In this article we will be looking at how London office refurbishment of warehouses, for start-ups and scale-ups, is looking more and more important given the fact that there is likely to be a shortage of London office space over, at least, the next three years.
As we move closer to the UK leaving the EU it’s certain that speculation over how London businesses will be affected will continue. However since the EU referendum in June 2016 the demand for office space in London has continued to do extremely well, performing well above all expectations with little to no sign of a slow-down. In fact “leasing activity in 2017 vastly outperformed the previous year, with 4.1 m sq ft acquired – 31% above average.”
The Knight Frank report suggests that London will not suffer a downturn due to Brexit and may in fact face a shortage of new office space in the capital over the next three years due to office space demand from technology, media and telecoms (TMT) industries. This is especially true given that a quarter of commercial developments will not be complete until 2020, creating the prospect of a short-term squeeze on supply over the next three years.
The report continues “London has seen an unprecedented volume of office space taken-up by TMT firms over the past five years; more than 17 m sq ft of office space has been acquired during that period, equivalent to the entire Clerkenwell and Shoreditch office market.”
Start-up and Scale-up Sized London Office Space
According to property firm Colliers International the London office market is moving towards the smaller end of the market. In 2018 transactions for space of 5,000 sq ft or less represented 78% of the total deals by number, up from 69% in 2015. Sub-2,500 sq ft offices represented 57% of the deals by number – the category’s highest level since 2012.
Colliers International, director for research and forecasting, Guy Grantham, has been quoted as saying “London is firmly established in the top three of global tech hubs and venture capital continues to help drive the evolution of the next wave of start-ups, as well as facilitating the proliferation of scale-ups, creating demand and acting as an engine for absorption of office space.”
Director and head of occupier advisory for London offices at Colliers, Stuart Melrose, further commented: “We are seeing demand for flexible office space under 5,000 sq ft approaching an all-time high. An office of this size embraces start-ups, scale-ups and maturing occupiers, many of whom have dipped their toes in the serviced offices water, only to decide that conventional office space offers more concrete branding opportunities and sends a more sophisticated message to potential clients.”
The Future for London Office Refurbishment?
Clearly with the huge demand and potential shortfall of good office space in London, in the coming years and with no sign of a downfall, even with Brexit looming, many companies are beginning to look to make use of their unused buildings and spaces. Property developers can no longer simply look to purchase plots of land for real estate. Instead they are looking for old industrial warehouse spaces that can be converted into working office space, providing companies with unique spaces in which to do business.
Warehouse Conversions and Their Benefits
So why would any company want to invest in a warehouse to office conversion? It’s an easy answer when you look at the many the benefits that come with converting a warehouse or industrial space to offices. Here are just a few:
- You’re starting with a blank canvas so you can shape your office space exactly how you’d like it.
- Warehouse space is inherently large so there is great scope for having any size of office space you’d like. This also means that the space can accommodate a range of different size businesses from small to large and businesses that need space to grow.
- Warehouse conversions offer high ceilings so you can install mezzanine floors which allow for more efficient use of the building space and provide much needed extra office space.
- A converted warehouse can provide many original architectural points of focus that could be used as selling points. Today everyone is looking for something to set their business apart and warehouse office space can provide this.
- Warehouses usually have excellent transport links, close to main roads and motorways making it easy for staff, visitors and deliveries to easily gain access.
- Most warehouses come with good on-site security or CCTV coverage giving the businesses occupying the space extra piece of mind.
Making Use of Warehouse Space for London Office Refurbishment/Conversion
As previously mentioned a warehouse refurbishment/conversion can be used for businesses big and small and those looking to expand. With the ever increasing demand in London for office space and the falling availability, warehouse conversions are becoming more and more popular.
If you’re a business that’s interested in converting a warehouse to office space but are worried that your own business would not be able to utilise all of the space then you should also consider the rental market. After creating the office space you need, you can look to create other office areas and rent them to other small businesses allowing you to recoup some of your costs and cash-in on the London commercial property rental market.
How Can JBH Refurbishments Help?
JBH Refurbishments have worked on a number of warehouse conversions and have the expertise and vision to convert any size warehouse or industrial unit into stylish and contemporary London office space.
As part of our building and warehouse conversions service we create detailed CAD drawings to show the final results of your warehouse conversion before we even start work on site. We offer a full warehouse refurbishment service including a complete strip out, interior design and decoration, stud wall partitioning, suspended ceiling installation, flooring, mezzanine floor installation, plumbing, washroom facilities, kitchen and tea points, electrical design and installation, air conditioning and heating, fire alarms and security systems.
View a selection of the warehouse conversions JBH Refurbishments have completed.