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Offices in SE1 are becoming increasingly popular due to the excellent connections into London via Waterloo and London Bridge stations. Offices near these stations also have access to the Northern, Jubilee and Bakerloo lines, providing easy access into the City, West End and Canary Wharf. This makes it a potentially interesting location to keep an eye on for businesses that are looking to move offices.
The wide range of companies that SE1 has already attracted have been tempted by rents which are often lower than those belonging to offices in the West End. Offices in SE1 tend to vary from approximately £26 to £42 per square foot in comparison to the West where rents are rarely found below £40 per square foot and come close to £100 per square foot where many offices in Mayfair are concerned.
Rents could however dramatically increase in SE1 due to the London Bridge development, which includes The Shard, The Place and regeneration of stations. The Shard provides 25 floors of outstanding office space varying from 14,500 to 31,492 square feet. The Place, adjacent to The Shard, provides another 430,000 square feet of Grade A office space over 17 floors with floor plates over 30,000 square feet. The central space between these two striking structures has also been redeveloped, creating a stunning public area that interlinks the buildings. This development project along with a refurbished London Bridge station has created an outstanding location.
In addition, it has just been announced that The Shard has secured its first tenant, the 5-star-plus hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, on floors 34 to 52 and, according to the Sellar Property Group, announcements relating to restaurant tenants are ‘imminent’ and hope to open in April. On the 1st February the viewing gallery will open, giving the public access to the top of the building and providing some of the best views across London.
As these new tenants move into The Shard the offices have immediately become more appealing. This fact was recognised by Irvine Sellar, who decided to buy back the space which had been pre-let to Transport for London, and which totalled a third of the office space within The Shard. Sellar and the Qatari backers believe that buying back the space will ultimately be profitable because Transport for London’s rents are far too low and because the office space in this new development scheme has a much higher value that will in time achieve much higher rents.
Irvine Sellar stated on LBC 97.3 that he was confident that the entirety of the development, including both The Shard and The Place, would be fully let by the end of 2014. This high level of confidence is unsurprising, especially as rumours have arisen that some companies, including the Qatar-based news company, Al Jazeera, and US management company, AT Kearney, are interested and currently negotiating space in the building.
Sally Brough, Associate Director at Morgan Pryce says, “it was only a matter of time until a major development was going to appear in the area. This is because being based in offices in SE1 will suit so many companies and their staff due to its exceptional transport links: both Waterloo and London Bridge stations are already two of the busiest within London.”
It is interesting that the developers of this outstanding development in London Bridge are so confident and, if their predictions are correct, one wonders whether more businesses will be attracted to SE1 leading to further office development.
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.