Bank is one of the most competitive areas for serviced office space worldwide. Not only within the square mile, but within a few hundred metres of Bank tube station, there are over twenty serviced offices all vying for business. Over the past few years the market has remained steady, with rates and occupancies cruising at a high level and new serviced offices coming to the market on a regular basis.
However, for a market which relies almost exclusively on the UK’s finance industry, and the related companies which feed off of it, reports of increasingly troubled times for Britain’s banks spell bad news for the serviced office providers within the sector where take up for the city core remains subdued. Particularly worrying is the current lack of requirements for overflow space for special financial-related projects within the division, something which has always contributed to a substantial percentage of serviced office profit.
Conversely there is some light at the end of the tunnel for the Bank Serviced Office market where, with businesses unwilling to commit to longer traditional leases, many companies big and small are increasingly seeing the benefits of flexible licences over longer traditional leases. Companies are able to move in and out of serviced accommodation with minimal notice and furthermore, once set up, expansion or indeed reduction of office space within serviced properties tends to be relatively easy with many providers now allocating a certain amount of space for the potential expansion of their clients. In this way the flexibility of the serviced office in the Bank area may prove to be its saving grace over the up and coming months where forecasts for the impending recession are looking increasingly gloomy. For the UK’s finance industry the consequential requirement for an alternative to the long-term traditional lease commitment is on the rise.
To give a brief industry overview, serviced properties in the area range greatly in style and quality. From the iconic Poultry and Tower 42 buildings to the boutique serviced offices tucked away in Austin Friars, Royal Exchange and Guildhall Yard, the market offers something suitable for businesses across the board from the one man band start-up to some of the biggest financial institutions in the country.
Most people coming into the City from Waterloo on the City line will want to be within a few minutes walk when they emerge from ‘The Warren’ of Bank tube station so for the real “Bank-purists” who want to be situated right in the heart of the sector Regus in Poultry is the closest to the tube station with its own exit into the building. That has to be followed closely by Landmark on Lombard Street, as well as Regus’ second property on Lombard Street, providers EOG also have a building nearby on Cornhill. The latter centre is absolutely superb with one of the finest receptions you will see anywhere in London. The other two operators right on Bank’s doorstep are BEG, in Royal Exchange, and MWBEC on Finch Lane. BEG has a fantastic newly-renovated building.
If you can manage to walk an extra few minutes then there is a whole host of other serviced offices within striking distance of Bank. One of the oldest and definitely quirkiest is Inigo in Guildhall yard. On the other extreme is the well-known, striking Tower 42 building (the old Natwest Tower) on Old Broad Street. Tucked away off Old Broad Street is Austin Friars, in this tiny enclave lie the great value providers Devonshire and Avanta. Running parallel with old Broad Street is Leadenhall where you can find Regus’ third property as well as a further addition by EOG. At these buildings the serviced office giants offer their best value accommodation in the City situated on Throgmorton Street.
Many see Cannon Street as an eternity away from Bank but in fact it takes less than five minutes to walk. MWB has a recently refurbished centre on Cannon Street itself offering fantastic, unbranded serviced office space. Providers First Base have a great value offering on Queen Victoria Street opposite Mansion House Tube. Last, and by no means least, is BEG in Watling in the fantastically quirky oasis of Bow Lane with its cafes and shops, located next to Bow Church.
Although the sector stands to be badly affected by the credit crunch it remains an amazing area for the serviced office industry and, with its diverse selection, is untouched by commercial accommodation anywhere else in the world.
Click here to see all serviced offices in Bank and to watch videos of the centres online OR call us today to discuss your commercial property requirement in more detail on 01932 834 720.