Guildford office market is thriving


It looks as if Guildford is gaining in popularity as an office location judging from new development plans.

A family run business, First Urban Group, has planning consent for 12,410 sq.m. (133,592 sq.ft.) on 1.4 acres on the north side of the railway station, currently occupied by two small office buildings.

The new development will have a headquarters office building and a 105 space car park.  First Urban already has planning consent for a residential led scheme of 177 homes but now has also the option of the commercial scheme.  No decision has yet been made as to which scheme will proceed.

The area around Guildford station is top of the list for new development in the town and already has a joint venture of Network Rail, Solum Regeneration and Kier Property identifying options for new schemes, particularly an 18 acre site next to the station for a prime mixed use project.

The overall aim is to raise funds to revamp the station, but this is only one of the large projects for Guildford.  The other one is the regeneration of North Street through Lend Lease’s 37,160 sq.m. (400,000 sq.ft.) scheme on behalf of the council on a 62 acre site.  Cushman & Wakefiled is advising.

A further pointer to the attraction of Guildford is that PM Mercury Holdings, a joint venture of Mountgrange and Patron Capital, has sold the 3,818 sq.m. (41,096 sq.ft.) Rangers House for £13.7M to Surrey County Council.  This is also adjacent to the railway station and is 90% let with recent lettings to Barclays and Ubisoft.

Rob West of PM Mercury said ‘the sale of this asset follows our purchase of the Mercury Portfolio in November.  After intensive management, we were able to secure a number of lettings and complete a sale ahead of plan’.

Article source – Commercial Property Register June 2013