1. January 2019

  2. Kicking off 2019: karate time in the City

    28 January 2019
    As part of their ongoing wellness challenges, the City Agency, Occupier Advisory and Investment Teams have continued their fitness journey, this time quite literally kicking themselves into shape with a Karate class.
    The lesson was held at 90 Basinghall Street, a refurbished office building in the heart of the City. The fifth floor unit where the teams worked out is a fantastic space, with an abundance of natural light, City views and a private terrace.

    These early risers enjoyed an hour-long session including basic punching and kicking – essential training in the rough and tumble world of commercial agency – along with learning a series of moves involving stepping and turning, known as a kata.

    Partner work and sparring were also on the agenda and, while a nameless few might be accused of getting a little too into it, and despite a couple of bear misses, energy was high and a jolly good time was had by all. So much so, that karate was a hot topic of conversation for the rest of the day.

    90 Basinghall Street is a characterful property with a beautifully remodeled and oak-paneled reception area. The fourth and fifth floors  offer high quality refurbished small suites from 883 sq ft to 2,683 sq ft, perfect for small enterprises seeking grown up workspace in the City. 

    The location is inarguably great with a bustling spot that’s not only between St Paul’s, Mansion House, Moorgate and Bank stations, but also within half a mile of Liverpool Street where the Elizabeth Line is set to arrive when Phase One of Crossrail completes this autumn.

    We are quoting a rent from £67.50 per ft2 for the space. If you’d like to see whether 90 Basinghall Street is the next home for your business, please contact the City Agency Team.

  3. Reinventing a Cannon Street Icon

    24 January 2019
    The reinvention of 30 Cannon Street is complete. This prominent city icon is now almost fully let after an extensive refurbishment and a raft of new lettings.
    Colliers was invited to join the existing marketing campaign as a joint agent last year and working with Romulus and their existing team we’ve had some great results. BMI Healthcare will be relocating its London office to the building later this year having taken a pre-commitment on the 1st floor and the 5th floor with its dedicated private terrace is also under offer. 

    As well as finding occupiers for the workspaces, we’ve helped to increase the variety and amenity for the building’s tenants as well as nearby occupiers. A letting to Six Physio gives the massage, physiotherapy and machine-based Pilates chain its 13th London clinic, and negotiations are currently underway to add a gym operator, which will add further to the building’s wellness credentials.  

    But the icing on the cake, if you’ll excuse the pun, is the letting to the French chain of bakery cafes, Paul, whose London HQ is relocating to the Cannon Street. 

    That means that just the ground floor remains. A total of 8700ft2 is available, either in its entirety or as two separate units, one of 2915ft2 and the other of 5768ft2, with huge volume and full height windows running around the entire floor that fronts both Cannon Street and Queen Victoria Street.

    30 Cannon Street has been comprehensively refurbished by Romulus with the pièce de résistance, an impressive shared roof garden with views across London, including a spectacular close-up of St Paul’s Cathedral. 

    The unique architecture of 30 Cannon Street, which was listed for its Iconic architecture in 2015, makes it a standout building on a prominent corner in the core of the City. Adjacent to Mansion House tube, it sits in all its glory located just moments from Bow Lane and the new Bloomberg Arcade in this reinvented corner of the Square Mile that also hosts The Ned, the newest location of Soho House.

    The Author
    James Walker
    Head of City Agency & Occupier Advisory



  4. The Empire Strikes Back: storming refurbishment of an East End art deco icon

    15 January 2019
    As Whitechapel’s resurgence continues unabated, more and more remarkable buildings are being discovered and uncovered.
    The latest jewel to be restored beyond its original glory Empire House, a classic slice of art deco industrial architecture that was designed by Hugo Viktor Kerr, a man whose impressive legacy of residential and commercial buildings is nowhere better preserved than in the streets of E1.

    Developed by Medusa London and Susan Walker Associates and due to be completed in June 2019, Empire House has been stripped back to its fabric – fitting for a former clothing factory at the heart of London’s textile district – with much metal, brick, concrete and timber on display. The result is a series of workspaces imbued with a deep authenticity that encapsulates the phrase raw and rugged luxury.  

    At street level, the new entrance lobby strongly evokes the 1930s with its brass finished walls and fluted glass pendant light. The suspended mesh ceiling from which it hangs brings us right into the 21st century, along with other amenities including 30 cycle spaces, 2 showers, 10 lockers, an accessible passenger lift and BREEAM ratings of ‘very good’.

