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Covent Garden has been a popular submarket for many years. Not only is it a humming social environment, it is full of businesses working in a variety of industries.
But today it is often over looked as a starting point for people to start their search. Morgan Pryce Project Director Sally Brough says:
“Covent Garden is an iconic London address and one which people can automatically be associated with high rents. In fact, the area is a hidden gem for companies looking for very affordable rates, as it presents excellent value for money when you consider it’s excellent amenities and transport links.”
In terms of office space Covent Garden has four distinct types of building:
High Spec Media Style – currently priced in excess of £42.50 per sq ft. A building in this category must have a wow factor, high ceilings, lots of natural light and also a good office specification including air conditioning, good common parts and be in a prominent position.
Low Spec Media Style – these buildings are the haunt of the traditional and loyal Covent Garden office dweller. Often full of character, with good natural light. They are often a bit shabby around the edges and could be on a building just off the beaten track. They may also not have air conditioning. Expect to pay around £30.00 – 37.50 per sq ft p.a.
High Quality Corporate Style – these office spaces will attract occupiers such as Hedge Funds, private wealth management and Oil and Gas firms. The choice to locate in Covent Garden is not always budget driven as they could afford a more expensive sub market such as St James. Instead they prefer to stand out from the crowd and choose an area for it’s vibrancy and positive vibes. These tenants will want a top spec building with excellent facilities and they’re often found around Covent Garden’s main Piazza. Rents at the moment are around £50.00 per sq ft per annum.
Conventional Style Mid Range – The last category is a bit of a sweep up and relates to buildings on the fringe off Covent Garden and could include streets like Kingsway, Strand and Drury Lane. An office space in this segment could be anywhere in London in so far as it will be perfectly reasonable and will accommodate the needs for most businesses. It will offer value for money priced in the mid £30s per sq ft and will generally include suspended ceilings, a lift and some form of comfort cooling.
For the last two quarters the demand for office space has been driven by Media companies and the most popular type of space has been the Low spec media Style. Sally Brough comments:
“I have worked with several clients who started and completed their search in Covent Garden, simply loved the area. What I have noticed though is a shortage of well priced and affordable media style space. There are some nice buildings which have been refurbished well but they often lack the ‘edge’ or uniqueness that many of my clients look for.”
At the moment there is choice in the most popular size brackets, but competition is definitely hotting up.
Sean Dooley who is head of the serviced office team at Morgan Pryce says:
“Covent Garden will remain and continue to be great place to start a business. You just need to walk around the streets to feel the energy and buzz. It’s also a popular place for our American clients to base themselves when setting up a London office. There is good availability at the moment in Covent Garden for serviced offices, the national and international operators such as Avanta, Regus, MWB business are well represented but there are some specialist local centres which offer a good choice for our clients.”
He adds: “Looking forward we expect Covent Garden to remain on an upwards demand curve for the rest of 2011. It still represents value in our mind but you’ll need to hunt out the deals as they’re often hidden away.”
To discuss offices to rent in Covent Garden contact Sally Brough on 020 7292 4710.
To discuss flexible options and serviced offices contact Sean Dooley on 020 7292 4715.