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Covent Garden has long been a desirable area in the West End, with prime rents currently around £55 per square foot. Morgan Pryce, the London commercial property agent, is well aware of the continuing requirement for office space in Covent Garden.
“It is no surprise that working in offices in Covent Garden always proves so popular,” says Rhodri Mason, surveyor at Morgan Pryce. “It is a trendy area with great bars and shops, which is going to attract a lot of businesses, in particular media and online companies.”
Confirming Covent Garden’s status as a desired office location, the news that a £65-million office development at 6 Agar Street is about to be completed has just been announced. This scheme will provide a further 57,000 square feet of office space in Covent Garden which will be quickly taken up.
This 6-storey landmark has been carefully designed, working around the central atrium yet still protecting the original facades of Chandos Places and Bedford Street. When redeveloping listed buildings it is important to preserve the local architecture. The designers, Darling Associates, have been careful to take this into account by giving these new offices in Covent Garden a modern interior inside their original facades.
“With the current high demand for offices in Covent Garden, one will expect this space to sell quickly,” says Tom Lax, Senior Surveyor at Morgan Pryce, “However, I do believe that even this new supply of office space will fail to meet the level of demand for offices in Covent Garden and the West End.”
Sally Brough, Associate Director at Morgan Pryce predicts, “There are few opportunities for big developments in the West End. One can only expect demand to outstrip the supply of offices. The question is, how long will it take for many businesses to feel fully out-priced by the West End and then go and seek offices elsewhere?”
Residential developments impact upon space for offices in Covent Garden
Despite strict planning laws, many developers have been able to convert office space into new residential space, encouraged by an equally high demand in residential property. Of course, as a result, offices in Covent Garden drop even further in supply.
Development schemes of the size of 6 Agar Street are considered an exciting event in Covent Garden, as the office space offered will cater for larger tenants, as well on 13,000-square-foot floor plates.
As demand for office space is so high across the West End in respect of offices in Mayfair, Soho and Covent Garden, we may begin to see an increasing number of companies starting to seek space in the City. As office space in the City currently costs considerably less than many areas of the West End, with a surplus of space incredibly good deals can be made.
Many agents have already started to respond to this by advising clients to consider taking leases in the City where the cost of leases will be lower and the opportunity exists to obtain long rent-free periods.
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.