Sheffield Office Space Goes Canadian
Canada Life have acquired the 1 St PaulΓÇÖs Place building in Sheffield, taking control of 88,000 sq. ft. of office space which already has an impressive list of tenants and is part of the life assurance companyΓÇÖs ongoing strategy of purchasing ΓÇ£defensiveΓÇ¥ assets.
The building, which provides Grade ΓÇÿAΓÇÖ Office Space in Sheffield City Centre, was built in 2005 and currently boasts the likes of DLA Piper, Barclays and RBS as office tenants while the buildings ground floor units are occupied by the likes of Caf├⌐ Rouge and Italian inspired Bar & Restaurant chain Piccolinos.
Speaking to TheBusinessDesk.com Fund Manager at Canada Life, Shailendra Shah, explained how and why the building had attracted their interest and persuaded them to pay the ┬ú23.962m needed to secure it:
ΓÇ£This acquisition fits in with our current strategy of buying defensive assets in prime locations that are well let to excellent tenants.ΓÇ¥
Speaking on behalf of property firm DTZ, who advised Canada Life on the acquisition, James Lawlor of the firmΓÇÖs investment team explained why the office building was such an attractive prospect:
ΓÇ£The quality of the location, property, tenant line-up and surrounding public realm sets this asset apart from the rest of the Sheffield office market.ΓÇ¥
While properties such as 1 St PaulΓÇÖs Place may continue to be attractive investment opportunities, the ability of those managing such building to attract new tenants remains strained ΓÇô with property agents throughout the UK predicting a tough 2011.
Within SheffieldΓÇÖs serviced office market, which comprises of 65* business centres, it would appear the fortunes of its conventional cousin have been shared, with a 17% decrease in the number of businesses entering serviced office space between Jan-Nov 2010 being recorded by officebroker.com.
But with activity in Central London now appearing to be more positive, both commercial agents and experts from the serviced office industry have begun to talk about a Central London led recovery ΓÇô the effects of which could begin to filter out in to the regional office markets over the next 12-18 months.
The decrease in newly placed serviced office tenants in Sheffield is however lower that that recorded across the wider Yorkshire & Humberside region, which has decreased by 30% since the beginning of 2010.
While markets such as these have seen serviced office based businesses decrease in the first 11 months of 2010, regional markets such as Central London (+21%), East Midlands (+15%) and the East of England (+13%) have all seen increases.
A full assessment of the UKΓÇÖs serviced office market will be published by officebroker.com in the coming month when the latest instalment of the Serviced Office Review Series becomes available. Past editions of the Serviced Office Review Series, which tracks regional activity and is the only regular source of data for the serviced office space market, can be accessed and downloaded for free from the Stats & Facts section of www.officebroker.com.
*number of serviced office locations operating within the S postcode via officebroker.com service as of 05.01.11.