British Land Bet Big on Broadgate with RBS Office Upgrade
Property developer British Land is sticking to its guns over its investment in Broadgate, the large retail and conventional office space estate in the City of London, which it co-owns with the Blackstone Group.
As part of a ┬ú35m upgrade project to its Broadgate office space portfolio, British Land plans to carry out a major refurbishment of 199 Bishopsgate, which is currently occupied by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), if the JRA Architects-designed plans are accepted.
Development of the 142,000 sq ft office property, which is located opposite the Broadgate Tower (pictured below during construction), is expected to start in summer 2011 and be ready for occupation by the end of 2012. If the plans are accepted, RBS will reportedly vacate the office space and relocate its 1,300 staff to the bank’s other offices.
Although RBS have extended its lease until March 2011, it is as yet unknown as to whether the bank will continue to occupy 199 Bishopsgate, or whether the newly developed space will be leased to another corporation.
According to Reuters, British Land’s Head of Offices Tim Roberts commented that the project would be delivered into a market “at a time where supply is expected to be severely limited.”
This fuels speculation that a number of big name property developers are rushing to complete office schemes to coincide with a looming shortage of conventional office space in the City, and several high-profile corporations are also reportedly nearing the end of their leases.
British Land have recently teamed up with a Canadian investor to complete 122 Leadenhall – a.k.a the ‘Cheesegrater’ – which was temporarily halted during the recession. Rival developer Land Securities has also restarted its planned office tower at 20 Fenchurch Street – the ‘Walkie Talkie’ tower – which was stalled due to the recession and numerous planning objections.
In the serviced office sector, according to officebroker.com’s latest research for Central London Q3 2010, this region accounted for 9% of all 2,544 serviced office buildings currently listed on the officebroker.com website throughout the UK.
Central London’s business centre portfolio also increased by 5.5% in Q3 2010 compared to Q4 2009.
However this increase in supply in Central London is overshadowed by a much bigger rise in demand from businesses seeking flexible office space in London. officebroker.com’s stats show that the number of enquiries received during Q3 2010 were up by 36% compared to Q3 2009, and this marks the third consecutive quarter in which officebroker.com has recorded an increase in enquiries for serviced office space in Central London.
Find out more online at officebroker.com’s Stats & Facts section.
Please note that these figures are correct as of publication of the Central London Q3 2010 report.