A guide to serviced offices and office space to rent in Gothenburg as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in the city.
History & Geography
Located on Sweden’s west coast, Gothenburg is one of the largest cities in the Nordic region and the second largest city in Sweden. Gothenburg is equidistant between Copenhagen and Oslo and sits on the mouth of the river Gota alv, which feeds into a branch of the North Sea. Its location made Gothenburg strategically important and it was for this reason that it was founded in 1621 by Sweden influential King Gustavus Adolphus. Due to the marshes in its location, Dutch engineers from Amsterdam were drafted in to design the city and the Dutch influence on the city is still very much in evidence today. Gothenburg also had a large population of Scots, and to this day the surnames of Glenn and Morgan can still be found in the city. Additionally the city’s Chalmers University of Technology was founded by William Chalmers, the son of a Scot who immigrated to the city. During the 17th century massive city walls were constructed around Gothenburg, however by the 19th century these were rendered obsolete due to the development of cannons. For much of its history fishing was Gothenburg’s main industry, however with the founding of the Swedish East India Company trade also became an important bulwark of the city’s economy. The fact that Gothenburg was the only city in Sweden with permission to trade with foreign merchants helped transform it into a major commercial centre. Eventually Gothenburg’s harbour became one of the most important in the country and Sweden’s main hub of trade to the west. In the 19th century Gothenburg became fairly industrialized and its population grew significantly. From 1800 to 1900 the population of the city increased tenfold. The two major companies of SKF and Volvo were also founded in the city during this time.
Trade and shipping are still a major part of Gothenburg’s economy. Today the city has the largest port in Scandinavia and sees a major amount of cargo traffic. Manufacturing and industry also continue to play a large role in the city’s economy. Large companies like SKF, Volvo, Ericsson and Volvo all have large operations in the city. Currently Volvo is the largest employer in Gothenburg. The city is also the terminus of the Valdemar-Goteborg gas pipeline, bringing gas in from the North Sea to Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. While manufacturing and other industries which hire blue collar workers are still important in the city, recently there has been a gradual swing away from the manufacturing industries in Gothenburg towards high tech. More and more high tech companies are choosing to base themselves in the city and have become major employers. Service industries such as banking and finance are also growing, as are the event and tourist industries. Gothenburg has a large immigrant population, attracted by the city’s varied and vibrant economy. These mostly come from Iran and Iraq. Gothenburg also has a large student population due to its two universities, the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology.
Tourism & Culture
As one of the largest cities in Scandinavia, Gothenburg has a growing tourism industry and a thriving cultural scene. Many of the city’s most popular cultural institutions, such as the Gothenburg Museum of Art and the city’s concert hall, library and theatre, are located on Gotaplatsen, a large public square in the centre of the city. From Gotaplatsen runs Kungsportsavynen, the main boulevard of the city, which features a large range of pubs, clubs and restaurants. Another popular area of the city is Haga, famous for its atmospheric wooden houses and cafes. Most tourists also visit the Gothenburg Botanical Gardens, generally considered one of the best of its kind in Europe. It is located adjacent to the city’s largest park, the Slottsskogen. The city’s amusement park, Liseberg, in central Gothenburg, is famous throughout the country and is visited by over three million people every year. The Southern Gothenburg Archipelago, a range of beautiful islands near the city, is also a very popular tourist attraction. It can be reached with a ferry and features the fortress of Alvsborg, built in the 17th century as a defence against the marauding Danes.
Gothenburg has two international airports within striking distance, the Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport, and Gothenburg City Airport. The former is approximately 20 kilometres from the city and is the largest international airport in the area, serving almost five million passengers every year. The latter is located 15 kilometres north of the city centre as is mainly used by budget airlines as well as Swedish rescue services. There are ferries between Gothenburg and Denmark and Germany, however the ferry to the UK stopped running in 2006. The train’s main station is Gothenburg Central Station, which as connections to all major cities in Sweden. Gothenburg itself is served by a major tram system, the largest of its kind in Scandinavia. There is also an extensive bus network which serves the city’s many outlying suburbs.
The Swedish economy has recovered from the financial crisis faster than many others in Europe and demand for office space has also increased. Gothenburg’s vacancy rate has been steadily decreasing over the last couple of years and now stands at seven percent. Prime rent for the central business district currently stand at SEK 2,400 per square meter per year. In the rest of the city centre Grade A office space is currently renting for about SEK 2,200 to 2,000. While there are several new schemes in the pipeline, it is doubtful whether these will ease competition as demand is growing and therefore rent prices are predicted to increase slightly over the next few years.