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July 18, 2012

Demand in Edinburgh accelerates in previous quarter

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Office Space @ 6:00 am

While news that Edinburgh’s office space market experienced accelerated demand last quarter would normally be greeted with joy, concerns have begun to arise that the current supply in the northern capital will soon be exhausted.

According to research conducted by commercial premises experts, Jones Lang LaSalle, the more than 244,000 sq ft taken up in Edinburgh during 2012’s second quarter is the fastest growth the capital has experienced since 2007. Not only was this last quarter’s take up was approximately 20 per cent more than Q1 2012’s figures, Jones Lang LaSalle added that 2012’s second quarter left last year’s 150,000 square foot take up positively in the dust.

A series of large scale office space rental deals in Edinburgh city centre drove take up figures, with the 80,000 square foot letting of Exchange Place to Blackrock and Quartermile One welcoming both Investec and Skyscanner as well. However, the result of such heightened demand could lead to a complete exhaustion of all of Edinburgh’s Grade A offices in 18 short months, as the number of construction projects currently in the pipeline cannot possible keep pace unless demand drops off.

The city has approximately 400,000 square feet of new office space available at the moment, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s calculations. However, 25 per cent of that has already been spoken for or is currently being negotiated over.

Ben Reed, JLL’s director of office agency for Edinburgh, remarked that the commercial office space experts have been sounding the alarm for quite some time in regards to the impending shortage.

July 13, 2012

Surrey offices going vacant – local business leaders worry

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With large swathes of office space in Surrey going vacant, local business leaders have voiced their concern in an effort to find a way to revitalise the economy within the region.

The manager of a local shopping centre, Andy Nash, was interviewed by the local Mirror, stating that the economic climate has been feeding a ‘vicious circle,’ as cutbacks to local businesses mean more vacant commercial office space, which then leads to less cash coming back into the community through spending. The more this cycle continues, the less attractive it becomes to live in such an area, and Mr Nash fears that unless something is done soon to stem the tide, the region may begin to slide into obscurity.

Local commercial premises experts agree with the shopping centre manager’s assessment, remarking that when office space rental figures plummet, the economic impact to Surrey could be quite serious. The lack of modern offices in town centres was cited as a major reason for businesses to relocate, as the needs of the modern company have evolved away from the more pastoral second-storey office above the corner shop and towards air conditioned, open plan team offices with lift access for disable clients and updated amenities.

Landlords have been trying to make these older-style offices as attractive as possible by slashing rental prices, but this has had little effect on the mass exodus to more modern offices in larger city centres. Instead, experts say that the next step may very well be to refurbish these offices for residential use in an attempt to attract younger Brits to live in town centre flats instead.

July 11, 2012

Offices are more than just a place to work, experts say

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Commercial premises play a role in establishing the culture of your business as well as simply providing a place to get work done, experts say.

Experts in the office space sector were recently asked by the Manchester Evening News to chime in on their opinions about the kinds of challenges businesses face when relocating from one office to another under the current market conditions, with the consensus being that offices aren’t just places to go in order to get work done. Instead, a company’s office environment is a place that acts as an integral piece of the support structure of the business.

There’s simply more than just keeping the rain out when it comes to office space, experts commented. You need to provide an environment to your staff in order to allow them to function properly and efficiently in their roles, and the right office environment goes a long way towards achieving that goal; businesses are now keeping these needs in mind as much as they are keeping a close eye on the costs of an office space rental.

Office relocation is now as much about finding commercial office space that will provide a cost-effective place to conduct business as it is about finding a place that will support the cultural identity of a given company, experts added. The least expensive option isn’t always the best one, even though economic pressures place an inordinate amount of weight on that particular factor, but business owners and office managers are rapidly learning that an office accommodation that ticks all the boxes – and not just one – lead to business growth.

July 4, 2012

Edinburgh Grade A office supply dangerously low?

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One new report from commercial premises specialists GVA has revealed that it could be as little as 18 months before the Grade A office accommodation in Edinburgh is exhausted.

Demand in the Scottish capital’s city centre seems to be following in the footsteps of London’s market, as it will soon outstrip the remaining supply of office space, GVA said, adding that a large part of the problem is both a lack of confidence in the private sector and severely restricted finance options for new construction in Edinburgh. There is an ‘urgent’ need for grade A office development in the city, argued the commercial office space specialists in their report, especially in light of the highly energetic nature of the grade A office market over the last year in Edinburgh.

