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The continuing and consistent popularity of the West End has kept prices high over the last 12 months. Added to this is the trend for turning the old, grand residential houses, which have been used as offices for years, back to luxury properties for the wealthy – who are often overseas investors. The demand that is queuing up for square-footage in the area, as well as the residential conversions, has led to a shortfall in supply – and the demand shows no sign of waning.
The result is that the fringes of the West End, the areas that would once have been overlooked in favour of Soho, St James’s and Mayfair, are steadily gaining both popularity and value. Victoria, for example, and King’s Cross, are not only already different from their former incarnations in terms of occupiers, but are set to change further.
The fact that Google and American Express have put down UK roots in these locations has meant that developers are taking note. Land Securities has several projects – modern, desirable, tenant-friendly buildings – in these districts, one of which is partially let to Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc. The reputation and scale of such companies can have a direct effect on an area, and the status of a West End address may no longer constitute the ‘be all and end all’ for many businesses. Land Securities has further plans for Victoria, in the sum of £2 billion. In addition, Blackstone Group also has ambitions for the Thames-side Adelphi building, hoping to capitalise on the tenants and businesses who are either being pushed from the expensive West End, or who are hoping to be part of the next up-and-coming business district.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.