KEEPING YOU IN THE LOOP

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Aurora sold for £62 million with 85% now let and construction complete

Contracts have been exchanged on the sale of Aurora, Bristol’s newly completed, landmark office building, to a major UK investment fund with completion to follow shortly, with over 85% of the state-of-the-art space now let at record rental levels. The 95,000 sq ft ‘Grade A’ office building is part of Finzels Reach, the highly-regarded new […] View Article

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Aurora sold for £62 million with 85% now let and construction complete

Contracts have been exchanged on the sale of Aurora, Bristol’s newly completed, landmark office building, to a major UK investment fund with completion to follow shortly, with over 85% of the state-of-the-art space now let at record rental levels.

The 95,000 sq ft ‘Grade A’ office building is part of Finzels Reach, the highly-regarded new quarter being created on Bristol’s waterfront in the heart of the city by leading South West developer Cubex, funded by Palmer Capital Development Fund IV, a programmatic venture managed exclusively on behalf of clients of CBRE Global Investment Partners (“CBRE GIP”).

Cubex, backed by Palmer Capital, has sold Aurora for £62.13 million to Royal London Asset Management, achieving a 4.75% net initial yield. Aurora has consistently been able to secure record headline rents throughout its construction, being only ‘Grade A’ office space developed this year in a city with limited supply.

With construction now complete, this striking new building is ready for office fit outs to begin and deals with three new tenants have been signed. The rent achieved on Aurora has now broken a new record, rising above the £35 per sq ft mark.

Financial services firm Parmenion, part of Aberdeen Standard Investments, and professional recruitment and consulting specialist Experis will join previously announced tenants law firm Simmons & Simmons and intellectual property specialist Mewburn Ellis LLP inside the glass-fronted building.

Parmenion is taking 31,233 sq ft on the third and fourth floors, and Experis is taking the ground floor rear suite of 5,002 sq ft. Both firms are relocating from within the city centre, providing a significant upgrade to their working environment.

Amdaris, a dynamic software development business, is lined up to take 3,200 sq ft at Studio A, the self-contained ground floor suite fronting Counterslip, leaving just one floor of 15,552 sq ft remaining that has attracted several enquiries.

Aurora is the only building outside London and one of just six in the UK to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ environmental award under the new, toughest rating scheme. It also holds a LEED Gold sustainability standard and a Platinum Wired Score accreditation, the highest rating for connectivity and digital infrastructure.

Peter Walford, director at Cubex, said: “Our commitment to delivering a first class, highly sustainable office building in the heart of the city has been instrumental in helping us attract an excellent mix of quality tenants, and to consistently push rental levels to record highs. We are therefore delighted that Royal London have recognised these attributes and chosen to purchase our landmark Aurora building.”

Steve Wright, director at Palmer Capital commented: “We are delighted to conclude a successful business plan, delivering a high quality asset in Bristol, and outstanding performance for the fund.”

Savills acted for Cubex and Palmer Capital.  Knight Frank acted for Royal London Asset Management.

Businesses based in Aurora will benefit from state-of-the-art sustainability features such as rooftop solar panels, intelligent LED lighting and water saving technology, all of which help to reduce running costs. With a strong emphasis on a healthy working environment, the building is designed to maximise natural light through floor to ceiling glazing, ensure fresh air circulation and offer inspiring shared space including a rooftop garden. It has bicycle storage facilities, lockers and showers on site.

 

Anyone interested in finding out more about available space in Aurora should contact Martin Booth at Knight Frank (martin.booth@knightfrank.com) or Chris Meredith at Savills (cmeridith@savills.com ).

