New joint venture formed to capitalise on booming London Office market

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 New joint venture formed to capitalise on thriving London Office market

A 50:50 joint venture partnership to capitalise on the thriving London office market has been formed by Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Ltd and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. CPPIB is investing £173.9 million to acquire a 50 per cent interest from Hermes’ BT Pension Scheme’s (BTPS) existing portfolio, which comprises 550,000 sq ft of high quality offices, retail and ancillary accommodation, primarily located in London’s West End. Graeme Eadie, Senior Vice-President and Head of Real Estate Investments for CPPIB, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with BTPS and Hermes on this unique opportunity to invest in a high quality, well-diversified portfolio of office properties in prime Central London locations.”

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Arup hailed for positive example of employee ownership scheme

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Arup hailed for positive example of employee ownership scheme

Arup Global Chairman, Philip Dilley has said that the firm’s employee ownership ethos has played a major part in attracting and motivating staff and high levels of employee engagement. His comments followed a visit by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and Minister for Employment Relations, Jo Swinson, to Arup HQ this week as part of a series of activities to celebrate Employee Ownership Day across the UK. The Government’s scheme has had a rough ride, with critics branding it “company shares for employment rights”. Although this has resulted in some major changes to the scheme, Cable maintains it is a positive alternative to traditional shareholder capitalism which had led to the “persistent problem” of short-term planning. More →

Office Insight announces partnership with Worktech 13

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British MuseumThe publishers of Office Insight are pleased to announce a partnership with Worktech 13, which will be held at the British Museum in London on the 19th and 20th November.  This will be the tenth annual Worktech conference staged by organisers Unwired. The conference looks at the implications of the convergence between the worlds of technology, corporate real estate, work and the workplace making it an ideal partner for Office Insight which is the UK’s most widely read specialist publication on those topics. Over the next few months Worktech and Office Insight will be publishing content from some of the world’s foremost thinkers on office design and management including Frank Duffy, Philip Ross, Dave Coplin and Greg Lindsay. Office Insight readers will also be able to take advantage of a 20 percent discount on delegate tickets. More →

Land Securities £260m development confirms City office confidence

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Land Securities announcement today of a £260 million development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate, EC4, a speculative mixed-use development in the City of London confirms a growing confidence in the City office market. The 379,000 sq ft scheme occupies an island site near St Paul’s Cathedral and comprises two distinct buildings united by a new public piazza, which together aim to offer 346,000 sq ft of office accommodation set around open and green spaces. Colette O’Shea, Head of Development, London said: “Our decision to commence the speculative development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate reflects our confidence both in the City office market, where we believe supply of new space will be constrained in 2015, and in the quality of the attractive and highly efficient office space we are creating.” More →

British Land on track to meet targets on green building efficiency

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British Land on track to meet sustainability targets

British Land says it is on track to meet many of its 2015 targets on managing buildings efficiently, developing sustainable buildings and reducing carbon emissions. In its Corporate Responsibility Report for 2013, the real estate investment trust, which owns and manages a portfolio of commercial property worth £16.4 billion reiterates its commitment to sustainable property management: “There are increasing indications to support our view that sustainability, and particularly energy efficiency, grow income and grow value in the longer term. We are convinced this will be proven over time. Green buildings are also less at risk of obsolescence, thus further protecting and growing capital value over the medium to long term.” More →

Law firm Shoosmiths moves into new Birmingham office

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Law firm Shoosmiths has taken possession of its new Birmingham office. The Shoosmiths’ team completed the move to Two Colmore Square over the May bank holiday weekend.  This involved the movement of all 180 legal advisers and support staff to Two Colmore Square with immediate effect from its former office at 125 Colmore Row. The 40,000 sq ft office is part of Nurton Developments’ successful Grade A office scheme in Birmingham and offers the largest floor plate in the city. The 21 week programme of office design and fit-out work was carried out by Claremont Group Interiors. The work on behalf of Nurton Developments included Cat A works, interior design, Cat B fit-out, furniture and audio-visual technologies.

