Sector Focus


Demand for office space increases despite pandemic

Birmingham-based serviced office provider UBC (UK) has reported a huge rise in demand for space at its various sites – despite the coronavirus crisis. Managing director Richard Johnson (pictured) said

the boom was down to occupiers not wishing to commit to long-term deals. UBC runs seven business centres across

Flying high: Ben Leather

Spitfire to build Midlands homes

Spitfire, the house building arm of IM Properties, is to build more than 1,000 homes across the Midlands. The homes will be built at sites in

various locations, including Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. The firm says the development

value of these sites is more than £350 million. Since its launch a decade ago,

Spitfire has developed a reputation for delivering premium homes at some of the country’s most desirable addresses. Recent developments at posh

addresses have included ‘Beaufort’, in Edgbaston, Birmingham, and ‘Mirabelle’, at Eckington. Spitfire managing director Ben

Leather said: “We are immensely proud of the history Spitfire has written in the past 10 years, and these plans mark a significant milestone for the company. “Spitfire has built a name for

itself over the last decade for creating design-led, unique, premium and high-specification properties in some of the UK’s most sought-after locations under the Spitfire Bespoke Homes marque. “With growing demand for our

homes, and everchanging market requirements, we want to bring Spitfire’s clear design-led approach to a wider marketplace. “Spitfire Homes will bring the

best of both worlds, opening up our new product range to a much larger audience, while continuing to develop our signature properties as part of our bespoke collection. “This is an incredibly exciting

time for our business, and I am excited for what the future holds for Spitfire Homes.” Spitfire is actively seeking land opportunities within a 60-minute drive time from its headquarters in Solihull.

62 CHAMBERLINK April 2021 In the Loop: The new canal-side homes are part of a development that will transform the former brownfield site

Work has started on a scheme to build 750 new canal-side homes in Birmingham, at Soho Loop, which is opposite City Hospital. More than 100,000 sq ft of old

warehousing has already been removed from the 11 acre site by the developer, Galliard Apsley Partnership. Gaillard Apsley is spending £165m

developing the site, which has been named Soho Wharf. Some 102 two and three-bedroom townhouses will be built there, along with 650 flats. There will also be 100,000 sq ft of commercial space. Gaillard Homes chief executive

Don O’Sullivan said: “Soho Wharf will transform a redundant brownfield site into a green and welcoming

environment for families and wildlife. “The site is the largest in our

Birmingham portfolio and provides Galliard Homes with the opportunity to do what we are best known for in London – regeneration and placemaking, on a grand scale.” The first homes will be available

from the end of 2022, with the remainder complete by 2024.

the Midlands and South from its Solihull Parkway HQ on Birmingham Business Park, and Mr Johnson said: “Before Covid, our typical client would want two to five work-stations, but we're now consistently seeing inquiries for 15, 20 and even 30. “These companies aren’t already

operating in serviced space, but without exception, they are looking to take advantage of break clauses, expiry dates or other lease events at their current space to make their operating model more flexible. “They don’t know what the

conditions during November and into December indicated that an upturn was ahead, but seeing the number of deals for serviced office space being completed in Q1, and across a range of sectors, is reassuring,” he says. “If this momentum continues, and there's no reason to think otherwise, I believe we'll soon see companies which previously had 30,000 sq ft or even 40,000 sq ft looking to downsize, and then use remote working – either from home or serviced offices – to create more flexible models.” UBC has business centres in Birmingham, Brentford, Cirencester,

year ahead might bring, and – despite the tremendous success of the vaccine roll-out, and the various support packages announced in the Budget – they don’t wish at the moment to commit to long-term leases.” Three months ago, John Bryce, director of Birmingham-based independent agency KWB, shared Mr Johnson’s optimism that the sector would pick up during Q2, but admits the scale and speed was unexpected. “The inquiry levels and underlying market

‘Underlying market conditions during November and into December indicated that an upturn was ahead’

Fleet, Henley-in-Arden, Southampton and Warrington Birchwood, and Mr Johnson said: “In Southampton, a large publishing company wants significant space. In Fleet, it's the regional arm of a major bank, and in Brentford, it's a business operating in the travel sector.

“The single largest inquiry is at Warrington, where

a client is negotiating to take up to 100 seats. Yes, there have been larger deals before Covid, but that's a very sizeable letting given the year we’ve had. “We just closed one deal on Birmingham Business

Park when they came to view one day and had signed for their new space in less than a week. Such a time-scale wasn't unheard of before Covid, but in the context of the last 15 or 16 months, it certainly is.”

Transformation of brownfield site

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72