Property and Construction
June 11, 2013
The UK’s Employment Outlook is looking firmly positive, according to ManpowerGroup, and it’s being driven by an upturn in construction and a buoyant London economy. “As we head into the summer months, the UK jobs market is not too hot, but not too cold either. It’s all about the Three ‘C’s: Construction, the Capital, and Consistency,” said ManpowerGroup UK Managing Director, Mark Cahill. The first ‘C’ is for Construction, the most improved sector this quarter, up by five points, which is positive news as construction has been a huge drag on the whole UK economy, and is one of the main reasons we’ve had a double dip recession. Now ManpowerGroup reports it is starting to see rising demand for skills across the board, particularly in skilled trades and engineers. more…
June 10, 2013
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…
June 7, 2013
The City of London leasing market has had one of the highest monthly take ups on record in May, with a total of 793,400 sq ft being let – up by 117 per cent month-on-month and 135 per cent on May last year. This brings the year to date take-up to 2.2 million sq ft, a 46 per cent increase on the equivalent period in 2012 according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Five lettings over 50,000 sq ft were recorded during May, of which three were pre-lets exceeding 100,000 sq ft. These include Amazon at Sixty London, EC1 (213,000 sq ft), Bird & Bird at 12-14 New Fetter Lane which was leased last month by Great Portland Estates (pictured), EC4 (136,200 sq ft), and Amlin at The Leadenhall Building, EC3 (111,800 sq ft). more…
June 5, 2013
According to law firm EMW LLP, the number of planning applications submitted for commercial property developments in the UK has fallen for a second successive year. The firm claims that the around 4 percent fall is down to declining demand from tenants. However there are stark contrasts between London and the rest of the UK measured both in terms of market activity and the number of tower cranes on the skyline, with London now having more than the rest of the UK combined for the third consecutive year according to the Health and Safety Executive. The report echoes the findings of the latest Markit/CIPS report on construction activity which saw a fall in construction activity, although total activity increased on the back of an increase in housebuilding.
June 4, 2013
Facebook has announced details of its new headquarters in New York. The social media giant has signed a ten year lease on a 100,00 sq. ft. space over two floors of a building on Broadway. The office design will be carried out by no less a figure than Frank Gehry who is already masterminding the development of the company’s global HQ in California. From next year, the new building will be home to Facebook’s regional engineering, design, sales and marketing functions who will move from the current office on Madison Avenue to the new site which is reportedly on the fringes of Manhattan’s ‘Silicon Alley’. The new building dates from 1906 when it was designed as a department store. It is already home to AOL and the Huffington Post.
May 31, 2013
The CarbonBuzz energy benchmarking initiative, backed jointly by the RIBA and CIBSE gets a new online platform next week. The CarbonBuzz project allows users to record, share and compare the real energy use of building projects and to shed light on the differences between predicted and operational performance. Now RIBA and CIBSE are calling on architects and building services engineers to upload their projects to CarbonBuzz and re-energise the industry’s benchmarking database, which was first launched in 2008. Both institutes have spearheaded the publication of energy data in their annual awards schemes and point out that CarbonBuzz is the best way to demonstrate energy credentials. more…
May 29, 2013
London mayor Boris Johnson has confirmed the details of a £1bn investment in a new business district that will transform the Royal Docks into a 35 acre gateway project aimed primarily at firms from China and Asia looking to establish a business foothold in the UK and Europe. The site is intended to deliver more than 2.5m sq ft of office as well as retail and leisure facilities under the plans. Chinese owned developer ABP will work with Stanhope and architects Farrells with the first firms taking up occupancy in 2017. The Greater London Authority said the proposed development would create 20,000 full-time jobs, and inject £6bn into the UK economy, with £23m in business rates generated annually. No tenants are confirmed at this stage although the developers claim interest from Chinese banks is said to be high.
May 29, 2013
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…
May 28, 2013
According to a new report from CBRE, nearly three quarters (72 percent) of investment banks based in London are looking to cut their corporate real estate portfolios over the next two years as they adjust to a changing global market for their services as well as structural changes in the UK’s regulatory framework. As well as trimming London based properties, the report says that banks will continue to relocate functions to the UK regions in an effort to reduce costs. Since the low point of 2009, rents in the City of London have increased from £42.50 per sq ft to about £55 per sq ft. The survey also found that just over a third (34 percent) of banks expect to see cuts as a result of mergers and acquisitions in the sector.
May 22, 2013
Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design are to be set up at four UK universities in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering. The new centres at Heriot-Watt University, Loughborough University, the University of Sheffield and University College London will form a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for a more sustainable built environment. The universities will work closely with the construction industry to develop their engineering and architectural design courses to be as relevant as possible to the work students can expect to do when they graduate. Visiting Professors from industry are a key part of this approach and will be heavily involved in developing the new centres of excellence. more…
May 21, 2013
A worldwide competition to design a new Metropolitan Police HQ has been launched by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The force is moving from its landmark New Scotland Yard site in Westminster, central London as part of cost cutting measures. The project on behalf of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will involve the redevelopment of the existing and currently unoccupied Curtis Green MPS building located on the Victoria Embankment, London, SW1. Roger Harding MPS – Director of Real Estate Development said: “The opportunity to create a modern efficient working environment for the Met’s future headquarters, with world-class architecture that provides value for money and is alive to the history of the building provides a wonderful challenge.” more…
May 17, 2013
I’d like to deal in this article with the arrival yesterday of the long-awaited white paper from CBRE’s thought leadership exercise, The CBRE Workshop. However, I should declare an interest for the sake of transparency. Until June 2012 I was employed by CBRE and reported directly to a couple of the people who are heavily involved in The Workshop idea. I would reassure readers that I am not a disgruntled former employee. I have a huge amount of respect and warm regard towards my erstwhile colleagues and nobody will be happier than me to see them do well.
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