As part of its expansion, the leading Nordic IT company Visma has chosen to move into office space at the new Business Garden Rīga office building campus in the Pārdaugava. A lease agreement has been signed with the campus owner and developer, Vastint Latvia, for 1,500 m2 of space, which will accommodate 160 new individual work spaces.
Business Garden Rīga is being developed in three stages with a total of 70,000 m2 of modern office space; it is one of the largest office campuses of its type in Latvia, offering tenants the opportunity to plan for development and expansion within the complex.
“Visma has three subsidiaries in Latvia – Visma Labs, Visma Enterprise and Visma Consulting. Two years ago, all of the Visma companies in Latvia chose Place Eleven as their home base, but as we continue to grow, all of our available work spaces will be occupied by the end of this year. The fastest growing of the three companies is Visma Labs, which provides programming, finance, human resources, digital marketing and customer service support to the other Visma Group companies in the Nordic countries. Visma Labs already has 202 employees and is steadily growing. The other Visma companies are very satisfied with the quality of the services we’re providing, which is why we are regularly receiving new requests for building new teams in Riga.
It’s also fascinating for our employees to see how the company has grown and continues to expand over these last four and a half years. It is extremely important for us to keep our employees happy and inspired, so when we began to look for a new space, we considered the location, car and bike parking availability, the quality of the construction and finishing materials used, the opportunity for further growth, and the better work-life balance for our employees that comes from working closer to home. We are pleased that Vastint’s approach to the development of office buildings at Business Garden Rīga will be able to support Visma’s plans for future growth, and our working relationship with Vastint is very positive.
As we continue to grow, Visma Labs will have staff working in both our existing location and the new one. We have engaged not only Coppa Ltd. architects but also our employees in planning the layout and design of the office space so as to create a new and inspiring working environment. The style guide created by Visma places people at the centre and aligns the functionality and design of the space to create a pleasant and collaborative working environment. We are really looking forward to being able to begin working at our new office this autumn!” says Iveta Bukane, CEO of Visma Labs.
At the heart of the Business Garden concept – which has already developed several large campuses in Poland and has sites under construction in Romania and Lithuania – is focusing on the individual. This entails creating a comfortable, high-quality environment for the wellbeing of employees, e.g. a green zone with areas for recreational and sports activities, amenities and services that simplify the daily life of employees: restaurants, cafes, meeting rooms on the buildings’ ground floors, co-working rooms, a sports club, parcel delivery terminals, and other service providers. It is particularly important for multinational companies that the campus is built following sustainability principles such as using energy-efficient and environmentally friendly materials in the construction and finishing of buildings, which will ensure LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
“An increasingly discussed topic both worldwide and in Latvia is the fact that a company’s greatest value is its human talent. According to a global survey conducted by Cushman & Wakefield in 2017, nine out of ten survey respondents said that the work environment is fundamental or critical to attracting talent and promoting employee wellbeing. It is nice to learn that also in Latvia, an increasing number of forward-thinking companies like Visma have made the wellbeing of their talent a company priority,” says Līga Daniļeviča, Marketing Manager at Vastint Latvia. “The expansive green zone for leisure and sports activities, the wide range of services right on campus, bicycle parking, showering facilities, indoor space suffused with daylight, safe and environmentally friendly materials, and community building – these are just some of the many factors that contribute to the wellbeing of everyone who uses the building. This, in turn, promotes creativity and productivity, which improves the company’s competitiveness and growth potential. We are pleased that Visma recognises this and that they have specifically chosen to expand the company to the Business Garden campus”.
The location of the campus in the Pārdaugava district of Riga has various advantages – the campus is just a few minutes’ drive from the airport and has a well-developed surrounding infrastructure: shopping centres, schools, various sporting facilities, and entertainment venues. There are several universities and colleges nearby which are attended by about 30,000 students.
One of the elements of employee wellbeing is a balanced work-life relationship in which the proximity of the workplace to one’s home plays a major role. Until now, most people living on the left bank of the Daugava River have had to travel across bridges to get to work. According to statistics, almost 0.5 million people live in Pārdaugava and the surrounding area (Mārupe, Jūrmala, Babīte, Ķekava, Baldone, Olaine, Ozolnieki, Engure, Jelgava and Tukums), many of whom would greatly appreciate spending less time on their daily commute and having more time to spend with family and doing things they enjoy.
Construction of the first phase of Business Garden Rīga is actively underway, resulting in two office buildings with more than 14,000 m2 of space, parking space for 200 bicycles, and parking spots for 109 cars underground and 504 cars above ground. It is planned that the first buildings will be completed by the end of this summer, and this autumn the private daycare centre “Patnis” will open in one of them. Agreements with a restaurant and cafe service provider are close to being finalised, and parcel delivery terminals will soon be installed.
CBRE Baltics advised Vastint Latvia regarding the lease transaction, while Colliers International advised Visma.
“When tenants begin considering either relocating or expanding their offices, they often have the impression that this is a very complex and time-consuming process. As the developer of Business Garden Rīga, Vastint Latvia is a very good example of how to make this process smooth for tenants – from helping to design the tenant’s office floor plan and finding the best planning solutions together, to completing the space according to the tenant’s wishes,” says Reinis Lauskis, CBRE Baltics Senior Leasing Manager. “When taking their first look at new office projects, potential tenants often assume that significant investment is still needed before the space can be fully adapted to their needs. In the case of Business Garden Rīga, the office buildings already have raised floors, which simplifies work-area planning, as well as fully built ceilings with already installed lighting and ventilation, which once approved, can be adjusted to provide a comfortable environment for either working or relaxing.”
Jevgēnija Kņaževa, Associate Director of Brokering at Colliers International, says that “Visma is a corporate client of Colliers International whom we have been working with for more than five years, and we are proud to be able to represent and secure good conditions for this company in lease negotiations with property owners. In today’s market, companies are competing for talent and they wish to offer their employees better conditions and work environments, meaning that they highly value the quality of the office space that they provide. We are confident that by expanding their operations, Visma will strengthen its position as one of the most coveted employers in the market.”