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Work starts to transform the Fermentation Buildings at Finzels Reach into unique office space in the heart of Bristol

Preparatory works have begun at the historic Fermentation Buildings at Finzels Reach to transform the former brewery into a hub for businesses in the heart of Bristol. The Fermentation Buildings are part of the rich brewing history at Finzels Reach and over the years have been home to several famous Bristol breweries, most recently Courage […] View Article

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Work starts to transform the Fermentation Buildings at Finzels Reach into unique office space in the heart of Bristol

Preparatory works have begun at the historic Fermentation Buildings at Finzels Reach to transform the former brewery into a hub for businesses in the heart of Bristol.

The Fermentation Buildings are part of the rich brewing history at Finzels Reach and over the years have been home to several famous Bristol breweries, most recently Courage brewery. A working brewery from 1702 until 2000, the buildings have remained unused since the last drop was brewed and now will be refurbished to bring life back into these iconic buildings.

This inspiring new office space, which encompasses 15,000 sq ft on the first and second floors, will overlook Bristol’s famous Floating Harbour, whilst the ground floor will soon house an eclectic mix of retailers, which could include restaurants, shops and cafes. The neighbouring Compressor Building will be home to a brewery and brewpub by Left Handed Brewery and Michelin-starred restaurant Casamia will be opening a development kitchen, with Peter Sanchez-Iglesias and his team preparing street-food style dishes in the space above the brewery.

Designed to make the most of the high glass atrium style roof and loft-like space, a range of flexible 2,384 – 3,788 sq ft office units are being created within this attractive industrial setting. These vibrant and characterful office spaces can be configured to suit specific requirements, combining the old with the new, featuring exposed original brickwork alongside state-of-the-art specification.

The driving force behind Finzels Reach, one of the South West’s most significant mixed-used schemes, is local developer Cubex, together with its funding partner Palmer Capital.

Peter Walford, director of Cubex, said: “The redevelopment of the Fermentation Buildings is a key milestone in the creation of Finzels Reach, an exciting new waterside quarter for the city, as it represents one of the final phases of this significant mixed-use project.  Our aim is to breathe new life into this iconic location and give it new purpose without losing the charm and heritage that make it special. It will be the ideal home for the city’s growing businesses and we look forward to hearing from those who would like to be part of this exciting new quarter.”

The Fermentation Buildings are ideally located less than a 10-minute walk from Temple Meads station, whilst the recently opened Castle Bridge provides easy access to the popular shopping areas of Cabot Circus, Quakers Friars and St Nicholas Market. It is close to an array of bus routes and ferries can be boarded from nearby Castle Park.

Savills and Knight Frank have been appointed to market the office space for let. Anyone interested should contact Harry Allen on 0117 910 2356 and Andy Smith at Knight Frank on 0117 917 4537.

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Bristol Food Connections: A Celebration of Beer and Bread at Finzels Reach Market on Friday 15th June 2018

Back on Friday 15th June 2018 with its usual mix of delicious food and drink, Finzels Reach Market focused on the connection between bread and beer as part of this month’s Bristol Food Connections festival. The street food market will be exploring and celebrating the fact that beer has been brewed on the current site of Finzels […] View Article

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Bristol Food Connections: A Celebration of Beer and Bread at Finzels Reach Market on Friday 15th June 2018

Back on Friday 15th June 2018 with its usual mix of delicious food and drink, Finzels Reach Market focused on the connection between bread and beer as part of this month’s Bristol Food Connections festival.

32104985_933183613515786_1604726650824556544_nThe street food market will be exploring and celebrating the fact that beer has been brewed on the current site of Finzels Reach for hundreds of years, and connecting it with another very Bristol foodie fave, bread.

Courage and George’s breweries had previous residence there, and the site will be taken up in the not-too-distant future by local brewing company, Left Handed Giant, who will make the compressor building its new home. So the link to Bristol, the site and that very finest of libations is still very much being recognised and carried on – excellent.

The event, aptly named Beer and Bread, will bring two of the city’s most esteemed brewers and bakers  – the aforementioned Left Handed Giant, helped out the dough-kneading supremos of Assembly Bakery – for a feast that will be unleashed on Friday. In addition to the nibbling and quaffing, the event will serve an educational purpose too, enlightening market-goers on how the two are inextricably interlinked and how bread was used in beer making.

