Due to the current recession the development projects seemed to have died down considerably in the South Wales region. However, in recent developments the construction firm of Midas Group have bought an office space of 4,709 sq ft, worth Â£720,000, at the Greenmeadow Springs.
Nevertheless, DTZ are pushing their second phase of development, including 37,000 sq ft of office space in the region. They have further laid the foundations for another building with 11,500 sq ft of office space; supported by Macob, who are planning on a 64,000 sq ft of workspace at the Bocam Park, Pencoed.
Regus Boss Mark Dixon has given his backing to the Sun newspaper’s campaign to help small businesses. He will offer the winner free office space for a year, with runners up getting free office space for three months. Barclays have also stumped up Â£20,000 for the winner of the Sun competition to find Britain’s best local business. With small businesses being crippled by a lack of credit in the market, the tabloid newspaper is hoping to inject some optimism into the market place and have team up with some major corporates to give the campaign some weight.
For Regus, this is excellent kudos and a very canny move strategically because it gives exposure to precisely the kind of marketplace that they can benefit from in the recession. I would contend, with the greatest of respect, that not many Sun readers will have heard of Regus hitherto. If the company can increase domination in the start up and SME markets in the same way they have conquered the corporate market, then they will enhance their dominance even more.
Massive cuts in the price of office space in the West End and the City has put the two area’s within reach of many new businesses. This is a big turnaround from the situation before where premium West End Office Space was the reserve of cash rich private equity companies. NB Real Estate say that office rents in the City of London have fallen 9.5 per cent over the last quarter. The average rent is now Â£47.50 per square foot. The West End has faired even worse, rents have fallen 11.8 per cent with the average now Â£75 per square foot.
Experts believe that Landlords have been cutting rents “Aggressively” in bid to secure tenancies. Despite this, there is still a whopping 10 million sq feet of un let office space in the City. This is the highest level of un let workspace since 2004. Despite this, there is still strong interest from investors, backed by an increase in yields which are up to 7% in the last quarter
The massive Taunton Project of Â£270mn is supposedly the biggest development project for the South West. Just the initial phase includes a regeneration scheme for the 123.6 acre site in the Town Centre.. There could also be the prospect of 7000 new jobs. The site will be spread over 80,000 sq m of work space at a time of financial crisis.
The small Firepool section alone has been planned to provide around 50,000 sq m of office space. This segment alone could be providing around 3,500-4,000 jobs.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of Easyoffice, is looking to open his first business centre in Liverpool. EasyOffice was started 18 months ago and is an extension of the easygroup brand, offering low cost and flexible office space for start up’s an entrepreneurs. Sir Stelios hit the headlines last year after a run in with Regus supremo Mark Dixon.
EasyOffice offer easy in, easy out terms for tenants who can pay as little as Â£99 per week and pay using a credit card. With no need for a legal lease agreement to be drawn up, the current easy locations have been hugely popular. The first easy centre in the prestigious Kensington area of London achieved 100% occupancy in the first two months of opening. There are also locations in Camden and Glasgow
CEO Mark Smith, formerly of Regus said: â€œWhen carrying out market research, we found that many people in the area could benefit from serviced, low-cost office space.â€ The company is believe to want offices that can take 170 desks.
Leeds Office transactions fell by one third in 2008, but demand for office space is due to be sustained in 2009. Last year commercial property agents estimate that the total transactional values hit Â£110m, but this was 32% less than in 2007 and 72% lower than 2006. There was around 275,000 sq ft of new space finished in Leeds last year with a further 290,000 sq ft due to be completed this year. Total take up was 428,000 sq ft last year, 22% below the 10 year average of 551,000 sq ft. This was over 160,000 ft less than was the case in 2007. But with a biting recession should anyone be even remotely surprised?
The commercial property development sector in Scotland has been almost crippled by the financial downfall hitting the market. However, the bigger threat that looms above the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow is not the current situation, but the undersupply of office space that would follow.
Most of the projects, including A Grade office space, that are being continued would not be completed any time before 2011-12. In the meantime a sudden improvement in condition could find these vacant spaces absolutely filled up. Under such situation, there would not be any other office space at hand, to allow foreign business to move in or local ones to expand.
A Â£90 million development in the city of Glasgow is set to create around 2500 jobs. The Atlantic Quay project would give the city a 150 bedroom hotel and also two office buildings. The public square would create high quality office space, shops and leisure facilities.
The developers of the project believe that Glasgow is probably in the best possible condition in terms of need for new office space. Though the economic downturn has hit UK hard, the developers believe that the amount of new office space would attract numerous companies and create jobs too.
Preliminary permission has been granted to the project and it is expected that work would start in a few weeks time. The addition of new office space would certainly open up jobs in this period of crisis for people of Glasgow.
Mark Dixon has given a typically bullish interview with the Telegraph newspaper this week. In it he states that he wants Regus to become the next “Google or Microsoft” and that he wants to Regus to be seen as a useful tool that people use to operate successfully in Business. Clearly Regus have got someway to go to reach the status of Google or Microsoft in terms of monetary value, however it is more the sentiment expressed by Dixon that should be of interest. If anyone thinks that he would be satisfied with Regus’s current domination of the global serviced office market, then they would be under a misapprehension over the psyche of Mr Dixon.
Being green, we all know we should try to, but how many of us actually do? Often, it seems that small initiatives are rather inconsequential compared to the mammoth problem of global warming. However, as we know, if EVERYONE made changes to the way they act and how they consume energy, then there would be a huge overall effect.