The peak of the release from tenants of retail space on Nevsky Prospekt has passed, and the rate of decline in rental rates has slowed down, says Olga Atkachis, head of the Colliers International street retail department in St. Petersburg. At the end of last year, tenants asked for a discount on rental rates in the street retail segment of up to 35–40% in rubles, and now during negotiations the rates are being reduced by no more than 15–20%. Property owners who do not make concessions and hold high rates run the risk of being left without rental income for 6-12 months based on the timing of the exposure and the grace period for the new tenant, says Atkachis. Rates on central highways, according to Colliers, have decreased by an average of 20-30% over six months.
Retailers have not ceased to be interested in Nevsky Prospekt, which remains an attractive location for a store, but the main problem is in the owners of vacant premises - they keep prices at the pre-crisis level and are ready to wait indefinitely for a tenant who will pay.
According to Atkachis, about 12-15 rooms of different sizes are vacant on Nevsky Prospekt, and in November and December last year the number of such rooms reached 25-30. Lessees are interested in long lease agreements, but owners prefer to conclude agreements for several months or until the end of the year, as they expect the market to grow.