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Ashwell London and the Shoreditch market

Over the last decade Ashwell London has been involved in advising on office transactions in and around the the Shoreditch sub-market, with our most recent appointment by Brookfield Properties. We were appointed to lease the vacant space within Aldgate Tower, offering 325,000 sq ft of stunning office floors with strong ESG creds, c.3m ceiling heights and breathtaking views over London.

Since our appointment in Q4 last year, 20,000 sq ft has been let and a further 55,000 sq ft placed under offer in the building.

So do we know about this vibrant sub-market, rich in culture and constantly evolving with the tenants that make it their home?

Shoreditch and City Fringe has emerged as a prominent tech hub over the past decade, largely due to government incentives and developments by companies like Derwent London and Helical.

These developers have created attractive warehouse-style office spaces that appeal to tech firms, boosting the area's rental market.

Recently, demand for office space has increased, particularly for larger units, making the City Fringe one of London's top-performing submarkets despite the negative impact of J.P. Morgan's departure from Alban Gate for refurbishment. However, the vacancy rate has risen significantly, from 4% in 2019 to 13.3%, exceeding the London average. This trend may continue as new spaces are completed, potentially slowing rental growth. Nonetheless, high-quality spaces remain in demand, as evidenced by HSBC's commitment to paying £87/SF for 556,000 SF at Panorama St Paul's, with a move from Canary Wharf planned for 2027.

Tech, media, and telecom (TMT) firms are driving much of the demand, especially near Farringdon Station. Notable deals include TikTok's prelease of 139,000 SF at the Verdant on Aldersgate Street, following a previous lease of 86,000 SF at Kaleidoscope Farringdon.

Verdant, Farringdon

Kaleidoscope, Farringdon

Snapchat has leased 114,000 SF at the Bloom building, Reed Smith has signed for 130,000 SF in Shoreditch, BT has prelet 333,000 SF at One Braham in Aldgate, and Sainsbury's has leased 68,000 SF at the JJ Mack Building, moving from its long-time headquarters at 33 Holborn.

JJ Mack Bldg

Investment in the City Fringe has been robust, particularly during the pandemic, thanks to the perceived resilience of the tech sector. Although activity slowed in mid-2023 due to rising interest rates and market uncertainty, it picked up towards the end of the year, with £496 million invested over the past 12 months.

Activity remains sporadic and tenants flight to quality building remains a strong. Tertiary spaces struggle to gain traction, particularly in the face of an ever growing demand for best in class spaces with strong ESG credentials.

Ashwell London is a Mayfair based office leasing advisor with core central London coverage. We are currently working on prime office schemes from Marylebone to E.1 and everything in between. Talk to us!


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