Modern refurbishment of city centre offices continues to attract businesses

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Avison Young completes two deals in fortnight for Topland at Glasgow city centre location

THE continuing trend for high-quality refurbishment of historic city centre office space has proved attractive to prospective tenants in Glasgow, with Avison Young completing two office deals within two weeks at Topland’s 144 West George Street.

Behind the heritage façade is premium specification, open-plan, office space, which places a key focus on sustainability. New Eco boilers have been fitted with heat exchangers which will improve efficiency, reduce gas usage and save on running costs, with green contracts on all common parts electricity. End of journey facilities have been upgraded with the basement providing a secure bike store, as well as communal showers on the ground floor, encouraging occupiers to use fewer polluting modes of transport to commute.

The first lease is the second-floor suite extending to 4,084 sq ft, to environmental consultancy firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM). The firm is an existing tenant within the building, which is expanding following a recent merger and will take occupation on a new 7-year lease in the first quarter of 2023.

In addition, the fourth floor has been let following completion of a comprehensive refurbishment which generated a strong level of interest.  Glasgow-based architectural practice, Convery Prenty Shields, has taken the space extending to 4,080 sq ft on a new 10-year lease.

Stuart Prenty of Convery Prenty Shields, said: “We needed a larger office to suit our increasing head count and expanding order book. Ideally a modern, flexible, environmentally friendly space with excellent daylight. The defurbished 4th floor suited us perfectly and provides exposed services, bare stonework, concrete soffits, crital glazed screens and minimalist finishes.     A strong and creative design canvas for us to build on.”

This double letting is an excellent result for the building and testament to the quality of the refurbishment carried out by Topland, with an additional bonus of the third-floor tenant, Tony Gee and Partners, foregoing its break option and remaining within the building for another five years.

Topland – one of the largest privately-owned real estate groups in the UK, is currently planning another high-quality refurbishment designed by GFiveThree Architecture on the seventh floor which will provide 3,040 sq ft, ready for the second quarter of 2023. Topland is advised on the building by joint agents Avison Young and Knight Frank.

Michael Facenna, Associate Director, Glasgow, Avison Young, said: “In common with many successful city centre lettings, high quality refurbishment and the provision of additional facilities, such as showers and dedicated cycle storage, has proved attractive to companies looking for modern, practical office space.”

“The majority of deals in the city in 2022 have been in the sub 5,000 sq ft size bracket and demand from occupiers continues to be strong for buildings where landlords are proactively refurbishing and offering energy efficient space that already benefits from fit-out. Topland have therefore been rewarded for the progressive refurbishment programme they have carried out at 144 West George Street”.

Steve Pope, Group Director of Property/Asset Management, Topland said: “Despite the ongoing challenges the market is facing, we’re excited to retain and grow ERM/Arcus within 144 and to welcome CPS to our strong roster of occupiers here, as well as restructuring with long term occupier Tony Gee. These transactions reflect the exciting and high-quality space we have delivered and the excellent end of journey facilities created.

“While many investors were quick to pause activity in the commercial market during the pandemic, we remained proactive in securing high quality assets like 144 which have become increasingly popular as businesses return to urban centres. As the cycle of investment enters a more challenging phase, we’re continuing to keep our loan and development books open as we look to capitalise on key growth sectors in 2023.”

ERM was represented by Cushman & Wakefield and landlord Topland was advised by Avison Young in both lettings.

For more information, contact the selling agent Avison Young www.avisonyoung.com

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