Workspace hails strong customer demand in Q1

By Kasmira Jefford - Friday, July 14, 2017 9:10

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Workspace has hailed a strong start to the year after making two acquisitions and seeing a rise in customer demand across its business centres.

The FTSE 250 REIT said it received 1,055 enquiries, on average, per month in the first quarter compared with 1,060 enquiries for the year to the end of March, which led to average lettings of 95 per month compared with 99 for 2016/17. 

The Record Hall, a new 58,000 sq ft centre in Holborn which opened in May, also experience strong demand with 35% of the building occupied as at 30 June 2017 and a further 15% under offer, ahead of expectations.

Jamie Hopkins, chief executive of Workspace, said: "Workspace has had a very busy and successful start to the new financial year with robust demand from customers confirming the attractiveness of our flexible offer to an increasingly wide range of businesses. We have continued to expand and upgrade our property portfolio with two exciting acquisitions and the opening of a new business centre in the quarter."

Workspace owns 68 properties across London, providing commercial space ranging from offices and studios to workshops to some 4,000 companies. 

During the quarter it added two new properties to its portfolio after acquiring Salisbury House at 28-31 Finsbury Circus, Moorgate for £158.7m and 13-17 Fitzroy Street, Fitzrovia for £98.5m.  The acquisitions added 333,000 sq. ft. of lettable space to its estate. 

The company disposed of Uplands industrial estate in Walthamstow, E17 for £50m, 25% above the 31 March 2017 valuation.

Workspace also pushed ahead with several developments, winning planning consent for the 23,000 sq. ft. refurbishment and extension of its Easton Street property in Clerkenwell in April. 

The final phase of the mixed-use redevelopment at Bow Enterprise Park, comprising 130 residential units, was sold in June 2017 for £6.3m in cash and a new 40,000 sq. ft. business centre was returned to Workspace. 

"We continue to make good progress on our refurbishment project pipeline, with our major refurbishments at Barley Mow, Chiswick and The Leather Market, London Bridge due to complete in the second quarter," Workspace said.

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