Experts interviewed by Izvestia on Wednesday, April 21, agreed that the request of the National Fitness Community of Russia to introduce special rental conditions in shopping centers for industry participants is justified and should help simplify the life of fitness networks and save small clubs from bankruptcy.
Earlier in the day, community president Yelena Silina said the industry had asked the government to introduce special support conditions for landlords in order to lower rental prices for fitness clubs in shopping centers in Russia.
As Dmitry Yudashkin, managing partner of the iNST Group, told Izvestia, “any measures” that stimulate the development of business related to physical education are “important and are on the state agenda”.
He noted that, in accordance with the National Goals, thanks to various measures of state support, it is planned to increase the share of Russians who systematically go in for physical education and sports to 70% by 2030.
At the same time, according to According to him, the events listed by the fitness community are “multi-component” and the state needs to clarify how the budget compensates for budget losses due to a decrease in the tax base for retail real estate, whether the amount of state support will depend on the category of the property and its condition (shopping center, business center , commercial housing facilities, warehouses).
“These measures, which are very useful, require detailed elaboration. The tax deduction for the purchase of subscriptions to fitness clubs and swimming pools has been introduced for several years and has not yet earned properly, ”said the managing partner of the iNST Group.
He expressed the opinion that, in general, it is worth changing the format of work of fitness clubs. The landlord needs to be interested in lowering the rent, which is possible if the club becomes an “anchor tenant”. For a shopping center, this is an operator that attracts the widest possible audience of visitors. Then the composition of smaller stores is formed, which earn on this traffic, but also pay for rent, in contrast to the “anchor”, at an increased rate.
According to the expert, it is necessary to create conditions for attracting a wide range of visitors, to improve the quality of sports equipment and services provided on the territory of one fitness club.
According to him, if we focus on the holding of sporting events, this will help to attract an additional audience even from remote areas of the city.
Anna Mankova, senior director of the retail real estate department at Cushman & Wakefield, told Izvestia that the fitness industry, like the entertainment sector, “reacts quite strongly” to all the fluctuations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions. As a result, developers have to make “significant concessions” and, because of this, incur “significant financial losses”.
“The proposal from the National Fitness Community is well founded. This decision will allow maintaining the number of clubs and avoiding bankruptcies. As we know, these projects have a fairly long return on investment, ”she concluded.
Alexandra Bolotnikova, Senior Project Manager, Real Estate, SRG Group, told Izvestia that the measures proposed by the fitness industry “will make life easier for large fitness chains, and small fitness clubs can save them from bankruptcy, and will also remove a certain burden from lessors “.
She stressed that if such a “loyal approach” is adopted, the management companies of the shopping center will be interested in placing fitness clubs on their premises. Bolotnikova admitted that the measures are “too long-term”, given that new clubs are opening in large cities, the industry has begun to recover.
Controversial among the proposed measures, she called the refusal to revise the cadastral value of real estate in the direction of its increase. She noted that in shopping centers fitness clubs usually occupy only a part of not the most liquid area, so the fact of an increase in the cadastral value should not greatly affect the rental rate.
“Taking into account the mechanism worked out in Russia for challenging the cadastral value, if it is overestimated, the owner can always ask for a revision,” she added.
According to her, the property tax measure should only apply to parts of the shopping center that have “design features”, for example, swimming pools, spa complexes, that is, premises that can only be used for a fitness business.
The National Fitness Community also proposed introducing a moratorium for landlords on increasing utility rates until 2023, and subsidizing interest rates on loans for the purchase and construction of real estate. It was noted that the listed initiatives are aimed at supporting and preserving business ahead of the lowest summer season.
In early April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on social tax deduction for personal income tax (PIT) for fitness services provided. Russians will be able to receive such a deduction in 2023 at the end of 2022.