Focus On: Highgate Business Centre

Highgate Business Centre

33 Greenwood Place, Kentish Town, London NW5 1LB

Highgate Business Centre is set in an imposing and characteristic warehouse built in the Victorian era, circa 1880, when the whole of Kentish Town went under huge development, both residential and commercial as a area for warehouses and the expansion of the UK railway network . More recently it has undergone a stage by stage renovation project to comprehensively overhaul each floor to create a modern and usable space. However, during renovation, specific focus has been directed towards maintaining the building’s historical features, character and style.

Refurbishments have included the fitting of fashionable up-lighting throughout; industrial elements are highlighted to create a modern, stylish feel; the external facade is maintained while multi-pane double glazed windows have been fitted with steel trimmings to sustain the theme. Floor by floor, the building has been upgraded and now provides spacious and economic office space and units that are stylish, bright, well-lit with natural light, spacious, airy and flexible in terms of use.

Current use

The building is currently used to provide contemporary studio offices, industrial spaces and accommodation. The majority of the office space has the versatility of demountable partitions which are used to change the layout of the internal area, providing office design flexibility for those companies wishing to rent space within the business centre. The on-site amenities include two lifts, disabled access and facilities, 24 hour access, a dedicated care-taker, an entry phone system and secure parking. The building is particularly popular with creatives including advertising, marketing, architecture, design and web-based companies. This type of clientele has played a large part in building the diversity and energy of the local area, which is now undergoing regeneration itself.

Getting there

Highgate business centre is easily accessible being situated on Greenwood Place, just off Highgate Road in up-and-coming Kentish Town. The centre is just five minutes walk from Kentish Town tube station which is served by the Northern line. Alternatively, Capital Connects over ground train line serves Kentish Town rail station. This mainline station has a direct pedestrian link to Kentish Town underground. From the tube station, turn right up Kentish Town Road and bear left as the road forks. Follow on to take Highgate Road, go past the HMV Forum music venue and turn left into Greenwood Place.

Highgate Business Centre Office Space

If you’re interested in finding out about office space at this centre give us a call on 020 3053 3893 or send us a message.

Click here to view other offices in Highgate and North London.

Explore Fleet Street: History, Architecture, Business and Tourism

Explore Fleet Street London @officeinlondonFleet Street – The historic heart of Britain’s newspaper industry is Fleet Street. Given its past as a centre for publishing and printing, Fleet Street has become linked to some of Britain’s most notable literary personalities. A main thoroughfare throughout its history, Fleet Street is today connected with the rest of the city with nearby Underground stations, including Temple, Chancery Lane, and Blackfriars, as well as the City Thameslink and Blackfrairs railway stations.

Continue reading “Explore Fleet Street: History, Architecture, Business and Tourism”

Focus On: Southampton Buildings Chancery Lane

Southampton Buildings Chancery Lane @officeinlondon Chancery Lane – Greater London – WC2A 1AL

Chancery Lane was originally made and used by the Knights Templar wishing for easier access between Holborn and the Strand. Along this lane, they went on to build their original Knights Templar temple, on the same site that now houses the Southampton buildings, a row of magnificent structures built in the early Victorian era. The buildings were purpose built and most famously used for the headquarters of the UK’s Patent Office from 1902 until late in the 1990’s. When the headquarters moved to bigger premises, the Southampton buildings undertook internal renovation work throughout. Whilst keeping the stunning exterior of the building in its original form, the inside of the buildings have been well designed, crafted and mix both modern design with Victorian grandness. The highlight of the building is perhaps the original galleried reading room, which remains as majestic as ever.