Regular street market traders will also be there this week serving up a few surprise dishes that have been specially designed to incorporate beer and bread into their creations. You’ll also get the opportunity to mix and chat with the traders and the folk at Left Handed Giant and Assembly Bakery.

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Plans to transform iconic Generator Building into unique office space get green light

The go-ahead has been given to plans to create unique office space for the tech, creative and media sectors within Bristol’s striking Generator Building at Finzels Reach. The iconic red brick and stone building by Bristol’s floating harbour, which originally housed the generator for the city’s tram system, will offer businesses an inspiring and unconventional […] View Article

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Plans to transform iconic Generator Building into unique office space get green light

The go-ahead has been given to plans to create unique office space for the tech, creative and media sectors within Bristol’s striking Generator Building at Finzels Reach.

The iconic red brick and stone building by Bristol’s floating harbour, which originally housed the generator for the city’s tram system, will offer businesses an inspiring and unconventional working environment. Indeed, it could be the perfect location for Channel 4, which has shortlisted Bristol in its search for a new home for its regional headquarters.

The driving force behind Finzels Reach, one of the South West’s most significant mixed-used schemes, is local developer Cubex, together with its funding partner Palmer Capital. Generator Building is the latest phase of high quality Grade A office development at Finzels Reach, which is also home to Aurora, a major speculative scheme that completes this summer, and Bridgewater House.

Peter Walford, director of Cubex, said: “It is fantastic to have received planning consent for this exciting project to give a new lease of life to one of Bristol’s landmark buildings. With a rich history linking the building to 20th century transport innovation, it will offer something truly unique to the office market at a time when demand for workspace for the burgeoning tech, creative and media sectors is high.”

Designed to make the most of the views across the harbour, the space will include 30,611 sq ft of offices over six floors, for up to 300 people. Interior finishes, including exposed feature brickwork, will complement the fabric of the building. Shower facilities will be provided on each level, and secure cycle storage and lockers, as well as 10 basement car parking spaces will be created.

Extensive renovations will be carried out to Generator Building, with repairs to the limestone ashlar stonework and dramatic windows, to bring the exterior back to its former glory.

The original 1890s arched front entrance on Counterslip with its grand Venetian window will be re-instated with new glass doors at street level. These will open into a triple-height foyer space beyond, allowing people to enjoy the original scale of the internal spaces for the first time in 30 years.

Generator Building is ideally located less than a 10-minute walk from Temple Meads station, whilst the recently opened Castle Bridge provides easy access to the popular shopping areas of Cabot Circus, Quakers Friars and St Nicholas Market. It is close to an array of bus routes and ferries can be boarded from nearby Castle Park.

Bristol was the first city in Britain to build an electric tram service and the Generator Building was opened in 1899 to supply power to the massively expanding tramways network. The architect William Curtis Green later became better known for designing buildings such as Scotland Yard and the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane. The Bristol power station contained four steam engines coupled to four generators and supplied power to the tramway system until 1941, when a bomb hit St Philips Bridge and cut the power cables.

Local architects the Bush Consultancy have designed the new office conversion of the Generator Building and have also been responsible for the new design of the apartments in Cask Store, Georges Wharf and Hawkins Lane as well as Castle Bridge at Finzels Reach.

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CGI Studio A

Bristol’s Greenest Office Building Achieves WiredScore’s Highest Connectivity Rating

Aurora, one of the very few office buildings being built speculatively in the city, has been awarded the highest rating for connectivity, achieving a Wired Certified Platinum rating. This follows national recognition for the building’s environmental credentials. Aurora is one of the greenest buildings in the country – the only office development outside London, and […] View Article

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Bristol’s Greenest Office Building Achieves WiredScore’s Highest Connectivity Rating

Aurora, one of the very few office buildings being built speculatively in the city, has been awarded the highest rating for connectivity, achieving a Wired Certified Platinum rating.

