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News Release

LONDON

JLL research reveals the key to successful business parks

Report lists seven attributes parks must have in order to thrive


LONDON, 08 October 2014 –JLL’s latest research, which explores the future of business parks, has revealed seven attributes which signify success.

The report, entitled ‘Business Parks: Rising to the Challenge’, compared the similarities between thriving business parks across the UK and identified what characteristics both existing and future parks will need in order be an attractive proposition to occupiers and investors.

JLL defines the seven key attributes as: 

1. A ‘plan’ to control environment: allowing business parks to adapt to change, in particular with amenity provision, transport infrastructure and a mix of uses incorporated into park design. This could include expanding parking facilities, shuttle services to mainline transport and development of improved amenities.

2. Scale: the larger the business park, the increased likelihood of success. Larger parks can support diversity by offering a range of business premises, amenities, transport options and leisure and recreation.
3. Complement the city centre offer: business parks located near to areas where city supply is constrained or of poor quality are more likely to be successful as they can tap into overflow demand.

4. Transport links: Traditional business parks were based on a workforce driving to work, though over time public transport and a cycle network has increased in importance. Parks located on the fringe of urban areas often benefit from established public transport links and cycle paths, which opens up the park to a wider workforce and boosts sustainability credentials. Proximity to an airport can also not be ignored, given companies increasingly operate on a global scale.

5. Supply of car parking: 57.5% of the UK working population drives to work, though car parking ratios for new parks have been substantially reduced over the past 30 years due to planning policy, this has had a significant impact on out of town parks with limited access to public transport. Successful parks have seen local authorities working together with developers to improve the volume of parking on offer. 

6. Building quality: Having a high quality building in the right location creates a positive image with potential new hires, investors and partners and making the park an attractive proposition.

7. Amenity offer: When trying to attract occupiers, the quality of amenities and surrounding environment is just as important as quality of the building. The presence of café’s, bars, convenience stores, gyms, schools and doctors helps create a sustainable community that can compete with a town centre offer.

James Finnis, head of South East Office Agency, JLL said: “In order to thrive, business parks need to adapt their offer to remain attractive to corporates and most importantly their employees. 
 The take-up stats across the UK clearly demonstrate that there is demand for business park space, but we are in a competitive environment so owners of business parks have to work hard to make their accommodation attractive.

“JLL has identified seven attributes which have a positive impact on the success of parks, and owners which take it upon themselves to implement these will reap the rewards. Essentially, being able to replicate what a town centre can provide is key and those parks which fail to rise to the challenge will lose out.”

Ben Burston, head of UK Offices Research at JLL said “With values now rising and rental growth returning, we expect the total return performance of office parks to improve markedly in coming years. So much so that they will actually out-perform standard offices, because they have greater scope to benefit from the inward yield movement which is a key feature of the market at present.

“However, the rising tide will not lift all boats. Expect to see divergence in occupier demand and consequently return performance between parks that are adapting to meet the needs of today’s occupier and complement the city centre offer, and those that are not.”

Download report in full here: http://www.jll.co.uk/united-kingdom/en-gb/research/215/business-parks-rising-to-the-challenge