Is SE1 the New Soho? And what does this mean for Startups?
With officebrokerΓÇÖs latest Serviced Office Reviews revealing a significant price increase for offices in SE1, we take a look at whatΓÇÖs going on ΓÇô and where startups and small businesses should be looking for their London office now.
The changing shape of SE1
Put simply, SE1 is diversifying. Most notably, the area has begun to see a considerable interest from well-established and high-profile media companies. With office-to-residential conversions reducing the availability of office space in traditional media locations like Soho and Fitzrovia, these companies are being forced to look elsewhere. SE1 is a cost-effective Central London alternative.
Serviced office providers have responded to this shift and are starting to provide the kind of high-grade, design-led space which these media companies want within the SE1 postcode. These Alice in Wonderland-themed offices ΓÇô set to launch in January 2014 in Waterloo ΓÇô are an example of the new style business centres which are commanding higher prices and increasing the average rental rates in SE1.
SE1 ΓÇô still a great startup base?
The good news for startups and small businesses is that SE1 still has a good stock of functional, cost-effective office space and this is likely to remain the case.
However, prices across Central London look set to rise over the next 18-24 months as the continuing economic recovery is likely to mean more businesses looking to move office, creating greater competition for space.
As a result, startups and small businesses on tight budgets may well want to look beyond SE1 where there are a number of other options worth considering.
Startup space alternatives to SE1
For business commuters from the south, Clapham Junction and Vauxhall offer two affordable and easily commutable alternatives to Waterloo. Although serviced office stock in these two locations is less plentiful than in Waterloo, itΓÇÖs also typically considerably lower in price.
The Docklands (excluding Canary Wharf) provides another option for startups and small businesses. With a range of office space on offer ΓÇô often within converted warehouse buildings ΓÇô the selection in this area means options to suit a variety of different types and sizes of business.
Businesses looking for an alternative to London Bridge also have a number of options available to them. Heading north over the river, Hackney in East London offers some cost-effective options within an area which is being shaped into LondonΓÇÖs latest fashion hotspot, thanks to the forthcoming ┬ú100m luxury shopping destination, Hackney Fashion Hub.
Staying within Southwark, to the south Bermondsey, Canada Water and Surrey Quays also offer affordable alternatives. Space in these areas is often in the form of modern industrial buildings converted into offices.
All change in Central London?
With media companies shifting focus from Soho to the South Bank, and an office building boom taking place in the City, the shape of Central LondonΓÇÖs business districts is undergoing significant change right now. Overall, it will take at least another 18-24 months before we can see how the new Central London office market will look. In the meantime, the shifting focus in SE1 shows just how quickly the capital can change.
Looking for more advice on finding flexible office space in Central London? Whether youΓÇÖre a startup or a large multinational, the officebroker team can help. Call 020 3053 3886 to speak to one of our consultants.