The building is now used as a provider of executive offices, meeting rooms and suites, all crafted and finished to a very high standard, with most offering flexibility and the opportunity to tailor the space to the specific needs of the business. The beautiful lobby provides an impressive entrance and welcome to the building, and the professional and stylish environment more commonly attracts corporate business interest. The Southampton buildings offer several services and amenities including: air conditioning, lifts, 24-hour access, CCTV and access facilities for disabled. Furthermore there is on site IT support as well as full network computer cabling across the building and wifi available throughout. The office spaces are unbranded, furnished (if desired), set up for video conferencing and finished to a high specification. Additionally, the reception provides a 24 hour greeter, answer phone and telephone service. There is also the option to use the address as a virtual office with all the usual services being available, including customised phone answering, email messages, mailing address and post forwarding. The buildings location is in easy walking distance to local amenities such as coffee shops, restaurants and bars

Getting there

The Southampton buildings are easily accessible by both London underground and over ground train networks. Chancery Lane tube station is just a 200 meters walk, with Holborn and Farringdon tube stops also only 600 meters away. Additionally, City Thameslink station, Farringdon and Blackfriars are all within 500 meters or so.

Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 2nd Quarter 2013

During the second quarter of 2013, the commercial property market in the British capital has been affected by three main factors. The first and most important has been the downgrade of the country’s credit rating score from AAA to AA+. This downgrade, which took place right at the start of the quarter, means that economic growth will be slow for the next three years. Economists expect that up until 2016, growth rates will stay at 1.6 per cent or below. The other two factors that have had an impact in the commercial property market are a weak labour market and decreased consumer and investor confidence.

However, and despite the seemingly negative outlook that has characterised the industry during past quarter, the commercial property market in London has proved to be resilient, especially when compared to other parts of the country. In this article we take a look at the main developments that have taken place in the commercial property sector during the second quarter of the year.

The office property market in London

The office sub-sector in London has been the highest performer during the past three months. During the second quarter of the year, the office property market has seen a rise in the interest of buyers and developers in properties located in the Thames Valley. Demand has also increased in other parts of Greater London, such as the M25 corridor and areas located along the M4 and M40. Other key trend that has characterised this quarter has been the tight supply of office floor space in London’s West End. This has led to a progressive move from West to East, as occupiers and investors are finding more choice in peripheral areas of the capital.

The office market in Central London and the City has experienced marginal growth, which has been mostly driven by foreign capital brought in by overseas investors. Yields for this type of property are currently set at 5 per cent, which is considered to be a healthy figure although it has not yet matched the peak that occurred in the first quarter of 2010.

Overall, transaction volumes for office floor space in London have decreased slightly during the second quarter of this year, and currently remain at under 5,000 transactions for a total floor space of 3.4 million square feet. Market analysts predict that transaction volumes will remain stable over the next two quarters, and that rental value growth will not improve significantly until 2014. The most important transactions during the past quarter have been led by Amazon’s move into a 205,000-square feet City property, followed by Bird and Bird’s lease of 138,000 square feet of office space in Midtown.

Another key trend that has become ever more evident during the past three months is the preference for long term leases of secondary office space in and around the capital. The returns on this type of commercial property have peaked at 3.6 per cent, as opposed to the 2.7 per cent yielded by primary office floor space. The outperformance of secondary office assets and long leases over short term leases is expected to continue until at least the end of the year.

In terms of rental values, offices in the City of London have remained more or less stable at £55 per square foot. By contrast, the West End’s limited supply of good quality office space has driven average rental costs to £100 per square foot. This figure represents an increase of over 9 per cent when compared to the values of the past two years.

Retail properties in London

Along with the office sub-sector, the London retail property market has topped the best performing lists in the country. The mild weather has caused footfall to pick up, and in turn this has resulted in increased prime rental values for retail properties in Central London. During the past three months, rental values for retail floor space have risen by up to 14 per cent in areas like Old Bond Street. Other areas that are experiencing a rise in rental values are Regent Street, King’s Road, Marylebone, High Holborn, and Paddington.

The key leasing transactions in the retail sector have been led by luxury and flagship retailers, such as Dior, Camper, Michael Kors, and Wasabi. In contrast with the office market, there is a clear preference for long term leases in the London retail property market, with the average lease lasting 10 years.

