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Leeds

Leeds out-of-town drives 2008 office occupier take-up

Office park take-up increases 21% compared with 2007


Leeds, 14 January 2009 – According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s research the out-of-town office market has shown the largest improvement in terms of office occupier take-up in 2008.

Whilst city centre activity had a relatively subdued year with 426,000 sq ft of office space taken up, set against the five year average of 546,000 sq ft, the business park market has picked up substantially over the last 12 months and totalled 346,577 sq ft.
 
Jeff Pearey, head of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Leeds office, said: “Despite challenging economic conditions a total of 346,577 sq ft of office space has been transacted in the out-of-town market in 2008. Whilst this is still below the five year average of 450,343 sq ft it is a 21% increase, compared with 2007, when just 273,608 sq ft was let or sold.

“Letting activity in the out-of-town market improved largely due to a number of significant transactions including ING Car Lease UK taking 16,653 sq ft at Leeds Valley Park and Parcelnet taking 25,500 sq ft at Capitol House. Thorpe Park, Yorkshire’s largest office park, had particular success with lettings to BAM Construction and Coors Brewery, which both happened in Quarter 3, bucking the trend against adverse market conditions”.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s research also illustrates a discernible shift from a preponderance of freehold transactions, often smaller in size, to a surge of larger leasehold deals.

Pearey continued: “Whilst the success of the city centre market often hinges on the performance of the professional and financial services sectors, the out-of-town market serves a much wider spread of occupiers such as contractors, services companies and training firms. These businesses often cite accessibility to major roads/motorway network, availability of on site parking and a lower density of development which allows improved corporate branding/signage.

“The city centre will naturally continue to underpin activity offering occupiers an excellent choice of new buildings which have recently come to the market, as well as a number of very attractive pre-let opportunities, which always helps to stimulate market activity.  However it is clear that the attraction of office parks are gaining more appeal. 

Businesses need well located places to work, with good transport connections and local amenities, however people look for more than just a place to work. The latent generation of office parks in Leeds, like Leeds Valley Park and Thorpe Park offer a varied range of facilities, with White Rose Office Park having gained planning consent for a crèche last year.”

Pearey concluded: “With the increased focus on green building solutions office park developers now encourage car sharing as part of the green gravel agenda and this is often supported by sophisticated intranet sites enabling these sites to create a sustainable business community of their own.”
                            

Notes to Editors:
· Take Up figures for Leeds City Centre market:
2008 – 426,266 sq ft
2007 – 581,661 sq ft
5 Year Average – 546,000 sq ft
 
· Take Up figures for Leeds Out-of Town  market:
2008 – 346,577 sq ft
2007 – 273,608 sq ft
5 Year Average – 450343 sq ft