting position. Many are interested in smaller areas if the office lessor has not given any discount,” Frīdenberga said.
Rental discounts were often offered by office managers during the pandemic, however, there is a gradual decline in the amount of discounts, because these are difficult times for lessors, too.
Frīdenberga said that there is no mass abandonment of office spaces. In the market, moves are slow and waiting. But it is not expected that office spaces will remain empty.
“What we see in the world, too, is that a person needs communication, exchange of views, social networking and I think the offices will certainly not disappear. Small cubicles might be missing. The structure will change. Entrepreneurs, thinking one step forward, will think about a greener environment in the office, with better air quality, better office location," Frīdenberga said.
Colliers' partner and agency chief executive, Ēriks Bergmanis, said the first half of 2020 was a period of silence and companies' interest in new offices was low. Companies also started to say that remote work is what they would like to practice in the future, because it is an opportunity to reduce the cost of renting premises and that employees also enjoy such working arrangements.
In the second half of the year, however, there was a new breeze and an interest in offices returned, while the requirements for air quality, workspace layout and placement have increased and reached a new level.
Bergmanis believes that filling new office buildings with renters is a matter of time. In addition, in this and next year, the supply of office spaces will only grow with a number of large and ambitious office building projects, such as the “Verde” office complex, the Preses nams, Business Garden and others.