Real Estate News
Mirax Moves to Turkey
Mirax Group is capitalizing on Russia’s love of luxury, especially when on vacation. On August 12, the Russian development firm signed a deal with the Turkish Cengiz Group to purchase the Sungate Port Royal, considered one of Turkey’s best hotels, for $340 million. Located on the Anatolian coast, a popular destination for Russian tourists, the Sungate Port Royal currently has an aqua park, 14 pools, 2 spa salons, 11 restaurants, a “Kids’ Kingdom”, a dolphinarium, and a separate complex of VIP villas. Later this month, Mirax will unveil plans for the hotel’s modernization. In a press release, Maxim Temnikov, a member of Mirax’s Board of Directors, said, “We are creating a network of first-rate, worldlevel hotels in various countries of Europe, and the Sungate Port Royal hotel is the fi rst part of this network.”
Starbucks in Khimki
Russia’s first outlet of Starbucks opened on September 6 in Mega-Khimki. Russia is the 41st country in which the international coffeehouse chain has opened a store, and its 14,157 store overall. Despite the popularity of domestic brands Kofe Haus and Shokolodnitsa, Cliff Burrows, Starbucks’ company president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, believes that there is room for his company in Moscow. “Moscow itself is incredibly dynamic in embracing international brands,” he told The Seattle Times. Later this fall, a second Starbucks will open in a more central location on the historic Old Arbat, a popular tourist destination. Starbuck’s joint venture partner in Russia, Kuwaiti-based M. H. Alshaya, earlier revealed that they plan to open 10 stores in Russia by the end of the year.
Highest Take-Up on Record
European office rental markets are booming, according to the data of real estate money management fi rm Jones Lang LaSalle. Their European Offi ce Property Clock shows that, in the first half of 2007, a record 6.7 million sqm of space was rented in 24 major European cities, representing a 9% increase over the previous six-month period. While Paris had the highest level of take-up (1.4 million sqm), Moscow demonstrated the highest increase (76%) to 936,000 sqm. In Russia’s capital, as in many major cities across Europe, office rental rates are also continuing to rise. Prime rents are 15.4% higher than 2nd Quarter 2006, compared to 26.5% in Oslo, 18.9% in Budapest and 14.8% in Athens.
PIK Acquires a 50% Stake in Storm Properties
Russia’s PIK Group has acquired a 50% stake and one share in Storm Properties, a real estate firm specializing in high-end commercial projects, for an undisclosed sum. According to the terms of the deal, PIK reserves the right to purchase an additional 25% stake in the company. In its press release, Storm Properties revealed that it has over 450,000 sqmin Class A commercial projects in Moscow, including the Big City Office Towers (160,000 sqm); the Geneva House (18,000 sqm); Kaluzhsky business park (230,000 sq. meters); and science and technical center Presnensky Val (24,000 sqm). Part of the sum paid for the majority stake will go into the development of additional projects.
Northern Tower Tenants
The 27-story Northern Tower business center in Moscow City will soon be home to tenants City Mortgage Bank, General Motors and TransTeleCom. According to Ludmila Omelchenko, General Director of developing company Severnaya Bashnya, “We have started marketing the top floors of Northern Tower. We are certain that they will be attractive for companies in search of respectable and prestigious offices.” The Northern Tower offers a panoramic view of the Moskva River and downtown Moscow, a 683-car multi-level parking lot and convenient access to the Third Ring Road and Mezhdunarodnaya and Delovoi Tsentr metro stations. 70% of the office premises have already been rented out. Future tenants include Raiffeisenbank, Hyundai Motor, agrochemical corporation Azot, Severstal Auto and Torgoviy Kvartal.