Gazprom will pay 4.5 billion rubles to rent Fort Tower

The lease agreement is meant for seven years.
PJSC Gazprom leased the Fort Tower business center from Fort Group on Moscow Avenue in St. Petersburg for 4.545 billion rubles, Interfax reported citing Gazprom's materials. The term of the lease agreement is until February 2024. The document was signed in early December; Gazprom and Fort Group previously hadn't disclosed the cost of the lease and its term. According to Interfax, there is no information other than the price of the deal with the sole supplier and the term of the contract.

Gazprom leases Fort Tower on normal terms, the tenant will make monthly payments, said Managing Partner of the Fort Group Maxim Levchenko. He did not comment on the terms of the deal, referring to the confidentiality agreement. The press service of Gazprom did not respond to the request on Tuesday.

Fort Tower is a class A business center located on Moskovsky Prospekt, 139, next to the Elektrosila metro station, the building's height is 80 meters, it has 21 floors. Gazprom will get 29,162 square meters out of the available in the business center 30 840 square meters, as well as all 170 parking spaces in an underground two-story parking. The companies of Gazprom will move after the offices have been prepared on a turnkey basis, previously specified in Gazprom. Together with Fort Tower, the portfolio of Fort Group has 11 retail properties with an area of more than 500,000 square meters. The company was founded in 2011, according to SPARK-Interfax, its co-owner in 2015 was Boris Paikin, who from 2007 to 2013 had headed Gazprom's subsidiary Gazprom-Sotsinvest.

Proceeding from the declared cost of rent, the rate makes about 1900 rubles per 1 sq. m. monthly (including VAT and operating costs) and fully corresponds to the class of the facility, commented Igor Temnishev, director of the services department for tenants of Colliers International in St. Petersburg.

For several years, Gazprom has been gradually moving its offices to St. Petersburg. Two thirds of all transactions made in 2016 in the office market of St. Petersburg fell on the entities of the monopolist and its contractors, as well as the IT company, previously estimated by the head of the research department of the company JLL in St. Petersburg Vladislav Fadeyev. The deal to rent Fort Tower analysts called the largest in 2016.

In 2018, Gazprom, in order to move to Petersburg, plans to complete the construction of the Lakhta Center, with a total area of 400,000 sq.m., 180,000 square meters of which will be in a skyscraper with the height of 462 m. Next to the skyscraper, Gazprom plans to build a new microdistrict with three business centers with a total area of 257,000 square meters, conference rooms (15,000 sq. m.), Underground parking (88,600 sq. m.), walking areas, parks and cultural and sports facilities. The volume of investments in the project may amount to 29.8 billion rubles.
Conclusion of a lease for a certain period does not mean that it will actually be valid all this time, says Temnyshev. A long-term contract can be concluded for any period of time, but it is important to understand how the possibility of withdrawing from it unilaterally has been determined, he adds. According to the expert, almost all office lease agreements provide such an opportunity for a tenant, and a contract that does not have such an item can not be called a market one. That is hypothetically over time, the tenant of Fort Tower can move to Lakhta Center, believes Temnyshev.