Stock is continuing to diminish – and rapidly – GVA warned, and with no evidence existing that demand will recede any time soon, the property consultants fear that the well will soon run dry in regards for appropriate grade A space.

AGV Scotland’s national markets director, Toby Whithall, commented on the new report, remarking that many make the common mistake in thinking that the banking crisis and resultant economic downturn led to financial service companies abandoning the city in droves as their costs ballooned, the truth of the matter is that the lion’s share of the banking sector doing business in Edinburgh remained exactly where they were, which means that there is very little high-quality space in the city that has remained unoccupied. Moreover, new construction remains very scarce, with only two sites in the pipeline to be completed in the immediate future, which could lead to upward pressure being exerted on office space rental prices in Edinburgh as supply dwindles while demand continues to rise.

June 13, 2012

Manchester rental prices predicted to outpace inflation

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Manchester office space rental prices are expected to outpace the inflation rate, commercial premises experts have predicted, as the city grows to become a more costly place to conduct business.

According to Savills, office rents in Manchester city centre have already gone up more than double the inflation rate over the past 12 months, with even more growth to be expected over the coming months. The estate agent’s latest market report for Manchester found that headline rents are being pushed up by a dwindling office accommodation supply.

While Manchester’s vacancy rate has gone down to 11.7 per cent – which equates to eight out of every nine square feet of city centre space taken up – the remaining accommodation is of lesser quality.  Less than 750,000 square feet of grade A office space remains available within the city,  and with demand levels spiking without any significant new construction in the development pipeline, Savills remarked that the balance of power is set to shift back towards landlords and away from tenants.

The property expert’s report fund that headline rents are now £30 a square foot in Manchester, which is 7.1 per cent higher than 2011’s top rental price. Savills Manchester head, Patrick Joynson, remarked that the remainder of office stock still available could quite easily be gobbled up by any number of substantial corporate requirements that are circling like a pack of hungry sharks, which could place even more upward pressure on rental prices.

Mr Joynson indicated that Savills expects these trends to persist over the coming two years, though pre-letting activity will most likely go on being more competitive.

May 25, 2012

Odd mismatch between demand and supply in UK

There’s a bizarre, puzzling mismatch when it comes to available office accommodation in the UK, with some of the fastest-growing towns suffering from office space shortages while areas with weaker economies have experienced a perplexing boom in the amount of available commercial premises.

The mismatch is a ‘striking’ one, according to the British Council for Offices-backed Centre for Cities, as offices are being built in the wrong places according to the existing levels of demand.

80 per cent of medium-sized cities and towns that are exhibiting growth have experienced below average commercial office space growth over the last decade, including Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Northampton, Peterborough, Oxford, and Cambridge, according to the Centre.  The only two places that saw growth above average were found to be Crawley and York.

The average cost to take out an office space rental in these towns and cities is around 50 per cent more expensive than the national average, leading many to spend too much on their office accommodation.  However, even with such a heightened level of demand, supply has simply not kept up within these towns and cities, caused by a lack of office space planning approval and land supply, and exacerbated due to the fact that commercial premises developers target big cities as less-risky investments, since the pool of existing occupiers to choose from is much larger.

The Centre called for cities and towns to work in much more closer concert with adjacent local authorities in order to bring more choice for businesses and developers into their nearby area, work with existing firms to keep abreast of their needs for the future, and keep a higher profile with national property agents.

May 10, 2012

iGO4 increases commercial office space at Olympus House

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Office Space @ 6:00 am

One firm specialising in home and personal car insurance recently announced it will be increasing the amount of commercial office space it takes up at Olympus House, located in Peterborough, experts say.

Specialist insurer iGO4 has signed a new office space rental agreement on the remainder of the available space, located in Werrington Centre and owned by Cambridge’s Howard Group.  The new, expanded letting leaves the edifice now completely occupied, and provides substantial room for iGO4’s expansion plans.

The insurer now has access to not just the ground floor of the building in its entirety but has added one third of the first floor as well, spread across suites 12, 14, and 17.  The first two suites have just over 2,060 square feet between them, while suite 17 boasts 1,815 additional square feet of it own, and all three suites have been let through July of 2016.

Founded by Matt Munro and Tom Cooper in November of 2007, iGO4 Limited’s executive board has in excess of four decades worth of experience in the personal insurance cover marketplace.  The firm has been expanding rapidly since its inception, adding three personal insurance brands named iGO4 More, and iGO4 Essentials, and finally iGO4 Insurance.

