A guide to serviced offices and office space to rent in St Petersburg as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in the city.
History & Geography
Located on the Neva River on the Baltic Sea, St Petersburg is widely regarded as the most beautiful of the major Russian cities. The city nestles amid the taiga lowlands of the Neva Bay on the Gulf of Finland and extends onto the many islands of the river delta. St Petersberg was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 when he built the Peter and Paul Fortress after capturing the area from the Swedes during the Great Northern War. Thousands of peasants and Swedish prisoners of war built St Petersburg into a sizable city, and many died during the construction. In 1712 Peter moved the capital to St Petersburg from Moscow. The city continued to expand rapidly and Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond was appointed chief architect. After Peter’s death Peter II moved the capital back to Moscow, only for it to be moved yet again four years later back to St Petersburg by Empress Anna of Russia. The city remained the capital for the next 186 years and the seat of power of the Romanov Dynasty. In 1736 much of the city was destroyed by fire, and when it was rebuilt it was reorganized and divided into five boroughs. With the advent of the industrial revolution in the late 19th century the population of the city increased greatly due to an influx of peasants from the countryside. St Petersburg became a major industrial city, eclipsing even Moscow. In the beginning of the 20th century St Petersburg was at the centre of events that resounded around Russia and indeed Europe. It was the site of the Revolution of 1905, and the February and October Revolutions of 1917 which brought Lenin to power. Upon the great revolutionary’s death in 1924 St Petersburg was renamed Leningrad. During WWII Leningrad was besieged by the German army and over a million of its inhabitants starved to death. After the war the city was rebuilt and modernized, acquiring a metro system and more residential apartments on the outskirts of the city. In 1991 the name of the city was changed back to St Petersburg.
St Petersburg is one of the largest and most economically important cities in Russia. The city has three large cargo seaports and also serves international cruise liners. The city is one of the main centres of trade and commerce in Russia, as well as being a shipbuilding giant. The oil and gas industry is also large in St Petersburg, as is aerospace, software, machine building, heavy machinery and transport, medical equipment, publishing, mining and the manufacture of military hardware. The city also has a range of distilleries, and is known as the ‘beer capital of Russia’. It’s Baltika brewery is the second largest in Europe and it also has a range of vodka distilleries, including the Russian Standard Vodka brand. Additionally St Petersburg has the largest construction industry in Russia, which includes housing, road construction and commercial buildings such as office blocks and warehouses. Tourism also plays a major part in the city’s economy, with millions of visitors seeing the city every year.
One of the major draws of St Petersburg is the city’s architecture. Simply put, vast areas of St Petersburg look almost unchanged from how they appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries. The UNESCO World Heritage List refers to St Petersburg as a city with 36 historical architectural complexes and 4,000 separate monuments of history, architecture or culture. St Petersburg has no skyscrapers to spoil its lines and has more Baroque and neoclassical buildings than any city in Europe. The Winter Palace, Marble Palace and Palace Square count as only some of the architectural wonders the city has. A wander down Nevsky Proskpect, the main avenue through central St Petersburg renders and unending array of sites including Anichkov Palace, Grand Hotel Europe, Alexandrine Theatre, Kazan Cathedral and Stroganov Palace. The city is also well known for its many parks, including a large English Garden in Pavlovsk and the Summer Garden which dates back to the 18th century. A favoured way of seeing St Petersburg is a boat tour along one of its many canals or along the Neva River itself. Along with its buildings and parks, the city also has culture to spare, with 221 museums, 2,000 libraries, over 80 theatres, 100 concert organizations, and 45 exhibition halls. St Petersburg also hosts approximately 100 festivals of art and culture every year. And like most Russian cities St Petersburg also has a thriving nightlife. In the past the city has acquired a reputation for crime, with aggressive youths known to target foreigners and exchange students. However over the last few years the crime rate has been more than cut in half, though tourists are advised to remain aware.
St Petersburg has an excellent transportation infrastructure both in the city itself and connecting it to the rest of Russia and Europe. Trains run from St Petersburg to Helsinki and Berlin as well as Moscow. The city has five rail terminals, the Baltiysky, Finlyandsky, Ladozhsky, Moskovsky and Vitebsky. St Petersburg also has an extensive network of trams and trolleybuses, as well as conventional buses. The city is served by Pulkovo International Airport.
As one would expect from a city the size of St Petersburg, there is a large supply of office space – specifically 1.9 million square metres of class A and B space. Recently Phase 2 of the sizable St Petersburg Plaza was completed and Phase 1 of Airportcity St Petersburg. The prime areas in the city for office space are the Moskovskiy, Petrogradskiy, Primorskiy and Central districts. Currently the city has a vacancy rate of 12.6 percent, though that is dropping as demand increases. Class A office buildings currently rent for approximately USD 330 to 400 per square metre per year.