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In 2007, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets published the ‘Aldgate Masterplan’ and since then major initiatives have been in progress to redevelop this currently under-used district.
Aldgate is changing rapidly and is unarguably an up-and-coming area within the financial, corporate world of office locations. Aldgate can be described as a transitional area between the City and the East End, connected via the District and Hammersmith and City tube lines and bus links. Crossrail will also be arriving in 2017 at the nearby stations of Whitechapel and Liverpool Street. Aldgate is fast being seen as a key location, being only a walk away from the City core. At the moment there is an incredible shortage of office space, and Aldgate is one of a few districts that is redeveloping itself as a new commercial base. The delivery of the Masterplan entails the provision of around 861,113 square feet of offices in Aldgate.
It is no surprise that major developers have taken an interest in this opportunity and we are about to see an influx of high-rise complexes within the next five years.
Development process so far
Aldgate’s high-rise skyline is still under construction, but within the next five years we will see it transform into a luxury pocket which will encompass commercial space, luxury modern residential accommodation as well as a deluxe hotel.
The Aldgate Tower, which is currently being constructed by Aldgate Developments, will be ready for occupation by Q4 2013, while Aldgate Developments has also been granted planning permission to build 250,000 square feet of retail and office space at Beagle House on Braham Street. This is expected to be ready in 2015 and labelled under the 2nd phase of the Aldgate regeneration scheme. There is also The Trinity, Beetham’s former project, which would have delivered 1m square feet of new office space in three high-rise buildings but has been replaced by a new residential and hotel project under Bashir Nathoo’s instruction, who now owns the site since Beetham was put into administration by the Management Agency NAMA.
Developing on this site is an ongoing process and proposals are still under way, such as ‘The Scalpel’ at 52-54 Lime Street, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (who also designed ‘The Pinnacle’), resembling an upright scalpel which is due to be ready by 2017. This 623-foot tower will be the new London HQ for the major insurance company WR Berkeley and will be amongst other major offices that are under construction, such as the ‘Cheesegrater’. So far, 140,000 square feet of the Scalpel’s available 564,000 square foot floor space has already been let.
The new Aldgate
From the Masterplan we envision Aldgate becoming a vibrant and thriving locality to both work and live. We can therefore expect there to be a high demand for the acquisition of office space in this location – not just corporate space; the TMT sector will potentially be in need of offices in Aldgate as well. BNP Paribas recently released a paper suggesting that the demand for space by the TMT sector will reach 4.6 million by the end of 2014, and although TMTs are traditionally based in the West End, traditions can change, and we have already seen this sector move towards the Old Street and surrounding areas of the City fringe.
As noted by Eugene O’Sulllivan MRICS, director at Morgan Pryce, “With the buoyant demand in the TMT sector we can expect to see future growth in this sector in the occupier market, especially within the area of Aldgate and the eastern fringe of the City.”
By 2020 we can expect Aldgate to be one of the most mixed-use areas within the capital, encompassing both modern high-rise and period low-rise buildings, and thus providing corporate and media-style office space. It will become the new vibrant place to work, play and live.
Morgan Pryce is 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.