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Shared rather than serviced offices could save businesses thousands

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Office genie on savings in sharing office space

London desk renters could save almost £200 a month by choosing a shared office over a serviced office, according to new research. The Office Genie Price Index has revealed that the average desk in a shared office in London costs £335, while a desk in a serviced office was found to cost on average £513 per month; £178 more. This saving of 35 per cent on the price of a serviced desk makes shared offices an affordable alternative in the world’s most expensive city for office rental, where a single square foot of office space in London can cost up to £170.

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Crown Estate in £320m joint venture to redevelop area around Regent Street

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St James Market architect's impression-2

The Crown Estate, which manages the Queen’s property portfolio has announced a joint 50/50 – £320 million venture with Canadian real estate company, Oxford Properties. The Crown Estate, which will retain the freehold and take the lead role in the development says the St James’s scheme will provide 210,000 ft2 of prime office and 50,000 ft2 of flagship retail and restaurant space in two blocks located between London’s Regent Street and Haymarket. The project forms part of the Crown Estate’s ten-year investment strategy for St James’s and will transform a run-down back street service yard and taxi ‘rat-run’ with: “a fantastic new amenity for St James’s, revitalising half and acre of public realm and creating a new 10,000 ft2 pedestrian square for world-class business, shopping and dining.” More →

Interiors Group wins new projects in MIddle East

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37-STA_7947Abdul Latif Jameel, a Saudi Arabia based distributor for Toyota has appointed The Interiors Group to fit out 22,000 sq feet of space in their new corporate headquarters in Dubai. The Interiors Group will work alongside the UAE based operations of  BDP and Whitby Mohajer to deliver the project. The contract is the latest success for the company in the region following its recent win of a  contract to fit out the new Middle East Headquarters of OiLibya. The project, based in the Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, covers some 11,000 sq feet and is due for completion in June. The project was architecturally designed by Artillery with services by Whitby Mohajer Engineering Consultants. The Interiors Group have also been awarded a 3500 sq feet contract for Optasense in Dubai, in the Jumeirah Business Centre.

Colliers uses Bucharest HQ to showcase office design for Generation Y

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 Colliers International uses Bucharest HQ to showcase design for Generation Y

The Bucharest office of property consultancy Colliers International has been revamped to showcase an office design model that the company claims will meet the needs of the next generation of employees. Colliers has worked with architecture studio Prographic and drawn on its own studies of Generation Y  and their needs to create the space. According to the firm, the prototype office will incorporate the newest technology, the latest thinking on workplace design and space planning and set new standards in sustainability. As well as Prographic, Colliers International worked with suppliers including ASUS, Techo, Bene, Bittnet Systems and Saint-Gobain to create its vision.

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JSA launches latest league table of European office furniture companies

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EU FlagAs the world gets smaller and the communications revolution continues apace, one relatively unnoticed casualty is the design individuality of offices. Time was when you could walk into an office and the furniture would tell you whether you were in Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Milan, Moscow or London. The colours, shapes, materials, construction and image of the furniture were all very local, almost parochial. Who could fail to be struck by the muddy oranges and greens of a French office? Or the inevitable mahogany or teak real wood veneers used in the UK? The panels, worksurfaces and storage units which made up US cubicles were rarely seen outside North America and the massive, dark wood desks and cabinets in Central European deliberately overawed visitors and staff alike.

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Balfour Beatty profits warning cites challenging construction sector

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Balfour Beatty construction

Building and infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty has issued its second profits warning in six months, with the announcement that its UK construction business is expected to deliver significantly lower profits than expected this year.  The company said the UK construction market has been a challenging environment in which to win and execute work, adding: “Market conditions which deteriorated significantly in the second half of 2012 continue to be difficult. Change in procurement trends, which we have previously highlighted have persisted, allowing customers to impose increasingly stringent conditions onto contractors.”

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