A new trend in the office market: premium premises for a discrete, status-conscious business

Lately, a new trend can be observed in the Old Town, where house properties have mostly been used for commercial and hospitality development purposes: now, top-level or premium offices can be found in these properties with a great location that are available for sale for the needs of a single organisation – with the aim of carrying out a discrete, status-conscious business.

Office building in the Old Town, Audēju Street

Ilze Mazurenko, co-owner of "Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty", shared her observations from the market of business premises. 

"Demand for such premium-class office premises will grow, because, for example, businessmen from abroad or domestic entrepreneurs, who may already have a spacious office in Latvia, might be in need of high-end, presentable premises reflecting their status for a small office in the centre of Riga – excellent location for a discrete, private business," I. Mazurenko believes.

"The ways of using property in the Old Town have been changing recently. The functions of property in this old part of Riga is rather limited – many houses are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, therefore their reconstruction is quite troublesome for the owners, while furnishing with high-quality interior items is time-consuming. Therefore, an opportunity to buy a fully reconstructed and fully furnished historical building, which is well integrated into the environment, with a great location, and ready for use, is quite a unique offer. Until now, such house properties in the Old Town were used either for living (the living function remains only in some parts of the Old Town) or for commercial and hospitality purposes (hotels, restaurants), but recent trends suggest that a new, permanent position is occupied by high-end offices. These offices cannot be compared with office premises of either class A or any other classes associated with many people working together. Such premium offices are suitable for such high-profile professions as lawyers, attorneys, private bankers, financiers, investors, etc. These are customers who appreciate high quality of interior decoration and furnishing, who appreciate privacy," I. Mazurenko comments on the latest trends.

She knows that there are several such premium office properties on the market (and soon there will be a couple more) and provides two striking examples. 

Office building in the Old Town, Audēju Street 

Office building in the Old Town, Audēju Street

One of the most dynamic streets of the Old Town is where you can find one of the most beautiful and luxurious buildings of Audēju Street with more than 200 years of history. In 1900, the facade of the building was designed by one of the most prominent Latvian architects – Konstantīns Pēkšēns. Building is designed in a traditionally eclectic manner, characterized by a steady rhythm of apertures and an evenly distributed architectural decor based on historical forms.

The small five-story building (floor area: 1409.9 m², land area: 393 m²) was fully reconstructed in 2008, and now one can find exquisite office space there with luxurious decorative elements creating a presentable impression. 

On the ground floor, there is an office lobby – reception hall – established behind the large window of the splendid facade. A number of working areas are set up throughout the building: a conference hall, private offices, meeting rooms. The yard is closed with an atrium – a closed glass dome, creating a private courtyard, and there is also a passage from one part of the building to another. On the top floor, in the attic, there is a private space of 170 m², which business people can also use for living, as well as a spacious, open terrace with an exit to the roof, which offers a beautiful view of the Old Town’s rooftops. There is also an elevator in the building, the rooms are equipped with ventilation and air-conditioning systems, as well as other technologies necessary to conduct business. High-quality repairs were carried out in the building using high-quality building materials, while keeping the charm and accents of the old building: the characteristic wooden coverings, brick wall elements; plus, the building is also fully furnished.

Office building in the Old Town, Audēju Street

I. Mazurenko points out that such an office building is unique due to the fact that it constitutes a single office for an organization or a small company with couple of employees, who may move into the building and start working immediately, and there will be no contact with other companies, like in the spacious office buildings with an open layout. “One may have discrete, private conversations in such an office. In my opinion, the time when such meetings were organized in hotel lobbies has passed,” the expert comments.

The high-quality premium real property is for sale for 4.9 million euro.

Office building in the Old Town, Doma laukums 

Office building in the Old Town, Doma laukumsIn an excellent part of the Old Town – opposite to the entry to the Dome Square, next to B bārs and not far from Gūtenbergs Hotel – there is a five-story building with the floor area of  821.1 m² (land area – 203 m²). It is an architectural monument of national importance with premium office space. 

 Historically, this was the publishing house of the Baltic German newspaper "Rigasche Rundschau". Later, there was an antique shop on the ground floor of this building – now it serves as a representation and reception area, which the owner will be able to use for organizing meetings with business partners without going upstairs to the offices. The area is richly decorated: with marble floors, ceiling ornaments, a large fireplace. On the 2nd and 3rd floors, there are offices for the staff, 4th floor is reserved for the head of the company, therefore the floor is furnished in a much more luxurious manner than the other floors: particularly refined classical style with high-quality parquet flooring, high-quality furniture. The 5th floor of the building will be suitable for the company’s accountants and financiers. There is a kitchen and a bathroom on each floor, as well as meeting rooms and individual offices. 

Office building in the Old Town, Doma laukums

A year ago, simplified reconstruction of the facades was completed for this building, and the building was renovated to keep its pre-war appearance. On the ground floor, the shop-windows were replaced with wooden windows with historical division, and the PVC entrance door was replaced with a precious-wood (oak) door with decorative carvings. Bitumen shingle roof was replaced with Ruukki Classic roofing iron, and the old heat insulation was replaced with a new one in full compliance with the technological processes. A facade lighting design was developed. The facade colour was agreed upon with the Riga City Construction Board, receiving the necessary permit, and a new glass canopy was installed over the entrance, the plinth was finished with granite slabs and a basement ventilation system was installed. High-quality indoor repairs were also carried out, and ventilation and air-conditioning systems were installed. 

I. Mazurenko adds that the special bonus of this building is the fantastic view of the "heart" of the Old Town – the Dome Square, as well as the furnishing, supplemented by carefully selected high-quality antique, restored furniture, sculptures, paintings, carpets, lamps etc. This premium office building has two entrances, as well as a parking place in the yard.

The building is for sale with all furniture, interior elements and paintings. 

Both aforesaid buildings are located next to hotels that offer to conclude an agreement on the cleaning services for the building and the provision of meals, for example, for the participants of small, private conferences or seminars. 

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