Creating a home for three of the world’s trillion-dollar companies
1.6m sq ft
Ambitious developer Brookgate set out to transform Cambridge’s fading train station area by delivering Lord Roger’s visionary 1.6m sq ft CB1 master plan. They needed more than just a team of consultants.
We worked hand-in-glove with Brookgate to set the development strategy, drive the pace of development and ensure this city changing project team worked in harmony, whatever the financial weather.
Build it and they will come
Easy to say, harder to do. Funders much prefer income to development risk, but CB1 built something as important as the buildings - it built momentum.
Rather than waiting for pre-lets to wander into town, we helped Brookgate accelerate CB1 by establishing successful risk-sharing funding partnerships that built unshakable confidence that spec funding offices outside London could be done.
We worked under the bonnet throughout by sequencing and tuning deals, so momentum was maintained, and the likes of Railpen and Aviva could share in the benefits of lettings secured a year ahead of schedule to world leading tenants.
Brookgate’s funding model changed the Cambridge city centre market for good and brought out the very best in Bidwells.
A new piece of city for Cambridge
The world’s leading tech companies like to be in heart of the action, nestled in the most vibrant districts of the world’s global cities. Artificial intelligence engineers love a bit of hustle and bustle.
That place did not exist in Cambridge pre-CB1. When Microsoft came to the party in 2012, things started to change. Amazon and Alexa were next, taking 100,000 sq. ft. for a global research centre. Samsung’s CEO took one look at the top floor of 50/60 Station Road and demanded a leasing deal was done in two weeks (we managed it by the way).
Apple arrive in 2022 and its 500 plus employees will be parking their bikes, enjoying Sicilian cannoli and sharing sushi with the rest of the world’s top AI talent in Cambridge’s brand new trillion-dollar CBD.
How do you deliver a non-revenue generating, multi-storey cycle park for 4,000 commuters? You float a hotel in the sky above it, of course.
An overnight stay in an Amsterdam Ibis hotel built above a city railway line saw the Brookgate and Bidwells team return home inspired. Ibis loved the idea and wanted to be a part of it. They were not the only ones.
Funders Tesco bought the airspace above the cycle park before leasing Ibis their floating hotel. The profits paid for the cycle park, with Cambridge’s cycling community loving the concept and the free facilities. A mad, only-in-Cambridge first for the UK.