According to the latest Commercial Office Market Review, total take-up for the commercial district in 2018 was 582,084 sq ft – a 46.8% rise on 2017. Tony McDonough reports
There were more than 580,000 sq ft of lettings in Liverpool city centre’s commercial district in 2018 – 46.8% up on 2017 and the highest take-up since records began.
However, the amount of available space in the office core continues to fall with only 336,000 sq ft of office accommodation currently ready to occupy with the biggest shortfall in grade A space.
The newest space available in the central business district is at No 4 St Paul’s Square and that is filling up fast with a number of new lettings secured during 2018.
There is now an urgent need to create more grade A space. Plans are moving forward on a £200m project for Pall Mall which will see the creation of around 400,000 sq ft of commercial space including offices and a hotel.
According to the latest Commercial Office Market Review, total take-up for the commercial district in 2018 was 582,084 sq ft. Across the Liverpool city region as a whole lettings totalled 867,586 sq ft, representing a rise of 32.7% on 2017.
This is the seventh year running that take-up has achieved in excess of 500,000 sq ft. The report has been compiled by Liverpool BID Company and Professional Liverpool.
The release of the 14th Office Market Review comes ahead of MIPIM, the world’s largest property expo in Cannes, France, where the BID will present its findings to potential new investors from around the world
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, welcomed the figures, but said there were challenges ahead, particularly the lack of grade A office space availability. He added: “It is fantastic to see that Liverpool city region’s office market continues to prosper, a scenario echoed here in the commercial district, which recorded a record take-up.
“This is great news and again shows the commercial district as the preferred destination of choice in the city region for the professional sector and creative and digital industries. However, the report does highlight the challenges we face. The fact that there is now no vacant grade A office space remaining in the commercial district is a major concern for the sustainability of the district.
“But work to reverse this is in play. Our investment in the Commercial District SRF (Spatial Regeneration Framework) and our participation in MIPIM demonstrate our ongoing commitment in safeguarding the future growth of commercial district BID for the benefit of our levy payers and wider city economy.
“It’s also encouraging to see the ambitious vision for the creation of grade A office stock in Pall Mall now taking a step closer to realisation.”
The report also showed that the average deal in the commercial district was 6,468 sq ft- up from 4.069 sq ft in 2017. Notable deals included planning consultancies Gleeds and Pegasus, wealth management firm Pavis, and co-working workspace venture, Avenue HQ, who all moved into No 4 St Paul’s Square.
Andrew Byrne, head of Property Group at Professional Liverpool, the body responsible for collating the date for the Office Market Review, said: “The report once again highlights the challenges faced in the market, with lack of grade A availability and the limitations which the existing stock has for filling this void.
“However, for the first time since 2011 we are seeing active development of grade A offices within the fringe of the city, which is hopefully the start of the next phase of growth within the region.”