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The RO Developments and Office Agents Society (OAS) Roundtable Debate: Is the Market Ready for Office Development and Refurbishment in the South/South East? - PT 2

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Daniel Van Gelder Exemplar“The employee is king now,” said Exemplar’s Daniel Van Gelder. “There are lots of cases where you get people moving from fringe locations to central London, paying huge rents. You’ve got to design the right buildings for employees and make people want to work in that building”.

Richard Bourne, development director at RO Developments echoed these thoughts and added that “if you don’t have enough parking you will struggle to attract occupiers. The issue for new buildings is the poor parking ratios afforded by current planning policy and they are going to struggle in terms of how occupiers view that.

However it isn’t just the staff requirements where things have moved on. We’ve seen a structural shift in the terms of deals as well. 25 year leases are out and you will do well now to get 15 years. We’re seeing most of our requirements looking for five year breaks and this has an impact on values and affects viability. Investors are struggling to adjust to the new ‘norm’ regarding lease lengths and pricing can be erratic.”

But while it’s become a tenant’s market, if issues like parking can be solved there are opportunities. Look at Rockspring, which has completed four major development acquisitions in Uxbridge, Weybridge, Staines and Maidenhead and is half way through a wave of new builds that will total over 300,000 sq ft once completed.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 8th April 2013 (updated 09/04/2013)

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