    In all, around 15,502ft2 of remarkable office space is distributed across five storeys: a 6,300ft2 duplex on the ground and lower ground levels and around 3,000ft2 on each on the first to third. The upper levels have classic banks of wide industrial windows that frame the city skyline perfectly, while the duplex has an entirely singular character with a statement spiral staircase and green-wall light wells.

    Whitechapel’s transformation has been remarkably swift with a number of venues now rooted as firm local favourites among residents and workers. From caffeine at Mouse Tai land the Department of Social Affairs, to food at Treves & Hawkes and The Stable, to the new Curzon Aldgate cinema. No longer an outpost, but a vibrant hub of life and commerce infused with striking new pockets of public realm.

    Of course, the really big news is yet to come, with the arrival of the Elizabeth Line at Whitechapel Station, just 5 minutes walk from Empire House. When phase 1 of Crossrail completes, the new platforms will upgrade the existing Underground and Overground to a bustling city interchange, creating Whitechapel as one the best connected locations in the capital.

    To see if Empire House could be the next home for your business, contact Elliott Stern or Ricky Blair on 020 7102 2020.

  5. Wren House, Hatton Garden

    11 January 2019
    One of the most striking buildings in Hatton Garden and something of a local landmark, Wren House has led an eventful life. Originally constructed as a church in the 1600s, it was ravaged by flames in the Great Fire of London and later severely bomb damaged in World War II.
    It’s a building that has somehow rooted itself in the consciousness of local residents and workers, a combination of its distinctive architecture and ebullient location. At the corner of Hatton Garden and St Cross Street, Wren House is on a direct route from Leather Lane’s daily street food market to Farringdon Station. In short, a lot of people wander past.

    Reputedly designed by Sir Christopher Wren and renamed in his honour when the building was redeveloped by Warner Lofts, Wren House now sports a stunning modern glass walled extension on St. Cross Street. Alongside the original Grade II Listed façade, it does much to engage the curiosity of passers by.  

    Another addition to the building was a beautiful terrace on the fourth floor, which belongs the duplex office we are currently marketing. Arranged across the 3rd and 4th floors, this newly refurbished unit offers 5,447 ft2 of flexible, contemporary office workspace with a specification including folding walls, air conditioning, LED ceiling lighting, sleek fitted kitchen, fantastic floor-to-ceiling heights and large expanses of glass. To get you up to all this glory, the building has a passenger lift.

    For any creative, tech or professional firm, the location is top notch. Hatton Garden has become one of the most agreeable locations on the City Fringe, with its rich legacy of jewellers still in tact and now joined by modern shops, cafes and bars that give the street a unique flavour.

    Supremely accessible, Hatton Garden benefits from Chancery Lane tube (Central Line) at its southern tip, and Farringdon station just around the corner where Thameslink and three Underground lines are soon to be joined by the Elizabeth Line when phase one of Crossrail completes. Numerous bus routes run along Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell Road and High Holborn.

    The office is ready for immediate occupation and we are quoting a rent of £59.50 per ft2.

    The Author
  6. Ideal Standard taps Drapers House for new HQ

    7 January 2019
    We have now completed the first letting at the refurbished Drapers House on Clerkenwell Road to one of the world’s longest established bathroom manufacturers, Ideal Standard.
    It’s something of a lucky acquisition for the multinational firm given how showroom locations in the City Fringe are notoriously hard to come by. So much so that our Tenant Representation team were moved to blog about the difficulties of acquiring a street frontage in London’s creative quarter.

    Taking a ten-year lease on its new home, Ideal Standard is relocating from its existing headquarters on Charterhouse Street in nearby Smithfield. The move to Drapers House will give the company 4,000 ft2 to exhibit their products and house their design and sales teams. 

    The letting of the ground and lower ground floors is the first at the recently transformed building, once the home of iconic British fashion house Alexander McQueen and now refurbished to an outstanding design by Rockspring Property Investment Managers, an arm of PATRIZIA Immobilien AG.

    With the showroom space now successfully occupied, our concentration shifts to the upper floors, where four floors of remarkable office space await potential tenants.

    The first and second floors host a pair of single-storey units of around 2,200 ft2 of classic open-plan warehouse space with exposed timber, grit-blasted brickwork, and industrial windows.

    The crowning glory, though, are the penthouse floors. The third & fourth floor units provide a total of 4,400ft2.  This remarkable space includes a sleek mezzanine, two private terrace and, the building’s piece de resistance, a barrel vaulted glass roof. It’s an inspired piece of architectural ingenuity that offers an outlook across the Clerkenwell rooftops normally reserved for birds and adventurous cats.

