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Waterloo appeals to many companies due to good accessibility into London, and as a result agents from Morgan Pryce, the London-based commercial tenant acquisition agency, have noticed how supply of suitable and available property has dropped significantly.
“It is incredibly hard to find conventional office space in Waterloo yet we encounter constant demand for it from potential tenants,” says Tom Lax, Senior Surveyor at Morgan Pryce, “So landlords of new offices in Waterloo tend to find tenants rapidly.”
Waterloo is unsurprisingly a popular location for office-based businesses, largely due to its excellent transport links into London, but also because rents for leases here have not yet become as high as in many other parts of Central London.
Rhodri Mason, surveyor at Morgan Pryce says, “Rents for offices in the West End are increasing so rapidly that other areas such as Waterloo are becoming increasingly popular as they are still more affordable.”
As a measure to deal with this high demand for office space in Waterloo, the exciting announcement that Lambeth Council’s planning committee has allowed the regeneration of Elizabeth House outside Waterloo Station on York Road could not come at a better time. The development scheme, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, will include two buildings which comprise 85,700 square feet of office space and 142 residential units. The design also uses a total of 10,000 square metres of public space carefully spread throughout the site, linking the South Bank with Waterloo station and providing better access to the London Eye and St Thomas’ Hospital. Previous schemes such as ‘the three sisters’ failed to satisfy the councillors, but the mixed-use development appealed as it improves the area around Waterloo as a whole.
Development schemes to change whole areas
This development is expected to promote more business within Waterloo, encouraging economic growth as access to and from one of London’s busiest stations is significantly improved and in turn making offices there increasingly desirable.
Elizabeth House is not the only scheme along South Bank that is likely to create further interest in offices in SE1. Already the Blackfriars Tower scheme, which was given planning permission in 2007 by Southwark Council, has been pre-let to the global media company UBM.
As pointed out by Sally Brough, Associate Director of Morgan Pryce, “The amount of regeneration between Waterloo and London Bridge has the potential to completely transform South Bank. This regeneration will surely drive up interest in offices in Waterloo, Southwark and London Bridge. With increased grade-A office space there is a good chance the cost of leases will increase as well.”
Mix-used schemes such as Elizabeth House succeed in improving a location by benefiting and serving the local community. This has the knock-on effect of bringing in more business, attracting more shops, restaurants and cafes. The area will become a much more pleasant and popular place to work in, which then will draw further business into the area. Office space in Waterloo is expected to become even more desirable with an improved station in a fresh and regenerated area.
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.