This follows national recognition for the building’s environmental credentials. Aurora is one of the greenest buildings in the country – the only office development outside London, and one of just six in the UK to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ award under the new, toughest rating scheme[1].

0310_Aurora_V14Aurora is part of Finzels Reach, the highly-regarded new quarter being created on Bristol’s waterfront in the heart of the city by Cubex and funded by Palmer Capital in a programmatic venture backed by clients of CBRE Global Investment Partners. Already 40% let to international law firm Simmons & Simmons and intellectual property specialist Mewburn Ellis LLP, with negotiations underway on two further floors, Aurora will be ready this summer for companies to start fitting out their own offices.

 

Wired Certification examines the connectivity of office buildings, and takes into account criteria such as WiFi coverage, wayleave agreements, and cable pathways – the building’s digital backbone. Wired Certification ensures the building is future proofed for continued further development of the digital infrastructure.

Peter Walford, director at Cubex, said: “We are hugely proud of this latest award for Aurora, now recognised not only as one of the greenest office buildings in the country, but also one of the most high tech. WiredScore carried out an incredibly in depth and thorough analysis of our building and we hope our Wired Certified Platinum rating will help give businesses the reassurance they need that our building can effectively support their commercial endeavours now and into the future.”

William Newton, President and EMEA MD at WiredScore, said: “Bristol is at the forefront in the exploration of the next generation of wireless and wired connectivity; it hosted the first 5G trials in the UK. It is great to see Cubex taking the necessary steps to guarantee that Aurora is future-proofed and will be able to accommodate tech innovations, such as 5G, as they are commercialised.”

 

36836177866_a058c694cb_oConnectivity is particularly important in the tech and media sector, currently growing rapidly in Bristol which is building a global recognition as a tech city. Aurora includes the standalone ‘Studio A’ specifically designed with this growing community in mind. Studio A has its own separate entrance, reception and private facilities, making it ideal for one of the companies spinning out of spaces such as Engine Shed, which are struggling to find room in the city to grow.

Once complete, Aurora, a 95,000 sq. ft. ‘Grade A’ building, will consist of six storeys and key ‘green’ features including rooftop mounted solar panels, intelligent LED lighting, water saving technology and an emphasis on creating a healthy working environment, with fresh air and plenty of natural light from the floor to ceiling glazing. There will be bicycle storage facilities, lockers and showers on site.

Anyone interested in finding out more about locating their business to Aurora and / or Studio A should contact Martin Booth at Knight Frank martin.booth@knightfrank.com or Chris Meredith at Savills cmeridith@savills.com.

[1] The scheme achieved a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ design stage certificate under the BREEAM New Construction 2014 for Offices assessment category.

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Paul Smith, Helen Gordon, Gavin Bridge and John Boughton

Landmark Bristol build-to-rent scheme hits major milestone

Renters in Bristol are one step closer to experiencing a new way of renting as Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, topped out its Hawkins Lane Apartments and Georges Wharf Apartments this week at the Finzels Reach development in the city centre. The 194-home build-to-rent scheme being developed by Cubex will be one […] View Article

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Landmark Bristol build-to-rent scheme hits major milestone

Renters in Bristol are one step closer to experiencing a new way of renting as Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, topped out its Hawkins Lane Apartments and Georges Wharf Apartments this week at the Finzels Reach development in the city centre.

The 194-home build-to-rent scheme being developed by Cubex will be one of the first to open in Bristol. Build-to-rent – clusters of professionally managed homes designed specifically for rent – is one of the fastest-growing areas of the housing market.

Nearly a quarter of Bristolians rent privately, according to Bristol City Council, and the number is only expected to go up.