    Among the materials, finishes and specification are: black steel mesh; exposed warehouse
    fabric; superb natural daylight; new VRF air-conditioning systems; LED strip lighting; fully
    accessible inlaid timber raised floors; shower facilities and cycle storage.

    With a location between St John Street and Goswell Road, Drapers House sits at the heart of Clerkenwell’s bustling street scene of creative enterprises from shops and cafes to designers and media firms. 

    Farringdon Station is within a few minutes walk and is soon to become a major London interchange when the first phase of Crossrail completes, adding direct trains to Heathrow and Canary Wharf to its existing Thameslink, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City line services.

    The Author
  7. Legal & General Affordable Homes settles on Cock Lane

    7 January 2019
    The insurance giant Legal & General hit the headlines recently with the announcement that it had been granted Registered Provider status for its new business Legal & General Affordable Homes; part of Legal & General’s ambition to become the leading private affordable housing provider in the UK.
    Legal & General Affordable Homes is aiming to deliver 3,000 homes a year within the next four years by working closely with housing associations and targeting all areas of the market, including new build Section 106 and grant-funded affordable rent, social rent and shared ownership units.

    Legal & General contacted Colliers to find an office for their fast growing Affordable Homes team. The brief was to acquire a suitable workspace as quickly as possible to a list of requirements including a City Fringe location; fully furnished and fitted accommodation; flexibility of term to aid workforce expansion and, perhaps most appropriately of all, an affordable rent. 

    During our searches we uncovered a building in the heart of Smithfield where the landlord was seeking short term lets to facilitate their plans for future development of the wider site. The 2,312ft2 of refurbished space on the 2nd floor of 12 Cock Lane seemed the perfect combination of size, location, lease and price for Legal & General’s brief, with big windows along an entire wall ensuring a bright and pleasant workplace.

    Terms were agreed and, at just 2.5 months from the client’s initial approach to us to completion of the deal, the acquisition represents a particularly swift result, even for the Tenant Representation team!

    “It was a pleasure working with Sophie and her team who took the time to understand our requirements and present a tailored range of options which met our brief. With our team expanding at a rapid rate, we were delighted with the speed with which Colliers identified an ideal property at a very commercial rate.”


    If you’d like to find out how the Tenant Representation can help you find a suitable new home for your business, contact: Sophie Higgins

  8. December 2018

  9. What’s the alternative in London?

    19 December 2018
    An increasing number of investors are looking to ‘alternative’ property investments for the kind of long-term secure income that is no longer common in the office, retail and industrial sectors.
    As detailed in our new research report on the sector, alternative investment volumes have accounted for more than one quarter of all UK commercial property transactions in each year since 2015, and have since become the second most sought after sector behind offices. In 2017, alternatives transaction volumes reached £17.6bn, easily outpacing both industrial (£11bn) and retail (£8.3bn).

    Some of the predominant targets for alternatives investors are the private rented sector (PRS), hotels, student housing and care homes – all asset types which are well represented across London. In line with the rest of the UK, the London alternatives market has grown over the years and in 2018 we have seen around £5bn of transactions.

    There are strong commercial and social drivers behind the investment case for these types of assets. The trend towards urbanisation; the economics of higher education; and an aging population will all support the need for the more private rented sector homes, student housing and healthcare facilities while rising tourist numbers will increase the demand for hotel rooms. 

    Investors can be further reassured by the fact that demographic trends are relatively predictable and it is, therefore, possible to estimate demand for these alternatives sectors. Similarly, occupier demand for some alternatives is less cyclical than in the traditional sectors and therefore less exposed to economic shocks.

    However, there is no doubt that there are also risks associated with alternatives investments. Despite, in many cases, exhibiting higher yields than the traditional sectors, alternatives are often reliant on operator performance and can be exposed to management risks and/or contingent costs.

    Ultimately, the alternative sectors are perhaps best suited to those investors that are seeking stable and long-term income rather than short-term strategies and those who are trying to ‘play the cycle’.

    One of the key compelling aspects of those sectors is the prevalence of long leases of up to 25-30 years, often in combination with sale-and-leaseback or income strips strategies whereby an investor buys an income stream, rather than the physical asset. Accordingly, alternatives are considered by some investors as relatively defensive, stable and low-risk investment vehicles. 

    So whilst London’s commercial property investment market has always been characterised by its trophy office buildings and luxury retail, you can expect a growing volume of investor money in the capital, both domestic and cross border, to head for assets which are maybe more pedestrian, but increasingly intrinsic to our lives.


