Cambridge is becoming one of the most important research clusters with a line-up of global brands already in occupation, making use of the increased amenity in the way of a new square, extended railway station, shops, cafés, restaurants and hotels.
Cambridge is one corner of the now well renowned Golden Triangle, linking the markets of Cambridge, Oxford and London and all that happens in the middle.
CB1 has just received forward funding of a new 163,000 sq. ft. office building which will be known as 50/60 Station Road and will be built speculatively with planned completion in Quarter 1, 2019. Bidwells provided detailed advice to Brookgate on this transaction, which given the nervousness in some quarters of the economy post Brexit gives a very positive sign to the occupational market outside of Central London, and specifically to Cambridge as they are ‘pressing the button’ on delivering the single largest speculative office scheme in Cambridge (and in this market will be seen as a positive sign for the South East generally).
"We know Cambridge is a global hub for Science and Technology and we are seeing a continued demand for space".
One Station Square, which will be completed early December, is 130,000 sq. ft. and is already 100% let. There is a continued desire for corporates to cluster as well as new entrants wanting a Cambridge presence alongside major players like Huawei, Microsoft, Spotify, Amazon, Qualcomm, Apple and ARM.
The nature of start-ups and tech companies is to work collaboratively, and in order to do this they need somewhere to cluster. Provision of space needs to be delivered to allow this type of working, which is becoming increasingly common, in order for the market to continually succeed and grow. Large corporates as well as start-ups and newly-funded tech companies will generally look to cluster with like-minded business so they can take a collaborative approach to working.
We are seeing a trend follow from Central London and specifically the tech hubs found there with Trinity College and Central Working collaborating on Cambridge Science Park to deliver a new hub that will focus on accommodating the start-ups. This building will be called the Bradfield Centre and will be circa 40,000 sq. ft., housing up to 400 people all focused on tech. Facilities like this provide the basis for the cluster to grow and we are advising clients whose ownership can support this evolution.
"From a real estate perspective, we will see these trends in tech start-ups create a need for landlords and developers to promote and encourage cluster formations."
From this further development will occur. Clearly this can only happen if there is an underlying demand. Cities such as Cambridge, Oxford and London (and including Milton Keynes) will see this demand, giving the occupiers a huge opportunity. This opportunity could perhaps be in the form of a speculatively developed building in the CBD of Cambridge that can be taken as a whole; part of on a floor by floor basis; or a building like the The Bradfield Centre that provides shared workspace, community and services for start-ups and small businesses.