Grainger, a FTSE-250 listed business with over 100 years’ experience as a leading, responsible and professional landlord, wants to raise the bar in the local rental market by creating attractive, high quality homes for rent offered with long-term tenancies. A mix of studios, one and two-beds will be available at Finzels Reach, spread over two neighbouring blocks.

Crucially, Grainger is targeting the mid-market with its developments, meaning that the homes at Finzels Reach should appeal to a wide range of people already living and working in the area. All residents of Hawkins Lane and Georges Wharf Apartments will also have access to a range of contemporary shared spaces, including a 500 sq. ft. sky lounge, complete with a dining space and kitchen, which residents will also have the option to book out exclusively for entertaining friends.

Unlike buy-to-let landlords or traditional letting agents, Grainger is not charging any admin or renewal fees and will offer flexible, long-term tenancies of up to three years, as the award-winning company wants to transform renting from being a tenure of last resort into a genuine alternative to homeownership that is good value for money. Rents, which will be announced closer to completion, will also include superfast fibre optic broadband that residents can access from day one.

Hawkins Lane and Georges Wharf Apartments sit right at the heart of Finzels Reach, a mixed-use regeneration project by Bristol-based developer Cubex. Willmott Dixon, one of the UK’s biggest construction firms, is building the homes for Grainger.

Helen Gordon, chief executive of Grainger plc, said:

“Bristol faces the same housing pressures as many other major UK cities, particularly a shortage of quality rental housing that is crucial to meeting the needs of today’s workforce, which is increasingly flexible and global in its outlook.

“With Hawkins Lane and Georges Wharf Apartments we are aiming to deliver high quality homes for rent in a great location with good customer service, designed to attract people who will want to rent with Grainger for the long term”

Councillor Paul Smith, cabinet member for housing and communities at Bristol City Council, who performed the topping out ceremony said:

“Bristol needs a mixture of different types of housing and professionally-managed, quality rental homes of the type Grainger will be providing at Finzels Reach are a key part of this and are important to the city’s long-term growth and prosperity.”

Gavin Bridge, director of Cubex Land, said:

“In choosing Grainger to partner with us on this project, we knew we would be adding not only much-needed high quality accessibly-priced rental homes to the housing mix at Finzels Reach, but also bringing in a long-term investor who would have a real stake in the community.”

John Boughton, deputy managing director from Willmott Dixon, said:

“As a Bristol-based company, we are very proud of our work to build Hawkins Lane and Georges Wharf Apartments. They add to our growing portfolio of successful build-to-rent projects and underline the strength of our expertise in the residential sphere.”

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CGI Studio A

New space underway for burgeoning tech and media sector

A standalone office on the ground floor of Aurora, the landmark green office building being developed speculatively at Finzels Reach, is being fitted out to appeal to companies in Bristol’s burgeoning tech and media sector. Studio A, a 3,160 sq ft self-contained space for up to 40 people, has its own separate entrance, reception and […] View Article

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New space underway for burgeoning tech and media sector

A standalone office on the ground floor of Aurora, the landmark green office building being developed speculatively at Finzels Reach, is being fitted out to appeal to companies in Bristol’s burgeoning tech and media sector.

Studio A, a 3,160 sq ft self-contained space for up to 40 people, has its own separate entrance, reception and private facilities, making it ideal for one of the companies spinning out of spaces such as Engine Shed, which are struggling to find room in the city to grow.

With exposed services in the ceiling and a more ‘funky’ interior design, Studio A still benefits from the ‘super-green’ credentials, lower running costs and high quality of the rest of the building.

Cubex, the developers behind Aurora, believe this approach will provide the perfect combination to appeal to ambitious companies in one of Bristol’s fastest-growing sectors, which need to attract and retain highly skilled staff in a competitive industry.

Peter Walford, director at Cubex said: “Bristol’s reputation as a growing centre for tech and media industries is well-documented but there’s fierce competition to attract the best staff and companies are on the lookout for inspiring work spaces to help give them a real edge.  We have therefore decided to give a different interior treatment to Studio A, making it an ideal home for an ambitious media or tech company.”