    Oliver Kolodseike 
    Senior Property Economist 
  10. Colliers secures luxury successor for Motcomb Street unit

    14 December 2018
    The Grosvenor Estate, advised by the Central London Retail division at global real estate advisor Colliers International, has let 4 Motcomb Street to luxury childrenswear brand Marie Chantal.
    The 512-sq ft unit will be Marie Chantal’s second boutique in London and will complement the brand’s already successful online offering. The business is owned by the Crown Princess of Greece and inspired by the ethos ‘let children be children’.

    Sara Simpson, a director in the Central London Retail Agency team at Colliers International, said: “Grosvenor has a deep understanding of the streets and neighbourhoods in Mayfair and Belgravia; it has, over the years, helped to cultivate a district that now makes an important economic, social and cultural contribution to our capital city. Marie Chantal is a strong addition to the businesses already operating on Motcomb Street, which is fast becoming a favourite with high-fashion and couture retailers.”

    Marie Chantal joins a growing list of luxury brands located in this area, including Carolina Bucci and Christian Louboutin.
  11. Mic on Mondays | David Kosky

    10 December 2018
    David Kosky is a co-founder of Work.Life, one of the UK’s largest co-working environments.

    What is Work.Life?

    Work Life is a co-working business, that specialises in working with landlords to animate and activate their buildings.

    How was Work.Life established?

    So we set the business up in 2015, our first space was in Camden. The opportunity we saw was that more and more landlords wanted to co-work in their buildings but still very much investment building driven. And we saw an opportunity to deliver a smaller scale co-working business, an operation to animate and activate buildings but not to over-expose them with investment value concerns.

    What sets Work.Life aside from competition?

    We have a very landlord friendly, strategic property strategy. We take smaller spaces with ground-floor frontage to help animate buildings from the ground floor.

    How does Work.Life create the perfect co-working environment?

    For us, size is a big thing, so actually having smaller spaces allows us to get a very personal feeling in our spaces. It’s all about understanding experience and we’re experienced led; we want people to feel relaxed, at home, welcome in all our spaces, and everything we do from the furniture to the way it’s designed is all done with that in mind.

    What is the future of Work.Life?

    We are continuing to grow, we have spaces in nine locations, and we are also working more and more closely with landlords and bigger businesses, who are all looking to co-working to animate their buildings and really improve the whole experience for their customers or their tenants.

  12. Work over art: media-style offices above gallery in RIBA winning building

    7 December 2018
    Almost dead centre in the Shoreditch Triangle, this trio of modern offices flaunts a sense of fun and individuality with quirky offset picture windows in one of the most striking contemporary buildings in the neighbourhood.
    Available are three units, two on the third floor and one of the fourth, ranging from 740 to 926ft2. With a quoting rent of £47.50 per ft2 and flexible lease terms, they offer cost-conscious businesses an economical price-point to secure a workspace in a prime City Fringe position.

    Exposed concrete soffits with surface mounted light boxes are accompanied by concealed air-conditioning, raised floors, kitchenettes and in-situ meeting rooms, while the building offers its occupiers a commissionaire, shower facilities, cycle storage and events/conference spaces available for rent.

    Designed by David Adjaye, one of Britain’s leading contemporary architects, Rivington Place opened in October 2007 and won a RIBA award in 2008. It was the first new-build public gallery in London since the opening of the Hayward Gallery way back in 1968. 

    The building is the home of two of London’s most enquiring and enlightening cultural organisations:  Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), and Autograph ( the Association of Black Photographers). 

    Iniva explores the diversity of society through exhibitions, debates, learning and digital initiatives, while Autograph uses photography to explore questions of cultural identity, race, representation, human rights and social justice. In short, there is always something interesting and thought-provoking to enjoy.

    The combination of gallery and education spaces, meeting rooms, café and the Stuart Hall Library make Rivington Place a unique and enriching place to work: a space for viewing, researching and learning about contemporary art. 

    The area, of course, needs no introduction. The epicentre of creative cool in London, Shoreditch has spawned many an imitation but still reigns supreme. Home to some of the most inspiring creative businesses in London in fields form architecture and interior deign to media, fashion and right through to forward thinking tech and financial sectors, the area is live from dawn ‘til dusk with a hug offering of places to eat and drink, as well as plenty of places to stay the night when going home is no longer an option.

    Close to Shoreditch High Street (Overground) and Old Street (Northern Line and National Rail) stations, Rivington Place is also within walking distance of London Liverpool Street where its Underground, National Rail and Stansted Express lines are soon to be supplemented with the arrival of the Elizabeth Line when phase one of Crossrail completes.

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