Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mayors Launch Berlin House

MTMayor Yury Luzhkov leaving Berlin House last week.
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov last week formally opened Berlin House, an upmarket office and retail center behind the Bolshoi Theater.

The 7,000-square-meter complex on the corner of Kuznetsky Most and Ulitsa Petrovka will house a representative office of the Berlin government.

The project grew from an agreement signed by Luzhkov and then-Berlin Mayor Eberhard Diepgen in October 1993 to promote economic ties between Germany and Russia. Diepgen also attended the opening ceremony.

The building's office and retail space has been almost completely leased. The tenants include news agency Reuters, telecom Alcatel, several clothing stores and the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory's first Moscow store.

Some tenants will arrive in August, before the grand opening in late September or early October, said Natalya Oreshina, head of retail at Stiles & Riabokobylko, the Moscow office of Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker, whose company was involved in the leasing.

A spokeswoman for the developer, builder and landlord Dr. Goerlich GmbH, said the Berlin-based real estate investor hopes to sell the building for more than 60 million euros ($60 million).

The spokeswoman declined to give a construction cost for the building, work on which was temporarily frozen after the 1998 financial crisis. German construction firm Hochtief resumed work on the building in mid-2000 with a new Dr. Goerlich investment vehicle called Connecta KG.

Wolfgang Goerlich, head of Dr. Goerlich GmbH, said at the opening that the site had been a trading place for German and Russian merchants in the 17th century.

A delegation of Berlin businesses accompanied Wowereit on his visit and met with Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref, Luzhkov and Russian Chamber of Commerce president Yevgeny Primakov.

Jorg Schlegel, spokesman for BAO Berlin International GmbH, a Berlin-based consultancy that promotes international trade, said there are about 100 Berlin enterprises in Moscow. The German capital did some 151.6 million euros of trade with Russia last year, but no figures were available for Berlin's trade with Moscow.