With its wide range of different products, the insurance specialist can provide customers with both a price and a level of cover that is appropriate for them in a transparent and easy-to-use way.  iGO4 has been praised by industry experts for its clear-cut approach to personal insurance products.

May 3, 2012

Debenhams announces expansion of its London offices

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One major department store chain recently announced the expansion of its North West London offices with a take-up of additional space at British Land-owned Regent’s Place, industry insiders say.

High street retailer Debenhams has entered into a new office space rental agreement which will bring an additional 29,500 sq ft to its soon-to-be completed new headquarters at 10 Brock Street.  With a 25 year occupancy term, Debenhams’ total commitment now stands at 174,500 sq ft of commercial premises at the development, which is owned by British Land.

Debenhams first made the announcement in September 2011 that they intended to take up new offices to let at the Regent’s Place complex in NW1, with their initial space requirements for 145,000 square feet.  The retail park, once completed, will offer 240,000 sq ft of residential flats and 760,000 sq ft of offices in the West End.

Debenhams PLC chief executive, Michael Sharp, expressed his delight to announce the additional take-up of space at Regent’s Place.  The attributes of the estate are quite clear, Mr Sharp added, praising the excellent amenities and positioning of the building, adding that Debenhams will continue working with British Land as it prepares for relocation to the new offices, which are slated to be complete in 2013.

British Land’s offices head, Tim Roberts, also commented, stating that he was quite pleased to announced the letting of the additional space to Debenhams.  The appeal of the estate has become quite clear with such major companies such as Debenhams selecting Regent’s Place as their future home, Mr Roberts added.

March 7, 2012

Google confirms office space move to King’s Cross

Filed under: News,Offices To Rent — Tags: , , — Office Space @ 6:00 am

It turns out that the rumours that have been circulating around Google’s possible commercial office space relocation have proven true, as the search engine giant has confirmed that it will be vacating its old offices to rent in Victoria to a new King’s Cross location in a few years.

With Google’s office space rental agreement expiring in 2016 on its current offices, located on Buckingham Palace Road, the internet firm will move to greener pastures behind King’s Cross railway station, where a 752,000 square foot office accommodation is currently undergoing development.  With an exclusive agreement being reached between Google and Argent, the property’s developers, the new space is set to be designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

It had long been rumoured that Google had been searching for a new home for its future London headquarters, such as spaces in Paddington and Canary Wharf or the Olympics media centre.  However, the new site chosen by the search giant will be a five-building campus located adjacent to the soon-to-be completed King’s Cross ticket hall, and will be sharing space with other entities such as Central St Martins, Camden Council, and BNP Paribas.

The development, which will stretch over a total of 67 acres, will soon be the home to restaurants, retail outlets, and flats in an area that was derelict previous to the re-development.  50 per cent of the space is owned by Hermes, the developers of King’s Cross and members of the King’s Cross partnership, while the second half is held by London & Continental Railways and DHL.

March 3, 2012

The Peak welcomes new tenants for its office space in London

The Peak, an award winning retail and office space development in Victoria, SW1 owned by AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, The Co-operative, and Heron International, recently welcomed two new tenants for the commercial premises, experts say.

Recruitment company Reed Executive has announced it will be taking up 8,817 square feet on the development’s first floor, with an expectation that it will be relocating there within the coming months.  An additional 10,816 square feet of commercial office space on the third floor will be taken up by David Sainsbury’s Gatsby Foundation, which the politician founded to facilitate his charitable objectives.

The two new occupiers join three existing ones, Global Infrastructure Partners, Wates, and G4S, which occupy the building, with Halifax and HSBC taking up retail units on the ground floor of the building.  The entire space is now approximately 80 per cent let following these new office space rental agreements, with the remaining 22,000 square feet of space available on an institutional lease term from Heron at a headline rent of £65.00 a square foot.

The building, which was named ‘Best Office Development’ at the UK Property Awards and was given the ‘West End Development of the Year’ title at the latest Offices Awards, boasts impressive sustainability credentials, offering transparent floor plates and high levels of natural light, thanks to its location opposite Victoria Station.  There is also enough storage space for up to 100 bicycles incorporated into The Peak, thus encouraging alternative modes of transportation in order to reduce carbon emissions.

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