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NFU Mutual has refurbished 34,000 sq ft in the riverside scheme
Leeds, 16 January 2014 - NFU Mutual has unveiled the largest single officefloor plate currently available in Leeds city centre following the completion of a £1million refurbishment programme at one of the city’s landmark office schemes.
The insurance firm, who owns No 1 Whitehall Riverside, has refurbished 34,000 sq ft of space within the building to transform the 4th and 5th floors creating new flexible and sustainable space. In a first for the Leeds office market, 100% LED lighting has been installed on both floors providing low maintenance and high quality lighting which will reduce CO2 emissions for future occupiers.
David Hidderley, Investment Fund Surveyor at NFU Mutual, said: “With a limited amount of Grade A office accommodation remaining in Leeds city centre, and no speculative office development on the horizon, the refurbishment of space in prime locations with good sized and well configured floor plates has become more important than ever.
“Our refurbishment, project managed by PSK Building Surveyors, responds to this acute Grade A shortage and we are pleased to officially launch back to the market what we believe is the most prestigious office in the city. Nowhere else in the central business district can currently offer available 17,000 sq ft floor plates.”
Grant McIntosh, Director at PSK Building Surveyors, added: “Refurbishing both floors has presented NFU Mutual with an opportunity to create premium quality Grade A office space unparalleled in Leeds. Embracing modern technology, including a fully addressable LED lighting scheme, will allow occupiers endless flexibility in creating an environment tailored to their specific needs.”
Joint letting agents Jones Lang LaSalle and DTZ believe that No 1 Whitehall Riverside is well positioned to respond to current market conditions. Richard Thornton from joint leasing agents, Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “Our research shows that there will be a number of indigenous businesses looking to move within Leeds over the next three years and No 1 Whitehall Riverside is set to capitalise on this demand. However, whilst the lack of Grade A space is driving interest from some developers to potentially start building speculatively there will not be enough space over the short term to meet demand meaning occupiers could well miss the boat.”
Eamon Fox from DTZ concluded: “Leeds city centre leasing activity last year is expected to reach unprecedented levels and we are predicting similar take-up in 2014. The limiting factor in achieving this will be lack of stock going forward and there will be some inevitable pre let activity: No 1 Whitehall Riverside is superbly positioned.”
No 1 Whitehall Riverside, which provides 127,731 sq ft of office accommodation over eight floors, was acquired by NFU Mutual in 2010. It is already home to Grant Thornton, Straight PLC, Bond Dickinson LLP, BNY Mellon, Michael Page International, Arcadis and Mackenzie Stuart. Joint letting agents DTZ and Jones Lang LaSalle are quoting £26.00 per sq ft.
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