“Studio A will benefit from the low running costs of Aurora due to its green credentials but, as a self-contained suite, the budget building service charge will be reduced to a competitive £3 per sq ft making the overall running costs significantly cheaper than many other similar sized offices.  Furthermore, being situated within the Temple Meads Enterprise Zone, occupiers can benefit from up to 100% rates discount which further adds to the financial attraction.”

Work is now nearing completion on the 95,000 sq ft Aurora, Bristol’s only ‘Grade A’ speculative office building, which is part of the Finzels Reach, the highly-regarded new quarter being created on Bristol’s waterfront in the heart of the city by Cubex and funded by Palmer Capital.

Finzels Reach provides an ideal environment for businesses, being a short walk over the new Castle Bridge to Bristol’s Shopping Quarter and only a few minutes from the Old City and across to Temple Meads Station. It is already home to a popular weekly street food market, recently-opened Premiere Inn hotel and a range of bars and restaurants are set to join them, with brewer Left Handed Giant and Casamia having recently announced plans to open there. When complete, some 2,500 people will live or work in the thriving new neighbourhood.

Already 40% let to international law firm Simmons & Simmons and intellectual property specialist Mewburn Ellis LLP, with negotiations underway on two further floors, Aurora will be ready this summer for companies to start fitting out their own offices.

Aurora is the only building outside London and one of only six in the UK to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ award under the new, toughest rating scheme. It also holds a LEED Gold standard. Aurora is the only speculative office development currently under construction in Bristol.

Once complete this summer, Aurora will consist of six storeys and key ‘green’ features including rooftop mounted solar panels, intelligent LED lighting, water saving technology and an emphasis on creating a healthy working environment, with fresh air and plenty of natural light from the floor to ceiling glazing. There will be bicycle storage facilities, lockers and showers on site.

Anyone interested in finding out more about locating their business to Studio A or Aurora should contact Martin Booth at Knight Frank (martin.booth@knightfrank.com) or Chris Meredith at Savills (cmeridith@savills.com).

 

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Aurora Construction Jan 2018 low res

The clock is ticking…time to plan (further) ahead

The battle for office space in Bristol is now so fierce, major occupiers are starting to plan moves up to five years ahead. That’s not what businesses here are used to. Typically, most would start planning a couple of years ahead of the end of their lease, but that’s rapidly becoming a high-risk strategy. That’s […] View Article

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The clock is ticking…time to plan (further) ahead

The battle for office space in Bristol is now so fierce, major occupiers are starting to plan moves up to five years ahead. That’s not what businesses here are used to. Typically, most would start planning a couple of years ahead of the end of their lease, but that’s rapidly becoming a high-risk strategy. That’s so much easier said than done, I know. But there’s no getting away from it – we’re now looking at the lowest availability of office space in over 20 years. And if we don’t start getting more development underway soon, the impact on Bristol-based occupiers and the wider Bristol economy will be significant.

The city of Bristol is thriving, now collecting global accolades in everything from the New York Times to National Geographic. It is most definitely on the world map. And with that comes competition for space. We are now facing a squeeze on property, much like that seen in Manchester and Birmingham in recent years – where the supply of office space – across all grades – is failing to keep up with demand. The difference between Bristol and the likes of Birmingham and Manchester though, is the near dearth of cranes in the South West’s skies.

Not only does the shortage of development mean far longer lead-in times for occupiers, it will inevitably push up rents too. The most recent deal on Aurora, the landmark green office building being developed speculatively by Cubex at Finzels Reach, was struck on £32.50 per square foot. And already that’s looking like a pretty good deal for law firm Simmons & Simmons as prices on remaining floors are expected to climb towards £35 per square foot, because there is simply nothing in Bristol to rival it in terms of quality, services, environmental credentials and style. Dyson recently paid £32.50 per square foot for One Cathedral Square and that was a Grade A refurbishment, rather than newly built.

