Vilnius is becoming a city of business centres – when one is finished, construction on the next one begins – eight new centres are in the pipeline this year.
© Organizatorių nuotr.

In the capital, a total of eight business centres larger than 5,000 square metre are currently being planned or under construction, lrytas.lt reports. Real estate experts said that property developers aren't the only ones building new business centres.

Perhaps the most well-known and controversial business centre being planned is the k18B business and hotel complex being planned on the right bank of the Neris river.

Last year, Lords Asset Management acquired a site near the White Bridge. At first, architect Remigijus Bimba's design was put forward for a building on the site, but the design attracted a lot of criticism from the public and architects.

The company found another path to building the 19,000 sq. m. building this spring by holding an international competition together with the municipality and the Architects' Union. The winner was American architect Daniel Libeskind. Despite widespread criticism of Libeskind’s design, the 18-story structure will be completed in 2018.

Daniel Libeskind design for a business centre on the Neris bank
Daniel Libeskind design for a business centre on the Neris bank
© Organizatorių nuotr.

On Konstitucijos Avenue, Schage Real Estate's Quadrum 30,000 sq. m. business centre is nearing completion as well.

“New business projects are currently being built in three city zones – Konstitucijos Avenue, Ozo park and Viršuliškės,“ said Mindaugas Statulevičius, CEO of the Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association.

“These locations offer newly-constructed apartments as well so that future office workers wouldn't have to use public transportation or cars. Many international companies are taking notice of this and rent apartments in nearby apartment buildings.”

“We have noticed that the functionality of modern business centres is now more often dictated by buyers rather than developers. Often, projects are implemented according to the future tenants' – usually international companies' – needs. They establish themselves in energy-efficient buildings to reflect their international policies,” he continued.

“Besides, offices are becoming more than just work places. They are being built with kindergartens, public spaces and recreational spaces. The planning of the spaces is changing as well, and companies are supporting free movement and work in cafes or outside,” he said.

A business centre valley by the Neris

On Upės street near the Neris, the SBA group's €17 million Green Hall 2 Business centre is being finished. Tenants may be able to move into this nearly 9,000 sq. m. building by the end of the year.

The building's current façade matches the curvature of the Neris, but it was initially supposed to look differently. A number of years ago, the company held an architectural competition in which a design by a young architect, Linas Karmaza, won.

However, the task of designing the business centre was later handed over to a Danish architectural studio named Arrow in partnership with Lithuanian specialists.

“Green Hall 2 will be one of the only office buildings in Vilnius whose winter heating and summer cooling energy will be provided entirely by a geothermal system. The double façade will not allow the building to overheat in the summer or lose heat in the winter,” said SBA group vice-president Egidijus Valentavičius.

Currently, negotiations for a third business centre, Green Hall 3, are under way. The future building will be much smaller with an area of only 2,700 sq. m. But Žalgiris street will have two business centres.

Two new business centres are also being developed in Šnipiškės. One of them is a project by the Eika company that will be built along with three apartment buildings. The developers are also hoping to attract tenants with modern features like cooling systems, bicycle storage, showers, and rooftop terraces with recreational areas.

The Hanner company's City business centre, which will meet green building standards, has been under construction here since last spring as well. It is said that future tenants will not have to pay for heating because the building will use very little energy and even produce some on its own.

The two new business centres in this area should be completed by the end of 2016.

Major construction near the Japanese garden

The Park Town office complex is rising in the Šnipiškės neighbourhood. The huge 22,000 sq. m. complex should have A-class energy solutions and natural synergy. It will have two green terraces, the smaller of which will feature architectural elements and the larger of which, at 500 sq. m., will open onto a Vilnius Japanese garden that is also being planned.

The business centre's developer, MG Valda, also intends to install a conference centre, restaurants, cafes and a kindergarten. The developer is also promising to focus on making the building sustainable. The complex should be completed by the end of 2017.

€40 million in investments for Lazdynai

In Lazdynai, a slightly more distant neighbourhood, Via Sportas, which belongs to the Helios Group, is developing a business centre as well. Though only the planning stage is nearing completion at this stage, two small glass structures have appeared on the site as visual representations.

The huge business centre does not even have either a name or tenants yet but the company intends to complete the plans for its 55,000 sq. m., 36-story building by the middle of summer and to secure building permits by the end of the year.

“We plan to invest €40 million into the business centre's construction, and because that's not a small sum, we will probably implement the project in two stages. We hope that construction will begin in spring of next year,” said Nerijus Pudžiuvėlis, communications director for Helios.

Ozo park is expanding too

The Technopolis business centre in Ozo park is also expanding. Last year, construction began on a new Delta project into which €11 million was invested. This year, another €24 or €28 million will be invested. The two new administrative buildings of more than 21,000 sq. m. will open their doors at the end of the year.

At the end of last year, the Technopolis office town's Alfa, Beta and Gama buildings became the first in Lithuania to receive the LEED Gold certificate.

Žvėrynas will have an entire business block

The most expensive business centre in the capital will be built by M. M. M. Projektai. The €100 million two-hectare plot will take up an entire block in Žverynas. It will have four 60,000 sq. m. buildings.

“We will adjust the spaces to the needs of the companies working here, especially since the Danish studio Arrow and their Lithuanian architects' concept was that the building would be built for people and that its walls would adjust to them, and not the other way around,” said the company's chief executive Natalija Monkevičienė.

The building will not just have space for mothers, but bicycle storage and bicyclist showers as well. In true Danish fashion, the bike paths around the building will be expanded as well.

The architects said they have emphasised workers' emotional comfort – the theme of water will appear throughout the building, and an open pool will add to that theme (in winter it will become a skating rink). It is projected that the first tenants will move in in the second half of next year.

The construction of a second business centre in Žverynas is also underway. The Narbuto 5 business building will open its doors at the end of next year. The building will feature six above-ground and two below-ground storeys and will be built according to the sustainable BREEAM standard.

The building will cost the E.L.L. Real Estate company more than €9 million and will feature additional room for workers.

There were some potential problems with all these business centres as well, congestion.

“Most of the new business centres are in the centre of the city. If all of the projects are completed over the next few years, all of those streets will simply become impassable. We've discussed this with the city government and the Ministry of Environment,”said Statulevičius.

“We hope to find solutions together that will help reduce the number of parked automobiles and to offer sustainable solutions instead, like a park and ride system or carpooling opportunities,” he said.

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