In terms of retail investment, the second quarter of the year has seen a large rise in transaction volumes, which are up by 80 per cent when compared to the last quarter of 2012. Nevertheless, prime yields have remained stable at 3 per cent, and it is expected that they will not surpass the 3.5 per cent mark during the remainder of this year.

Lloyds Building London

Lloyds Building London @officeinlondonLocated in the heart of the City of London, the iconic Lloyd’s building is a unique construction, home to the large UK insurance and bank institution, Lloyds TSB. The site was originally home to the very first Lloyd’s building, constructed in 1928, but as the organization grew, more space was needed. Initially, an additional building was developed but in 1978, due to further expansion, the original construction was demolished and the building that now stands built and opened by Queen Elizabeth II in November 1978 after 8 years of construction.

The Lloyds building is made up of 6 towers, (3 main and 3 service) built around a rectangle area. The building is unique due to the position of the services such as lifts, staircases, water and electrical lines being on the outside of the building, leaving the space inside completely free for use without distractions.

The building itself is 88 meters tall, with 14 floors, 4 glass lifts and an adaptable interior whereby the partition walls can be moved around to create any desired office layout. The main focal point of the building is the ground floor, where the underwriting room that is overlooked by galleries on the first four floors and lit by a vaulted glass roof. The galleries are accessible from lifts inside the building, however, the remaining floors are only accessible via the glass lifts that run on the outside of the main construction. The building is entirely used as office space for the Lloyds Group, apart from the 11th floor where the committee room is found. The committee room is a dining room, originally created for the Earl of Shelburne in 1798. The room was brought across, piece-by-piece from another Lloyds building nearby.

The Lloyds building was designed by British architect Richard Rogers, known for his modern and functional design, including developments such as the Millennium Dome in Greenwich and the Pompidou Centre in Paris – where you can see some similar influences in design with the Lloyds building. The build cost was approximately £75 million.

The Lloyd’s building holds open house days for visitors to tour the building with the dates are available on the Lloyd’s website. The building is situated at 1 Lime Street, City of London and is easily accessible via the following London underground stations:

Bank – on the northern, central and city line. Additionally, Docklands Light Railway

Liverpool Street – on mainline services as well as central, circle, metropolitan, Hammersmith and city line.

Monument – on circle and district lines

Focus On: Westbourne Grove Business Centre

14-16 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RH

Set on Westbourne Grove, in fashionable, cosmopolitan Bayswater and just minutes from Notting Hill, Portobello market and Hyde Park is the Westbourne Grove Business Centre building. The Westbourne Grove area began development between 1820 and 1850; as Bayswater was overhauled and populated with the stucco buildings and wide green squares characteristic of the Georgian Era, the sprawl headed west towards Notting Hill and the Ladbroke Estate.

Although the road itself was called Archer Street until 1938, the area had been known as Westbourne Green since the 16th century, named after the River Westbourne which now runs underground, below Ossington Street. North of the road we now call Westbourne Grove, the architect Isaac Ware had built Westbourne House in 1745, an elegant three storey mansion in the Georgian style and hosted many notable residents including a baronet, the army’s General Commander in Chief and Samuel Pepys’s great great nephew. Although Westbourne House was knocked down in 1836, the Westbourne Grove Business Centre bears the name Westbourne House in commemoration of the original building.

The Business Centre is an imposing, modern building, recognisable for its clear lines of functional exposed dark bricks and continuous tinted windows. The interior has recently been refurbished to a high standard to house five floors of contemporary, fully furnished, serviced offices, finished to a high business specification. The flexible office spaces are available for rental and amenities include a daily cleaning and servicing staff team, dedicated reception and switch board, 24 hour access, security and CCTV, meeting and break-out rooms and a furnished and stocked kitchen. The Business Centre is popular with a range of organisations including accounting and payroll, a tourism operator, legal services and events management. The Westbourne Grove branch of the Nat West Bank operates out of the ground floor, with street level access.