And it’s not just property prices going up. There is the inexorable rise of energy prices too. So in fact, going green is one way to stay out of the red. The only building outside London and one of just six in the UK to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ award under the new, toughest rating scheme, Aurora will offer its tenants huge savings in terms of energy bills and running costs, thanks to rooftop mounted solar panels, intelligent LED lighting and water saving technology. Enough to equate to around £2 per square foot, which can make quite a difference to the bottom line.

So why are businesses heading West? We know from interest in Aurora that there is a major drive amongst financial and professional services companies to relocate from the expensive and saturated South East and as mergers and acquisitions take place in the wider pursuit of cost savings. To that end, recruitment and retention of talent is high on the agenda of many a legal and financial services firm here, which means quality of life, staff wellbeing and the working environment count as they have never counted before.

We are some way off the level of development required in Bristol to service the growing demand for offices. This is why long-term space planning for expanding businesses is now mission critical. This applies as much to new, fast-growing tech businesses and market disruptors as it does to the established legal and financial business community which have long been a mainstay of the Bristol economy. For major businesses in Manchester and Birmingham, it is not unusual to start planning five or more years before their lease is up. It’s time for Bristol occupiers to follow their lead.

 

Martin Booth, Knight Frank

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Gavin Bridge, on Cubex development plans and set out his predictions for the South West

Gavin Bridge, director of Cubex and Insider’s 2017 Property Personality of the Year, has discussed the company’s development plans and set out his predictions for the South West property market in 2018. Bridge was presented with the award at Insider’s South West Property Awards 2017 in October. He was recognised for his work on the […] View Article

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Gavin Bridge, on Cubex development plans and set out his predictions for the South West

Gavin Bridge, director of Cubex and Insider’s 2017 Property Personality of the Year, has discussed the company’s development plans and set out his predictions for the South West property market in 2018.

Bridge was presented with the award at Insider’s South West Property Awards 2017 in October. He was recognised for his work on the regeneration of Finzels Reach, a 4.7-acre site which was once the heart of medieval Bristol and more recently the site of the Courage Brewery.

36836177866_a058c694cb_oFinzels Reach is one of the largest mixed-use developments in the South West and, when complete, will include 440 new apartments, two Grade A office buildings, a 168-bedroom Premier Inn

Bridge cited two major developments at the site among his highlights for 2017.

“There was the opening of the new Castle Bridge in April,” he said. “That was one of the most technically challenging things we’ve worked on as a developer. The council are really pleased with it as they’ve had the ambition for a bridge on the site for some time.

“There was also the new street food market which has been well-received. It’s a key part of the place making at the development. I think going forward urban development is going to be more and more about building a community.”

Towards the end of 2017, Cubex revealed plans to convert the Generator Building at Finzels Reach, which originally housed the generator for Bristol’s tram system, to provide offices for technology, creative and media businesses.

The developer is now aiming to build on the success of Finzels Reach. Bridge said: “We’ll be looking to move the company more towards mixed-use schemes in Bristol, as well as places like Cheltenham, Bath and Cardiff.

“Build to rent is also going to become a more established use class in 2018. It’s proved to be popular with young professionals. We’re also looking for opportunities in the retirement market.

“The key thing will be tying all these developments together in mixed-use schemes.”

Bridge added that he was positive about the outlook for 2018 for the company and the wider South West property sector.

132a0444_36808772640_oHe said: “In the property market uncertainty is becoming the new normal, particularly with regards to office development. But we think this region is more robust than some. For us it’s about following the market and looking at what the trends are.

“Urban logistics will become an important area with the growth of Amazon and home delivery there will be increasing demand for distribution facilities in cities.

“Then there’s the potential for drone use with last-mile deliveries. It will be interesting to see how that works around homes.

“We’re also seeing more interest in office investment from outside of Europe, in particular the Far East, which is interesting.”

