Making Moves

Where Could We Move To?

I am often asked by clients… ‘Tobi…where is a cost effective area we can move our office to?’. This

By Tobi

I am often asked by clients… ‘Tobi…where is a cost effective area we can move our office to?’. This is such a common question at the moment because it is becoming a major concern for clients. Whilst the economy continues to recover, the majority of companies I speak with are still cautious of the recovery and now see themselves in a steady growth phase. However, they are questioning the high costs of an office move despite the need for more space to accommodate their growth.

One of the main reasons for the cost increase is the continuing rise in Central London office rents. This price rise has been led by a severe lack of supply in both the West End and City. In addition, those clients that signed five year leases in 2010 or even shorter 3 year leases in 2012 when the market was very much in the Tenant’s favour, are now entering a market where their rent in certain instances has doubled or even trebled.  Particularly hard hit are those clients who moved into offices before the unforeseen and dramatic growth around Clerkenwell/Old Street and Shoreditch.

As a Central London agent, here at Making Moves, we pride ourselves on being experts in relocations across Central London. The strategy element of our service involves the analysis of potential areas based on budget, size, client base etc. Based on these factors, we can then advise a client on their strategy and suggest locations that maybe wouldn’t have first come to mind as potential locations.

We understand that some business’ need to be in a very central location (Making Moves is one of these companies), but for those who don’t, we have recently reviewed the market to come up with a number of locations that still benefit from good transport links and present good value for money. So in no particular order, please see below three places worth considering:-

1) Brixton

The area is settled in the South West of London and is currently undergoing a huge facelift. In 2017 there is a planned redevelopment of Central Brixton with of 6,000 sqm of commercial space potentially being constructed, together with a refurbishment of the station. The area is already thriving from its popularity as a residential location and the likes of Pop Brixton have only further endorsed this area as a potential hotspot for commercial activity.

Transport links are also excellent. Brixton itself is on the Victoria Line and takes only 35 mins to travel to the other end at Walthamstow Central. Journey times into Oxford Circus are a mere 15 mins! The area is also served by National Rail providing services into Victoria.

Questions have also been asked as to whether Brixton could be the next Tech Hub of London. The opening of ‘Brixton Impact Hub’ in 2014 has highlighted the areas attractiveness to growing tech firms seeking cost effective office space within a creative environment.

2) Canary Wharf/Docklands

Whilst an established office location for the financial sector, the area is often only considered for its corporate office towers in the main areas of Canada Square in Canary Wharf. The area does however benefit from offices in less central areas (Anchorage Quay, South Quay), which still benefit from good transport links and are very competitive on price. The retail and leisure offer does suffer somewhat, but with Canary Wharf only a few stops away this can easily become less of an issue. When a journey time of circa 15 mins to Bank Station is factored in, this location cannot be ignored for the price.

The Landlords of the Canary Wharf Estate are also making a noticeable effort to make the area more attractive to smaller growing business’ and start ups. Their Level 39 Technology accelerator has been a huge success in attracting technology startups to the area, particularly those related to the financial sector. Canary Wharf will also benefit from a Crossrail station from 2018 which will only continue to improve accessibility to the area and its attraction as a cheaper alternative to more central locations.

3) Croydon

I cannot believe this is on this list as I never thought I would say it, but I have to mention the area. Having recently viewed properties with a client here I now can see the benefits of potentially relocating to Croydon. Yes, there is a stigma attached to the town, but if this can be overcome then I would strongly recommend this area to clients looking for cost effective space with good transport links. The journey time from Victoria is an impressive 14 minutes and the town has everything staff would need from a retail perspective.

There is also a £1bn redevelopment of Croydon planned. This is starting with a new Westfield shopping centre which should open its doors in 2018. The government and local council are also on a major sales drive of the area, with Croydon now being hailed as a new tech cluster. The Boxpark owners are also due to open a new Boxpark Croydon site in the summer of 2016. I remember when Shoreditch was an area that people frowned upon and now look at its success. This was mainly driven by the tech sector and the arrival of quirky concepts such as Boxpark! Watch this space.

So there we have it. Three areas of London often overlooked where investment is pouring in but rents still remain competitive. I understand these may not be for everyone, but for those seeking good transport links, excellent value for money and a growing retail and leisure offer, they cannot be ignored!