Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker (C&W/H&B), which operates the European division of global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, has acquired one of the leading real estate services firms in Russia, Stiles & Riabokobylko, to strengthen further its position in Europeâs fastest-growing market.
From 1 January 2005, Stiles & Riabokoylko, which has worked in association with C&W/H&B since 1998, will become Cushman & Wakefield Stiles & Riabokobylko (C&W/S&R). Stiles & Riabokobylko (S&R) was established in 1995 and is one of Russiaâs leading real estate services firms with 100 people in its Moscow office. Mark Stiles and Sergey Riabokobylko will remain as joint heads of C&W/S&R.
C&W/S&R will be C&W/H&Bâs third largest office in Europe and one of the largest real estate services firms in Russia offering a full range of services, including corporate services, agency, investment, advisory and financial services, research, property and project management across all key sectors of the Russian market.
John Travers, C&W/H&Bâs Senior Partner, comments: âOpening in Russia is part of our wider corporate strategy - to capitalise on the developing dynamics of the Central and Eastern European region and to build on our already dominant position in Central Europe.â
Mark Stiles, joint head of Stiles & Riabokobylko together with Sergey Riabokobylko, comments: âWe have built up a strong partnership with C&W/H&B over the seven years of our association. The logical next step is to become part of C&W/H&B. This will open the doors to leveraging the skills and resources of Cushman & Wakefield on a global level, which in turn will greatly benefit our clients.â
Paul Bacon, C&W/H&Bâs Chairman of Central & Eastern Europe, says: âRussia has one of the worldâs most dynamic property markets given the size and wealth of the country. It is the âjewel in the crownâ of Eastern Europe. Many of our global clients are there already and are looking to expand, and increasingly others are looking at entering the market.â
Background - The Russian Market
Russia is Europeâs biggest country in terms of population (143 million), and it has the fastest-growing economy. Economic growth has averaged nearly 7 per cent a year over the past five years, driven by high commodity prices, especially for oil and gas, and rising domestic consumption.
Retail is a particularly strong market in Russia at present. âThe Russian retail market is becoming increasingly sophisticated and developed,â says Mark Stiles. âThis is being led by the aggressive expansion of retailers and developers in the Moscow area as well as in Russiaâs regional markets. We believe that the market can absorb as many as 50 new developments each year over the next ten years.â
The investment market is also increasingly an area of interest for players from outside Russia. âThe market is reaching a level of maturity that is attracting the institutional investor; yields are 13 per cent and over, and there is a greater amount of prime space coming onto the market and a greater awareness among local developers and property owners of the requirements of institutional investors.â
Key schemes and transactions in which S&R has been involved this year in association with C&W/H&B include:
- Letting agent for âMegaâ shopping centre projects: Mega 1 (160,000 mÂ² of gross lettable area) in southwest Moscow, followed by Mega 2, with 200,000 mÂ² in northeast Moscow, as well as Mega Kazan, to be 62,000 mÂ² of space opening at the end of 2005 in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan.
- Leasing agency of Novinsky 31, an 11-story, 78,000 mÂ² office/retail project in the center of Moscow.
- Initiated pre-leasing as exclusive leasing agent for Krylatsky Hills International Business Park, Moscowâs first non-central, class-A office development. Stiles & Riabokobylko also acted as design consultant on this landmark project.
- Corporate tenant representation for major corporations including Microsoft, Boeing and Sun Interbrew.
- Appointed by ZAO Moscow M