Getting there

Westbourne Grove Business Centre is conveniently situated 10 minutes walk from Queensway station which is on the Central Line, 5 minutes walk from Bayswater Station on the circle and district lines. From either station, head north on Queensway, turn left on to Westbourne Grove to find the Business Centre on the left. Bus numbers 7, 23, 31, 328, 28 and 70 stop at Westbourne Grove/Chepstow road –proceed east along Westbourne Grove from the junction to reach Westbourne house.

Guide to Oxford Street: Key Facts, History, Architecture and Tourism

Oxford Street is the home of London’s fashion scene and a world class shopping district. Shoppers and visitors to London will find some of the best and most luxurious shops and brands along Oxford Street. Over one-and-a-half miles of some 300 boutiques and shops, department stores, luxury hotels, and fine restaurants combine to create the busiest shopping street in Europe.

About Oxford Street

Oxford Street is bound by the Marble Arch in the east and Tottenham Court Road to the west. It follows the route of a former Roman road that connected Hampshire with Colchester. The River Tyburn runs underneath Oxford Road, with the Grays Antique Centre close to the junction with Bond Street featuring claiming to have an open conduit where part of the stream flows into its basement.

Since the 12th century, Oxford Street has also been known as Tyburn Road, Uxbridge Road, Worcester Road, and Oxford Road. Its current name was adopted in 1729. From the 19th century, Oxford Street became synonymous with shops and London’s retail and fashion sectors. Prior to this, the road was infamous as the final leg for condemned prisoners travelling from Newgate Prison to gallows near Marble Arch. Extensively bombed during the Second World War, Oxford Street was also the target of IRA bombers in the 1970s.

Oxford Street Highlights

Today, flagship stores for some of Britain’s biggest retail names dot Oxford Street, including Debenhams, John Lewis, and House of Fraser. The largest Marks & Spencer store in Britain is also found along Oxford Street at the junction with Orchard Street. Marks & Spencer also operates a branch at the Pantheon, the site of an ornate theatre that originally opened in 1772 and demolished in 1937. HMV also operates the largest music store in Europe at 150 Oxford Street.

Halfway along Oxford Street where the road meets Regent Street is Oxford Circus. Designed by John Nash and built in the 19th century, Oxford Circus today is where you will find a tube station, frenzied shoppers, and a sprawling pedestrian scramble or diagonal crossing, which was added in 2009.

Every year since 1978, Oxford Street has been decorated with Christmas lights during the holiday shopping season. A tradition started in 1959 and interrupted by a recession that began in 1967, the lights have been switched on by celebrities since 1981. Jim Carrey, Charlotte Church, the Spice Girls, the Sugababes, the cast of Coronation Street, and Richard Branson have been some of the famous faces that have officially launched Oxford Street’s busiest shopping period.

Oxford Street’s Impact on the Economy

The fashion industry in Britain contributes over £21 billion each year to the economy, according to the British Fashion Council. The industry also supports approximately 816,000 jobs. Oxford Street alone is home to over 200 British fashion brands. The area employs over 50,000 style experts and educates over 2,000 students in fashion. It also attracts over 100 million visitors each year, who spend £4.9 billion every year along Oxford Street.

Getting to Oxford Street

Whether by public transit, by car, or on foot, Oxford Street is well connected. Bond Street, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road, and Green Park tube stations are found either along or near Oxford Street. The shopping district is also with a short walk from ten of London’s mainline railway stations. Nearly 20 bus routes make their way through Oxford Street, connecting the area with other parts of London, including Notting Hill, Victoria and Paddington stations, Tottenham, and Trafalgar Square.

Thinking of opening a new office in the Oxford Street area? London Office Space has a number of available serviced offices on Oxford Street.

