The Changing Office Landscape - Brook House
Recent years have witnessed changing demands on suppliers of office space in UK cities, with occupiers increasingly seeking shared working environments and improved social amenities for the workplace. As a number of larger companies look to relocate operations to regional hubs, cities such as Manchester, with its base of young professionals and sought-after culture, are set to benefit from what some have dubbed a co-working revolution.
We take a look at what this new trend means, and what innovative solutions can be used to adapt to the new landscape.
Co-working office environments have been growing in popularity over the past decade, and are already having a noticeable impact on the traditional office market. Gaining traction in London earlier this decade, there has been impressive growth in demand for more. This has in part been influenced by a steady growth of an independent work force, small and medium sized start-ups looking for shorter and more flexibles leases and, more recently, interest from large corporations keen to tap into and retain creative talent.
All of this is a challenge to the traditional office providers, who face competition from smaller and new-comer suppliers seizing upon the opportunity to bring flexible and serviced offerings to regional markets. Often such offers make use of repurposed spaces or re-work and retro-fit existing offices in order to provide break-out areas, cafes or other social and networking spaces. As well as capturing the imaginations of a young employee base and acting as an additional perk to a company’s profile, many businesses with a base in London are now also looking at regional cities, such as Manchester, as the sensible option financially.
A recent report on the Manchester office market highlighted that average desk prices in the city can be as much as 50% lower than those found in London. This alongside occupier demand for flexible social co-working spaces has fuelled a rising demand for high quality and amenity rich office spaces in Manchester city centre and surrounding areas. Some have even suggested growth in such serviced office uptake in the region of 14% over the next 5 years, similar to levels seen in London between 2012-17.
NJL Consulting have witnessed this changing office dynamic first hand, having had an opportunity to assist in the redevelopment of an existing city centre office space.
Purchased by Investream in 2018, the vision for the existing city centre office space at Brook House is to provide the facilities sought after by occupiers demanding serviced and co-working space in the Manchester market. For Brook House this is to include elements such as a tenant lounge capable of catering for social gatherings, informal meetings, quiet working and private meetings and newly opened up spaces across all floors.
NJL’s role in the project has involved successfully obtaining consent for the creation of a new roof terrace area. Such amenity areas are increasingly being seen in development across Greater Manchester, such as in Salford’s new office development at 100 Embankment. As a package, this shows how existing and often spatially constrained office spaces can adapt and keep pace with the new trends in the market. For Brook House, the refurbished office areas and roof terrace amenity space create an offering of services and amenities on par with forthcoming new office development.
If you would like to talk more about the changing trends in the office market, or are keen to understand options for your own property, do get in touch with a member of the NJL team for an informal conversation.