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Aurora Construction Jan 2018 low res

Aurora now 40% pre-let after latest deal

Aurora, the landmark green office building being developed speculatively at Finzels Reach, is now over 40 per cent pre-let six months ahead of its completion. This comes after local developer Cubex backed by Palmer Capital, sealed its latest letting deal with international law firm Simmons & Simmons, which has snapped up the top two floors. […] View Article

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Aurora now 40% pre-let after latest deal

Aurora, the landmark green office building being developed speculatively at Finzels Reach, is now over 40 per cent pre-let six months ahead of its completion.

This comes after local developer Cubex backed by Palmer Capital, sealed its latest letting deal with international law firm Simmons & Simmons, which has snapped up the top two floors.

Finzels Reach is an exciting new quarter being created on Bristol’s waterfront in the heart of the city by Cubex and funded by Palmer Capital.

Simmons & Simmons has agreed a 12-year lease for 27,000 sq ft of office space within Aurora, a Grade A 95,000 sq ft building which scooped a rare BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ accreditation last year – a nationally-recognised sustainability benchmark. The law firm has taken both the top floor of Aurora – which benefits from the roof terrace garden and views across the city – and the fifth floor.

This is a new chapter for the Bristol team who, working with their London colleagues as a single integrated UK practice, undertake premium work for premium clients in the firm’s chosen sectors – both in the UK and internationally.

Simmons & Simmons currently holds 16,000 sq. ft. of office space at Linear Park; the move to the state-of-the-art working environment at Aurora will allow the firm to continue to nurture and grow its talented workforce in Bristol. The office will become an important base for Simmons & Simmons.

Bristol office head and financial services regulatory partner, Mahrie Webb commented: “We are very excited to be moving to the new Aurora building and the Finzels Reach location. Since opening our Bristol office in 2012, we have attracted some of the brightest and best lawyers the market has to offer – but we see this as just the beginning. If we are to continue to attract and retain high quality people to do premium work for premium clients we will need an office environment and location that is modern, inspiring and suited for the way people wish to work now and in the future. I see this move as good news for our people and, therefore, good news for our clients.”

Peter Walford, director at Cubex, said: “We are thrilled that Simmons & Simmons will be moving to Aurora and that the building is now 40 per cent pre-let. This represents the second deal we have secured at Aurora, illustrating continued buoyant demand in the city for high calibre office space with outstanding environmental credentials and an important emphasis on staff well-being in the workplace. It is fantastic to see work continuing apace on Aurora and we expect to be announcing more deals in the near future as the building has attracted further serious interest recently.”

Steven Wright, director at Palmer Capital, said: “It is excellent news that Simmons & Simmons will be joining Aurora. This new Grade A office building for Bristol that will provide much-needed office space of the right quality in the right location in a city where there is currently very little supply, whilst setting a new standard in Bristol in terms of its sustainability credentials.”

Aurora is the only building outside London and one of only six in the UK to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ award under the new, toughest rating scheme. It also holds a LEED Gold standard. Aurora is the only speculative office development currently under construction in Bristol.

Once complete, Aurora will consist of six storeys, with its striking façade and double height reception area leading through to a central glass atrium. Key ‘green’ features including rooftop mounted solar panels, intelligent LED lighting, water saving technology and an emphasis on creating a healthy working environment, with fresh air and plenty of natural light from the floor to ceiling glazing. There will be bicycle storage facilities, lockers and showers on site.

Cushman & Wakefield were the advisers for Simmons & Simmons, with Savills and Knight Frank advising Cubex, the developer. Funding was provided by Palmer Capital.

This marks the second deal secured by Cubex at Aurora. Last year, intellectual property specialist Mewburn Ellis LLP agreed to take 13,326 sq ft encompassing the first floor of the building on a 15-year lease. It will move to Aurora from its current base at Queen Square to enable its future expansion.

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