Hot take: London offices

With WeWork’s news of a global headcount reduction last week and then upbeat data from Savills’ Workthere this week saying the UK flexible office recovery has been ‘phenomenal’, there are plenty of things to ponder in the office space, especially given big ticket London office investments in 2022. Here, Julian Best, executive property director of London’s Howard de Walden Estate, gives his two-minute take.

Writes Julian Best

‘Commentators predicted that 2020 would spell the end for the workplace as we know it and we are happy to have proved them wrong in 2022, representing our strongest rental growth sector. Admittedly, like many of our peers, it suffered a longer impact than say, residential but we expect growth to continue throughout 2023.

The growth was partly fuelled by 2021’s deals coming to fruition and new 2022 transactions. However, there is a clearer distinction in occupiers’ desire for quality space, choice of letting model and quite rightly, offices that possess demonstrable ESG credentials.

Of course, post-pandemic and pre-2030 emissions targets, we need to continually up our game to deliver what occupiers want: a strong commitment to ESG and flexibility to meet the demands of today’s hybrid workforce. Our partnerships with two serviced flex operators, Spacemade and Workpad, will continue to help businesses looking to locate in Marylebone fulfill their occupational requirements and we’re excited to be planning to expand both of those.

TDR Capital grew their footprint with us by nearly half to take their office space to more than 33,000 ft2 - just one of several deals we were pleased to shake on last year.

Furnished offices, thoughtfully fitted-out and ready to move into, remain popular but with a desire for self-contained space and 'a front door'. As ever, our occupiers – present and future, commercial, residential, retail, and medical – are guiding us through these uncertain times and we’re looking forward to what the year ahead holds.'

*This is an excerpt from a wider article that continues with news of the Harley Street Medical Area (HSMA) to develop into a ‘world leading centre of medical excellence'. It also contains details of a retail property strategy involving the selection of boutique brands.


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