Further guides on important streets in the city of London including Baker StreetBroad StreetGoodge StreetGreat Portland StreetOld Street, Cannon Street and Regents Street.

Iconic London Landmarks

As one of the world’s most visited cities, London is not short of tourist attractions. Of course, different people visit the British capital for different reasons: shopping, business, and nights out are some of the most common. Whichever the reason that brings you to London, make sure you do not miss out on the city’s most iconic landmarks.

Big Ben

The Big Ben is the London landmark par excellence. This famous clock has been depicted in movies, stamps, postcards, printed on T-shirts, mugs, keyrings, and all sorts of souvenirs. Rather paradoxically, as famous as the Big Ben is, the origin of its name is unclear, as some believe that the clock tower was named after one of the engineers involved in its construction, while others think that the clock took its name from a boxing champion. Not many people know that the clock was actually designed by a lawyer who was only interested in clockmaking as a hobby.

The Big Ben has been punctually marking the hours with its characteristic chime since 1859, except for the war years and for some brief malfunctions. The clock sits at the top of the 315-feet tall Gothic tower known as the Elizabeth Tower, which is only open to UK residents who book their visit in advance (although if you are planning on doing this you must keep in mind that you will need to go up 334 steps in order to reach the top).

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham palace has been the official residence of British queens and kings since it was first built in 1705. The palace is one of the London landmarks that has taken longer to be completed, as this royal venue was not officially finished until 1962. The palace is built over the Tyburn river and on the site of a former medieval village, called Eye Cross. When the village was abandoned in the beginning of the 17th century, the site was turned into a mulberry garden. George III built the estate in 1761 (which contained Buckingham House, the oldest building in the palace complex), paying what today would be £3 million.

Buckingham Palace’s interior is as luxurious as one would expect from a royal residence, as it is decorated with antique tapestries, marble statues, and stunning period furniture. Parts of the palace are open to the public during the summer months.

Tower Bridge

Over its 119 years of existence, Tower Bridge has been the backdrop to countless photographs. This iconic suspension bridge over the River Thames is a Grade I listed construction and as such, part of the British heritage. The bridge was built to facilitate trade with the then up-and-coming East End of London, while allowing ships that navigated to river to continue its journey downstream towards the port of London.

Tower Bridge is open to pedestrian and motor traffic, and one of its walkways is home to an exhibition that tells the story of the bridge. The Bridge has been witness to several curious incidents, such as protests by Spiderman-clad demonstrators.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden has been a fruit and vegetable market since the 17th century. However, the area earned a reputation as a red light district a century later, and town planners were called in to come up with a solution. Covent Garden’s central building was constructed in 1830 in order to attract trade and to do away with any disreputable business. During the six years between 1974 and 1980, Covent Garden was not actually in Covent Garden, but in Battersea.

Today, Covent Garden is more than a fresh produce market, as it is home to the world’s largest Apple store and to some unique fashion, jewellery, and antiques boutiques. The area is also a prime eating and drinking spot.

The London Eye

In just thirteen years since its inauguration, the London Eye has positioned itself as the UK’s most visited paid tourist attraction, with more than 3.5 million visitors every year. At 443 feet, the Eye is the world’s third tallest wheel of its kind. The London Eye has 32 passenger cabins, which double as observation decks. This number is not random, as it represents each of the capital’s boroughs.

The wheel was built as part of the urban regeneration project that gave a facelift to London’s South Bank, although the London Eye is not London’s first Ferris wheel. The Great Wheel, which stood at Earl’s Court between 1895 and 1907, can be considered the prototype used in the design of the London Eye.

South Bank

As its name suggests, South Bank is the 2-mile long area immediately south of the River Thames. Despite its proximity to areas like Westminster and the City of London, the South Bank was always rather different, and it went from being an entertainment centre in the Middle Ages to becoming an industrial ground later on. However, developers realised the potential of this area as early as in the 1920s, although it was only towards the end of the 1980s that a walkway and a riverside park were built.

