commercial property lambert smith hampton

News - 01/05/2013

Rivers House makes its debut on the Leeds office market

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Our Leeds-based Office Agency team has been appointed on the sale of Rivers House, Park Square - the former regional headquarters for the Environment Agency.

First time on the market

The striking building in the city centre has not been available on the open market since its completion in 1949.

The property has the potential to accommodate occupier requirements from 30,000 – 50,000 sq ft across four large, open plan office floors. The building also has 36 basement car parking spaces.

A unique investment opportunity

Adam Varley, Head of Office Agency in Leeds, said: “This type of property presents a unique investment opportunity in the city centre. Once renovated, it could provide much-needed Grade A office space, where demand currently exceeds supply.”

The Leeds office market is reasonably buoyant at present. A number of occupiers have already committed to some very significant lets in the City Centre with recent figures from the Leeds Office Agents Forum showing that total take-up in Leeds city centre reached 235,001 sq. ft across 35 deals in Q1 of this year. The most substantial letting was to the Dart Group (Jet2) who took 71,000 sq ft at The Mint. In the same period, KPMG agreed a pre-let at 1 Sovereign Square (Plot A) of 61,250 sq. ft and Shulmans committed to move into 15,160 sq ft at No10 Wellington Place.

Emergence of a two-tier market

Adam continued: “We are slowly starting to see a split in the market emerging. On one side are those that are able to agree a pre-let on a new office development and on the other side are those that can’t. It is those that aren’t in a position to wait for new space to be built that will be forced to compromise on their requirements when considering relocating.”

“We expect a great deal of interest in this property based on its prime business district location and the lack of available office stock in the centre at present. The fact that it comes with its own secure basement car parking is a huge bonus in this location.

Residential conversion opportunity

“While refurbishment to Grade A office space is the most obvious choice, we are also expecting enquiries from investors with leisure and residential conversion interests.”

The property is currently vacant following the consolidation and relocation of the Environment Agency to Lateral, south of Leeds railway station.

Click here to view the property details.


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