Offices empty as firms flee Zurich’s city centre

by Malcolm Curtis| The Local, Switzerland | July 24, 2012

Large companies are abandoning offices in the centre of Zurich in favour of cheaper, more modern premises in the suburbs, where land prices are lower.

The result is empty floor space in many downtown buildings, according to real estate experts.

Although commercial rents remain costly in the centre of Switzerland’s biggest city, the situation is rapidly evolving.

In the next two to three years “property owners will most likely need to lower their rents by 10 to 20 percent if they want to find a buyer for their rooms,” Daniel Stocker of Colliers International, the real estate company, told the Tages Anzeiger newspaper.

One reason for the drop in demand is decisions by large employers such as the UBS bank to transfer jobs to locations like Altstetten, Oerlikon or Opfikon on the city’s periphery.

Credit Suisse in March moved more than 2,000 employees to its Uetlihof building southwest of the city centre, while insurer Allianz is transferring 1,200 workers to a site in suburban Wallisellen.

The University of Zurich and the city’s college of education are both shifting operations out of the central business district.

Experts say older buildings in the centre no longer meet the needs of commercial tenants because they do not allow for “open plan” offices and are energy inefficient, besides being difficult to reach by car.

To read the full article, check TheLocal.ch

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About Malcolm Curtis

Freelance English-language communications professional (writing, editing, translations) based near Geneva, Switzerland. Let me know if I can help you.
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