• Switzerland's news in English
 

Offices empty as firms flee Zurich's city centre

Published: 24 Jul 2012 07:59 GMT+02:00

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.

And rental costs downtown remain high.

UBS pays less than half for its space per square metre in Altstetten than in the city centre, Tages Anzeiger reports.

While businesses appear keen to abandon the core, demand for residential accommodation there remains high.

However, a study by consultants Wüest & Partner concludes that converting office space into apartments is costly and difficult.

Still, some foresee a demand, even with apartment rents estimated at up to 5,000 or 6,000 francs a month for 100 square metres of floor space.

Apartment conversions would bring full circle a process that saw hundreds of Zurich’s downtown homes converted into offices in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

2012-07-24 12:25:02 by smeghead
I feel that it is better to spread out offices around the country, less travel for people, more quality time at home, less polution too. rather than have centres for say banking or pharma in one place
Today's headlines
Froome takes on Federer over selfies brouhaha
Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Froome takes on Federer over selfies brouhaha

Roger Federer has drawn criticism from British cycling champion Chris Froome after the Swiss tennis star complained about a boy who jumped onto the court at the French Open to take a selfie with him. READ  

Weather worries again delay Solar Impulse trip
Photo: AFP/File

Weather worries again delay Solar Impulse trip

The most challenging leg of Solar Impulse 2's landmark flight around the world powered only by the sun was delayed on Tuesday due to concerns about the weather, organizers of the Swiss project said. READ  

Police find bodies of two missing mountain hikers
Cabin marking start of Greina Plateau trail, where one of the victims was reported missing. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Police find bodies of two missing mountain hikers

The bodies of two men reported missing earlier this month in separate cases were found on Monday, Swiss police said. READ  

Sex abuse by priests little pursued: report

Sex abuse by priests little pursued: report

Twenty criminal investigations have been launched into sexual abuse allegations in Switzerland against Roman Catholic priests and laymen working for the church since 2010, a media report said on Monday. READ  

Severed rope recalls Matterhorn's first ascent
Climbers for Mammut near Matterhorn's summit. Photo: Christoph Frutiger/Mammut

Severed rope recalls Matterhorn's first ascent

As Zermatt celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, The Local’s Emily Rose Mawson delves into the story and finds out more about the iconic Swiss summit that so many people want to climb. READ  

UN head calls for global climate change action
Photo: Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP

UN head calls for global climate change action

UN chief Ban Ki-Moon on Monday called for "global action" this year to limit climate change as international weather experts began a quadrennial congress in Geneva. READ  

Maradona: Swiss Fifa chief Blatter is a dictator
Diego Armando Maradona plays the ball during the inter-religious "match for peace" in Rome's Olympic Stadium on September 1st 2014. Photo: AFP

Maradona: Swiss Fifa chief Blatter is a dictator

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has attacked world football chief Sepp Blatter, calling the 79-year-old Swiss "a dictator" and claiming his bid for a fifth term as Fifa president is "an absurdity". READ  

Switzerland extradites French teen jihadist
Ancient city of Palmyra in Syria now reportedly in the hands of Isis jihadists. Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/File

Switzerland extradites French teen jihadist

Switzerland has extradited a French teenager who was trying to reach Syria for a second time since March, the federal department of justice said on Friday. READ  

Richemont confirms financial losses cut profit
Photo: Richemont

Richemont confirms financial losses cut profit

Geneva-based Richemont, the world's second largest luxury goods group, confirmed on Friday that its annual net profit fell by more than a third due to losses on financial instruments. READ  

Top court refuses to accept child's two fathers
Photo: Bundesgericht

Top court refuses to accept child's two fathers

Switzerland’s highest court has refused to recognize two Swiss gay men as the legitimate fathers of a four-year-old child who was born to a surrogate mother in the US. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Four Swiss bathing areas 'unfit' for swimmers: Euro environmental body
Technology
Scientists from Zurich university find craters beneath Lake Neuchâtel
National
Prince William in Switzerland backs fight to protect endangered species
National
Swiss Federal Railways rely on sheep to 'mow' grass alongside tracks
Sport
Switzerland to host 2020 international ice hockey tourney
Business & Money
I never learned German: departing Credit Suisse CEO's regret
Sport
International tennis museum in US showcases Federer hologram
National
Inequality greater than most Swiss think: opinion poll for unions
National
Shooting in Switzerland leaves five dead in domestic drama near Zurich
National
Swiss Federal Railways tackle taboo subject of suicide in bid to cut deaths
National
German expats in Switzerland face discrimination: report
Travel
High prices blunt Swiss tourism's cutting edge: World Economic Forum
Business & Money
Ticked off Rolex slaps Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on wrist
National
Shock and humour drive police safety video warning over 'inattention'
National
Switzerland ranks 13th best place in world for mothers: NGO
Education
Times Higher Education rates EPFL world's top 'young university'
Travel
Switzerland's trains again ranked best for performance in Europe
National
Ten percent of Swiss farmers fail to meet government regulations
National
Municipality of Zermatt bans taking selfies with Saint Bernard dogs
Business & Money
Salt (formerly Orange) aims to shake up Switzerland's mobile market
National
Switzerland tops 2015 world 'happiness index' developed by UN
National
New book: Swiss architect Le Corbusier was 'out-and-out fascist'
Features
Tasty street food catches on in biggest Swiss cities
Sport
Invasion of frogs forces early end to Zurich football game
National
New ranking downgrades the 'power' of Switzerland's passport
Features
Swiss hotel management schools serve up 'world best' recipe
National
Segways win approval for operation on Swiss bicycle lanes
National
Joan Baez and Sting in lineup for this summer's Paléo music festival
National
Second CERN club skier dies from avalanche in Valais Alps
Sport
Lausanne and IOC celebrate a century of Olympism
National
Bern waters down criteria for beer that can be labelled ‘Swiss’
National
Internet giant Google named most attractive employer in Switzerland
National
VIDEO: Swiss television satire clip ridicules Americans on ski slopes
National
Immigration remains top election issue for Swiss voters: opinion poll
National
Environmental bureau ranks Zurich first among Europe's 'sootfree cities'
National
Zurich crane-climbing stunt by teenager flags 'roofer' concerns
Education
THE ranks EPFL among seven 'fastest rising young universities'
Features
Mobility takes off as young urban Swiss catch the car-sharing bug
Business & Money
Ethical Coffee Company aims to beat Nespresso in home market
National
Use of temporary staffing continues to rise in Switzerland
Features
Six steps for expats to get along better with the Swiss
National
Swiss foreign affairs minister touted as candidate for top UN job
National
One of Switzerland's most celebrated artists dies in Lucerne at 106
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,343
jobs available