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Two separate reports highlight thriving London office market

Holborn Circus

Holborn Circus

The London office market continues to thrive according to two new reports from property consultancies CBRE and BNP Paribas Real Estate. According to the CBRE survey, take-up of Central London office space in the second quarter of 2013 increased by 32 percent compared with the previous quarter while, according to BNP Paribas, the take up of central London offices in the first half of 2013 rose by nearly a quarter 24 percent to 6.02m sq ft compared with the same period in 2012, while activity rose by around a third (31 percent) to 3.08m sq ft in the second quarter of the year compared with the second quarter of 2012. CBRE report that there were three deals for offices over 100,000 sq ft in the period covered and eight deals over 50,000 sq ft, the highest number since Q4 2010.

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Office Insight announces partnership with Worktech 13

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 →

What Jeremy Clarkson can’t teach us about workforce productivity

In 2011, one of Top Gear’s regular bits of lazy casual racism caused a bit more fuss than the rolling of eyes it typically deserves. The presenters had mocked a Mexican sports car with Richard Hammond – who has never said anything interesting or funny in his life – claiming  that ‘cars reflect national characteristics. A Mexican car’s just going to be a lazy, feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.’ There was a bit more of this kind of stuff with Jeremy Clarkson suggesting that the Mexican ambassador to Britain would be too lazy to make any kind of complaint. He was wrong about that (he did) and they were all wrong about Mexicans anyway because according to a new report into global productivity,  Mexico has the world’s most productive workforce.

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British Land on track to meet targets on green building efficiency

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 →

Worldwide competition launched by RIBA to design a new Scotland Yard

Courtesy of Simon Heath

Courtesy of Simon Heath

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 →

Global coalition to create universal standard of property measurement

Global coalition to create universal standard of property measurement

The world’s leading property institutions meet today to create a universal method of measuring property assets. At present, the way property assets – such as an office development is measured, varies widely from country to country. With so many different methods of measurement available, it makes it difficult for those looking to invest in these developments to compare like with like. This confusion can affect property values, lead to errors in financial reporting and, consequentially, undermine market confidence. Headed by RICS, this initial meeting of the International Property Measurement Standards Coalition (IPMSC) is the first step to delivering this consistency.

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Resistance to workplace change marks the passing of the old order

ChangeWhen Vodafone announced in March that the UK’s businesses could save up to £34 billion with the more widespread application of flexible working models, the research to support the claim had two very familiar components. The first was a crystal clear business case, the second an admission that the message was still not quite getting through to those at the top. In fact, Vodafone claimed, around two-thirds of business leaders continue to insist their business can’t afford to reduce the number of workstations they use despite all evidence to the contrary. A third haven’t even considered the idea of reducing the number of workstations they use as a way of cutting costs.

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Dubai developers switch unwanted commercial property projects to other uses

Cups gameThe UK isn’t the only country looking to convert its unwanted office space into other uses. According to a new report from CBRE, the oversupply of new commercial property in Dubai is leading developers to switch the use of projects in the Emirate before they have even finished building them. With occupancy levels already at less than 50 percent in some areas and swathes of new developments coming online thanks to Dubai’s ongoing commitment to a policy of ‘build it and they will come’, developers are taking the decision to convert construction projects to homes or hotels.

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High wire act: balancing attitudes and expectations in the workplace

This week, with some fanfare and a modest splash on social media, CBRE, the Global real estate services provider launched The Workshop Idea. One of its stated aims is the revitalisation of our high streets and, with the introduction of local venues in a number of differing guises, an increase in the degree of choice and flexibility of places in which to work when not travelling into the office. A whitepaper is due out shortly and we will cover this specific initiative once that has been given the proper consideration and thoughtful analysis it deserves. However, it raises some initial thoughts on expectations, attitudes and behaviours that need to be overcome in the way we view our high streets and places of work and the degree to which those who provide services respond.

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One St Paul’s offices attracts “new type” of City tenant

One St Paul's

A marketing campaign aimed at attracting non-traditional City occupiers appears to have paid off, with the entire 60,000 sqft office element of One St Paul’s in the City of London being let to a single tenant. Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants Ltd has agreed a 15-year lease for all six storeys of bespoke office space, and will  take possession upon handover of the building works during the summer of 2013, with the aim of moving its headquarters in the autumn. The deal marks the culmination of AXA Real Estate’s reworking of the property as a major mixed-use redevelopment scheme.

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What Tesco’s move into a Clerkenwell office tells us about how it sees itself

Tesco logoIf Tesco ever wants to update its three word strapline from Every Little Helps, it could plump for something more accurate such as We Own You. Unless Facebook or Google register it first, of course. The news this week that the extensively diversified retailer is to set up an office for its digital operations in the heart of one of the UK’s Technology Media and Telecoms (TMT) hothouse in Clerkenwell tells us a great deal about how it sees its operations in this area. The move will not only help Tesco to recruit staff in and around the Tech City area of East London, but sets a marker for how it views its place in the scheme of things.

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UK commercial property investors shift focus to the regions

Leeds skylineInvestors in the commercial office market are increasingly being drawn towards the UK regions, according to a new report by Deloitte Real Estate. The UK Key Cities publication explores the trend that regional offices are emerging as a focus for savvy investors seeking higher returns. At the same time, individual cities are recognising the need to stand apart from competing locations and bridge the gap between themselves and London. These cities are being bolstered by factors such as improved connectivity through large planned infrastructure projects, devolution of power, and investment into the retail and leisure markets.

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