JUST BUSINESS

by Bozhidara Georgieva

Present and future of business properties in Bulgaria in 2023 and beyond

The Covid-19 pandemic changed the business property market in Bulgaria and the world, but not in the way that most experts expected. The death of office spaces failed to materialise – instead, they changed to answer the transformations of how we work now. The inflation in construction materials seriously affected the prices of new buildings, and with movement restrictions and increased online shopping commercial spaces had to reinvent themselves, with interest switching from shopping centres to retail parks.

In 2023, the main factor powering the office properties market in Bulgaria are IT and BPO companies. Many of them are leaving behind the pandemic model of remote work – the return to the office is a fact. However, working from the office is not the same anymore – the hybrid model of work transformed the way companies see the spaces that they inhabit. They still seek quality office spaces, but they are not that much into large sizes anymore – thanks to the new ways of organising their work processes they can be as effective in smaller places. Many of them even decided that it would be better to rent offices and workplaces in the new stars on the office property market – coworking spaces.

The advantages of coworking spaces such as flexibility, amenities and more relaxed ambiance made them the favourite of the growing number of freelancers, digital nomads, content creators and companies seeking suitable spaces for sporadic meetings and creative sprints. Consequently, in the past couple of years the number of shared spaces increased, and some of them even opened in the hearth of traditional office spaces – the business centres. Still, the most attractive coworking spaces are at emblematic locations, such as central Sofia, where one can easily blend work and relaxation, business and personal life.

With its theatres, bars and cafés, Rakovski Street is an emblematic location in Sofia. The exclusive coworking space Entract 127 (127 Rakovski St, phone: +359 882 669 836, www.entract127.com) brings to this vibrant environment a needed touch of business atmosphere and a feel of success. Located on six floors in Slavyanska Beseda building, Entract 127 combines the sense of bon vivant mood with stylish ambiance, award-winning interior design and everything that the demanding business or professional might need for their work. The furnished offices, the coworking area and the meeting rooms provide the optimal combination of amenities for each of your specific needs. The management of Entract 127 has also taken care to offer not only top quality maintenance, security and cleaning services, but also professional organisation of events on the top floor of this remarkable space.

A comfortable place where work runs smoothly and the moments of recreation are wholesome – these are the most important conditions that a good coworking space should meet. KORNER coworking (Sofia, 86 Knyaz Boris I St, phone: +359 885 639 028, www.kornersofia.bg) is doing just that. Dedicated to the mission to help freelancers, entrepreneurs and creatives to work alone or in small teams, KORNER coworking has taken care of even the tiniest details to create an encouraging environment. Ergonomic chairs, option for flexible setup, full range of amenities for trouble-free work, meetings and event rooms: everything of importance has been considered here. The central location of KORNER coworking is another bonus: thanks to it you can easily switch from work to relaxation and back. The concept of KORNER coworking has proven to be so successful that it will soon spread outside Sofia – with a new location in Plovdiv.

Logistic spaces also underwent serious transformation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the following inflation. More consumers started shopping online, which forced importers and manufacturers to expand their warehouses and logistic infrastructure. The high prices of construction materials and labour, and the increased rents stimulated many companies to build their own logistic bases and warehouses.

The business properties market in Bulgaria in 2023 so far looks calm. However, construction is slowing down and the economy is recovering, this can mean only one thing – in the mid-term future the market is going to become more active.

When you want to make the best investment in commercial property in Bulgaria or abroad, to evaluate the best options for renting an office space or construction of a logistic center, the most sensible decision is to ask the professionals for their opinion. You will find them at Avison Young – Bulgaria (www.avisonyoung.bg). As a part of the renowned Canadian consultancy company, these professionals offer realistic evaluation of the market condition in Bulgaria and the neighboring countries in Central and Eastern Europe, and give clear predictions on how it will evolve in the future. By using their own expertise and various sources of additional information, they are constantly following the pulse of the economic processes on a global and local level, because they are aware that informed people make the best decisions in a particular situation. Recently, Avison Young published its regular annual paper on the condition of the market – "The global 10 trends influencing the commercial real estate decisions around the world". Read it and get an in depth insight on the processes in the current economy to make the best decision for yourself and your company.

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