Words of gold from our stakeholder – Jonathan Beilin of Newton Perkins…
With talk around the ‘death of the office’ now a distant memory and the vaccine rollout well underway, many employers and employees are looking to the future – and more specifically to their working environments.
With the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues having been sorely missed by workers, as well as out-of-work socialising, many are evaluating what requirements they will need when the workplace reopens. Aldgate, with its connections to transport hubs and thriving community outside of office life, is a destination employers should now be looking to.
Aldgate Connect BID, and its property group, are confident that Aldgate will become one of the more inspiring and vibrant locations in the City, attracting both businesses and visitors. Jon Beilin, Partner at Newton Perkins, and member of the property group, is extremely excited about the upcoming plans for the area.
“We are about to embark on a number of initiatives including the restoration of Petticoat Lane Market and Middlesex Street, cycling provisions, improvements to cleansing, waste and recycling facilities, and upgrading the condition of vacant buildings. The initiatives will undoubtedly highlight Aldgate as an exciting and protected destination, whilst supporting local businesses”.
Newton Perkins are commercial property consultants who work with more than 150 landlords and tenants in the area – and have been involved with the BID since before its inception.
Jon said: “It’s been great, I’m really pleased about Newton Perkins’ involvement in this project. We share the vision that Aldgate should no longer be seen as a gateway to more recognised areas but as an established destination in its own right. The area’s historical and strategic merit is tremendous and it deserves the same level of planned investment and enhancement we have seen in recent years in Farringdon and Shoreditch.”
In the surrounding office market area, commercial property consultants have seen a marked increase in enquiries. Jon reported: “Office requirements have picked up noticeably since January 2021 reaching 80% of pre-COVID levels – which is a hugely encouraging figure for agents.”
Requirements are coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some downsizing and others looking at how their current space can be adapted to allow for communal workspaces, less fixed desking and enhanced circulation. Much greater lease flexibility is also required by tenants particularly in the A- and B-grade property brackets. It is clear that with many lease events coming up in the next year or so, employers have a lot to think about.
Jon advised: “The market is probably the most competitive it has been since the financial crash in 2008. If you’re more of a pragmatic occupier there are excellent deals to be done and the majority of landlords recognise that. It’s a bit of a game of cat and mouse at the moment.”
While take-up was down around 60% in 2020, pre-lettings were still looking strong so smaller companies, who can mobilise quickly, have been taking advantage of the deals available.
And with many now actively looking to their future offices, Aldgate is proving to be a hugely attractive destination, offering something for both employers, in terms of attractive office space, and for employees, eagerly seeking a step away from their makeshift office at home.
Jon said: “Throughout my 15 years at Newton Perkins I’ve observed what I’d describe as the very careful and sensitive redevelopment of the Aldgate area. It’s been hugely interesting. The area has changed and grown and yet the spirit and culture of Aldgate has been carefully retained.
“The redesign of the busy Aldgate gyratory into a public square in particular has made a huge difference, providing occupiers with a communal breakout area and event space – so you’ve got the mixture of brand-new developments alongside historical and period buildings, which ultimately creates a location that is far more vibrant, exciting and interesting than your typical city location.
“When you compare Aldgate to the rest of the city it offers something different. There’s a feeling of community and culture, as well as originality you don’t get elsewhere. There’s also terrific value for tenants – you’ve got very good transport links and the river is just a 10-minute walk away.
“Aldgate has a huge amount going for it and is what we believe people will be looking for as a workplace destination post-lockdown.”
To get in touch with Jon please contact firstname.lastname@example.org