Nowadays, the South Bank is still being regenerated, but the area has already become London’s waterfront and a leading centre for cultural and creative activities, where visitors can enjoy theatres, street art, first-class accommodation options, and other London landmarks, like the London Eye or the Aquarium.

Read more about Key London Icons.

A look at London’s Bishopsgate Pinnacle Building

Bishopsgate Building – The Pinnacle

Originally dubbed ‘The Bishopsgate Tower’ and affectionately known as the Helter Skelter, The Pinnacle is currently under construction in London’s financial district and when completed will join the likes of The Shard and The Gherkin as one of the city’s most recognisable skyscrapers. The eye-catching design is down to architects, Kohn Penderson Fox and is based on the twists, curves and curls found in nature. The building is inspired by and conscious of the natural environment and is set to have 21,500 sq ft of photovoltaic solar panels of exactly the same size, the most on any one building in the UK and will be able to generate up to 200KW of electricity. Like The Gherkin, its double layered skin will make it sensitive to weather and season changes to minimise energy consumption. The original design had the building at 307m tall but, due to concerns from the board of at the Civil Aviation Authority, had to be scaled down. When completed, The Pinnacle will stand at 288m, making it the second tallest building in the EU, just after its relatively close neighbour, The Shard.

Planning permission to build on the site was approved in 2006 and, when funding was secured from Arab Investments (who settled on the name, The Pinnacle) demolition of the existing buildings began in June 2007. The process was somewhat delayed by an injunction filed by neighbouring company Hiscox who objected to the noise but demolition was completed in June 2008. The construction process required the deepest pilings in the UK, which reached down to 48.5m below sea level. This section was finally finished in 2009. By December 2011, the core construction had been completed to the sixth floor. After delays due to funding concerns which were covered by Arab Investments and a loan from HSH Nordbank, construction on The Pinnacle was halted once again in March 2012 due to issues arising from pre-let agreements.

On completion, the majority of the building will be let as 88,000 sq ft of high quality office space, a large proportion of which will be rented by law firm, David Arnold. The top floors will provide space for a restaurant and London’s second largest public viewing platform (after The Shard).

Getting there

The site of The Pinnacle is at Crosby Court in the centre of The City, alongside The Gherkin. To reach it, alight at Aldgate Station (Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines), head west along Leadenhall Street and turn right onto Bishopsgate. Alternatively, from Bank Station (Central, Northern, Waterloo and City lines and DLR), walk east along Threadneedle Street to join Bishopsgate; in either case, the Pinnacle will be easily spotted for its soaring height and elegant, sleek design.

The Regeneration of East London

East London Regeneration @officeinlondonAs one of the world’s most vibrant cities, London’s innate dynamism means that the metropolis is in an almost continuous state of change. According to the Office for National Statistics, the population of the British capital has grown by more than 12 per cent in just ten years. This increase in population has also meant a rise in cultural diversity and in the creation or transformation of new areas in the city. When it comes to transformation, few London areas have undergone changes that are as significant as those that East London has experienced. In this article we look briefly at the history of East London and then examine how the recent regeneration projects that have taken place in the area have affected its economy and its inhabitants.

A brief look at the history of East London

The history of East London is inevitably linked to London’s port and its docks, as they were for several centuries a trading hub. East London experienced a notable expansion during the 19th century, when the railway reached Stratford and linked it with the docks, Custom House, and Woolwich.

The railway infrastructure was damaged during the Second World War, and although they were once part of the world’s largest port, the London docks experienced a sharp decline in activity between the 1960s and the 1980s. The closure of the docks severely affected the economic and social make-up of East London, and what had previously been a thriving area became stricken with unemployment, poverty, racial tension, and crime. The population went from almost 600,000 at the turn of the 20th century to barely 140,000 in 1981.

Key regeneration initiatives in East London Continue reading “The Regeneration of East London”