What is important for the market
in the region is that as many
towns as possible share in the
For example, there has been
more activity in Basingstoke with
FCB Halesway, a leading healthcare
company, relocating from Andover
to the Midpoint building in a deal
brokered by JLL.
One major reason for the move
is to have access to the skilled
labour pool in and around London,
as well as more space for an
expanding work force.
Nella Pang of JLL said: “The
company is relocating to be near
communication links and local
amenities which means they will
have access to new skills and allow
them to grow the business”.
Another letting has been managed
by London Clancy with HC Group
moving to Network House, Basing
View. Mark Clancy said: “It is important
to keep such a company as HCR
within the Basing View Business
Area given their longstanding
connections with Basingstoke and
their extensive customer base”.
Even before Crossrail reaches it,
Reading is strengthening its top
position in the region, exemplified
by a large new development by
It has submitted plans for a
mixed use project of 111,480 sq.metres
.) adjacent to
Reading station with eight buildings,
the tallest being 24 storeys.
Apart from a substantial amount
of residential accommodation, the
former Royal Mail Sorting Office
site will have 33,444 sq.metres
.) of offices. The
attraction for potential tenants is
not only Crossrail when it is totally
completed in 2019, but also British
Rail’s plan to double the number of
services an hour into London to four.
Reading is, of course, the key
town in the Thames Valley with
Lambert Smith Hampton putting its
proportion of the regional office
market at a quarter. In 2016, 94%
of the space let was Grade A.
The popularity has pushed office
rents up to £395.43 a sq.metre
.) in the town centre
and only slightly less than that in
the out-town business parks.
Tom Fletcher of LSH commented:
“Reading has performed strongly
in 2016 and even more strongly in
the first quarter of this year. Those
buildings that offer a little more
quality and amenities continue to
attract the most attention”.
On the other hand, Reading has
the second highest vacancy rate in
the Thames Valley at 19% after
57,134 sq.metres (615,000sq.ft
of new space came onstream in
2016. LSH believes that take up this
year will be ahead of the average.
An example of a new occupier is
the recruitment firm Austin Fraser
who is the first tenant of the
Thames Tower, a landmark building
by Landid and Brockton Capital,
which has a restaurant, sky lounge
and large rooftop terrace.
James Silver, Development
Director at Landid, said: “We are
delighted to welcome Austin
Fraser. Their ethos matches our
own – lively, innovative and
focused on people”.
One new site on the market
which offers huge potential is the
BBC’s 93 acre historic Caversham
Park, being marketed by LSH,
whose Philip Hunter said: “This is a
prime site of scale and location in
the most affluent part of Reading,
just two miles from the railway
Commercial Property Register
October 2017 - February 2018www.compropregister.com
Faced with so many question
marks about the future it is
rewarding to contemplate the
buoyancy of the Thames Valley.
It is not merely that the existing
towns are in rude health but also the
dynamic of the business parks in
many places, particularly Oxford.
The conventional view is that all the
high tech and science parks are
around Cambridge but Oxfordshire
belies that image.
At the home of the UK’s nuclear industry, Harwell is performing
strongly as a centre for high tech businesses, as is the ever popular
Milton Park which now has a new and formidable institutional investor
With its new Lexicon Shopping Centre, Bracknell should have a
renewed lease of life because it now offers local occupiers a much
improved offer through the rebuilding of one of the post war New Towns.
Also significant is the steady performance of Basingstoke with a
healthy leasing market.
However, the significant factor will be Crossrail and how it affects
development in the Thames Valley. History tells us that new stations
become nodal points for growth but in the case of Reading it also has
a much enhanced rail service.
Surely this improved transport will attract more companies to locate
there and increase the number of skilled jobs. That will mean more
business for Heathrow, once again putting pressure on its capacity.
Picture courtesy of Jack Hobhouse