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Areas around Kings Cross and Euston have started to appeal to many companies in terms of location. This is largely due in part to dramatically improved rail services arising from redevelopment of the surrounding stations but it is primarily the extravagant new Eurostar development at St Pancras with the updated Kings Cross underground station which have acted as a draw to businesses. Offices in Kings Cross and Euston have become increasingly attractive and accessible as commuting into London has become much more efficient. Many companies, which do not depend on their office being in the heart of the West End, see Kings Cross and Euston as a much more cost-effective option.
Offices in Kings Cross and Euston are primarily 1960s and 1970s-style buildings with relatively low rents – around £27 per square foot. Popularity has risen in particular along Euston Road, boosted by the station’s redevelopment and refurbishment projects, resulting in the highest rents – reaching £47 per square foot. When one considers the services charges and business rates, the highest rents can reach £70 per square foot.
“This rise in rents is not a surprise,” says Tom Lax, Senior Surveyor at Morgan Pryce. “It is already difficult to find office space in Kings Cross and Euston as popularity has risen. Many landlords will clearly have an incentive to refurbish their properties in order to obtain higher rents.”
Camden Council is continuing to grant planning permission to promote the area , demonstrated by Stanhope having just received the all-clear to redevelop One Mabledon Place. This redevelopment of a 10-storey building covering 90,000 square feet of office space includes a full refurbishment of the property as well as an extension overlooking the British Library and St Pancras.
In order for Stanhope to go ahead with the development it needed enter into a new agreement with the owner-occupier, UNISON, for a new headlease. This has allowed building works to start with the intention of taking occupation by the end of 2013.
One Mabledon Place currently consists of a series of floors varying from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet which will now be redesigned into BREEAM excellent space with 60% efficiency. In order to transform 1970s buildings such as One Mabledon Place into efficient office space is a seriously expensive process but it is thought that, with its regeneration, the Kings Cross area will continue to attract more interest and rents will rise to cover the costs.
Redevelopment of offices in Kings Cross and along Euston Road similar to that of One Mabledon Place has completely transformed the area, increasing its appeal to a variety of tenants. Kings Cross used to be most favoured by tenants wanting relatively low rents with good communication into Central London but as large redevelopment and refurbishment projects have taken off, rents for grade A office space have risen significantly. One will now find that prime office rents in Kings Cross can reach similar levels to those found in much of Soho – around £40 plus per square foot. This is primarily due to there still being a relatively limited amount of good stock in the area around the major stations in this 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.