A property consultancy says there’s a new office market emerging - and it’s beginning to rival office-favourite Reading.
Vail Williams says the Berkshire town of Bracknell is now coming into a league of its own: to date this year total take-up for the town, which has historically sat in the shadow of Reading in office terms, has exceeded 112,321 square feet, a large proportion of which has been for fully fitted Grade A space.
This is against the backdrop of just over 100,000 square feet of deals in Reading this year to date.
Scholl, Nielsen Media Research, Tempestas Capital, Chartered Institute of Builders, Allium UK, Basis Technology, Curve Workplaces, Brickability, Evelyn Partners have all done office deals in Bracknell this year.
Vail Williams has acted on more than 50 per cent of the office deals in Bracknell this year and the consultancy’s office specialist - Andrew Baillie, associate at Vail Williams - says the return to the office has had a role to play in reviving Bracknell’s fortunes, with 72 per cent of companies globally mandating a return to the office, three or four days a week.
“There has been a complete re-think about what businesses need from their office space and where their base is best located. This has led many occupiers to take new leases in different geographical locations or in buildings offering a better standard and quality of space, with a blend of amenities and break out spaces.
“Thankfully for Bracknell, this is something that the town boasts in abundance, as investors have been quick to react to occupier demand for Grade A quality, fully-fitted and furnished office space.”
Vail Williams acted on three deals for landlord Sheik Holdings, spanning over 7,500 square feet at landmark office building, The Lightbox. Newly refurbished 3 Arlington Square is also flourishing and has welcomed the Chartered Institute of Building who took 5,683 square feet.
Baillie adds: “Bracknell is a cost-effective location in rental terms, with rents sitting between £25.00 and £36.50 psf, and certainly one of the deals this year was for a business locating out of Richmond looking for better value. Bracknell also boasts excellent transport infrastructure, with London just a stone’s throw away on the train. Also, the redeveloped Lexicon, the main retail and leisure centre in Bracknell, has done wonders for the town.
“It has transformed the town and has made it a much more attractive destination – not just for businesses to locate to, but for existing occupiers to re-commit to.
Indeed, 94 per cent of the deals completed this year have been businesses already based in the town, who have committed to staying here for the next three to five years.”
Of the 5.3m square feet of office market stock, there is a supply of around 286,500 square feet of Grade A space available. There is also plenty of choice of Grade B space in the market (201,000 square feet), as well as an ever-increasing amount of grey space (tenant release space) coming to the market.