With a limited number of new development schemes coming forward, how can the Newcastle office market react to help fulfil current demand?
There is presently a well-documented lack of Grade A space in Newcastle City Centre, a situation which is restricting opportunities for expanding businesses and those looking to acquire space in the city.
At Naylors we are increasingly working with Landlords to help deliver effective refurbishment schemes to convert tired vacant offices into modern sought after accommodation.
By carrying out well designed and specified schemes, landlords have the potential to not only let offices which may have been vacant for many years but with the added prospect of achieving significant rental growth in the absence of new Grade A buildings.
There is a growing demand for offices which incorporate exposed ceilings and services as part of a more retro or industrial style. Whilst demand for such space is strong, options are limited and particularly so in the city centre market.
Although demand for a more alternative product originated from the tech and media sectors, we are seeing it spill into more traditional sectors. Increasingly there is a need for many sectors to work harder in attracting and retaining younger staff and the quality of an office environment can be a key component. Providing staff with a vibrant modern workplace is a relatively inexpensive way for companies to sell themselves, not only to clients but also to their workforce.
With a high proportion of listed buildings in Newcastle there are many that do not lend themselves to an industrial or retro style refurbishment. But even so, there is a great deal than can be done to transform a building, such as introducing LED lighting, new efficient air conditioning systems, shower facilities and bike stores which can all have a major impact. The use of modern floor and wall finishes in the common areas of a building is also a fantastic way to transform the look and provide a great first impression. At 2 Collingwood Street, a fantastic refurbishment project has helped to transform the building with a new boutique hotel style.
For the best results, we recommend that landlords undertake a full refurbishment programme so that the whole building provides the improved quality and style of space throughout.
To compliment the physical works, it is important to consider the marketing behind an office refurbishment which will often involve branding, signage, printed materials, PR and social media. At Naylors we work closely with our Building Consultancy team to provide design and specification advice to clients. Our recent work at St Nicholas Building helped to achieve 100% occupancy and increase the rental levels by around 20%. To find out more about how we can help you refurbish your office building, contact Jessicaross@naylors.co.uk