Commercial property: Ready-to-occupy in the Silver City

The corporate appetite for flexible workspace continues to grow apace across the Scottish commercial property market.

Flex space offers companies alternative office options, often as shared areas, with no commitment required to either long-term leasing, facility management or major up-front capital expenditure.

Because of the relative cost savings,
these spaces are largely being used
by individuals and SMEs, but
also – increasingly – by larger corporations, attracted by the increased flexibility, access to innovation and potential reductions in real estate spend.

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Unlike in traditional offices, space allocation in flexible workspaces is not fixed, so businesses can employ cost and time-efficient arrangements, such as hot desking or mobile working.

Whereas in traditional offices employees spend most of their working day at their fixed workstation, flexible workspace solutions allow staff to work from alternate locations and to only work from the office when necessary – with employees from different companies sometimes sharing a flexible workspace.

Providing aspirational working environments with decent shared facilities also allows smaller companies to locate in areas that are
attractive to employees.

Plug-and-play offices – with data networking, telephone systems and services installed and ready to use immediately – can be an ideal
solution for firms at different stages of development, and contract arrangements can be as similarly flexible as the spaces themselves.

The rise of flex space is seen as a disruptor in the real estate market and one which is more than likely to grow.

The numbers of those expected to benefit from the innovation is predicted to double in Glasgow and Edinburgh over the next five years, while in Aberdeen the launch of 7,365sq ft of plug-and-play office accommodation set aside in a new city centre development aims to address the demand for premium ready-to-occupy workspace.

The Silver Fin Building is a nine-storey property on Union Street and the [email protected] facility within it has been released to the market by joint agents CBRE and FG Burnett on behalf of Titan Investors.

UK firm Space Architects worked with the agents to design the second-floor suite, which provides ready-to-occupy workspace on flexible terms. Some 60 workstations are available to Aberdeen clients in a bright open-plan space.

Reflecting the trend for much more user-focused, employee-friendly
workplaces,[email protected] has been designed to ensure that it provides an effective and enjoyable working environment for its
occupiers.

The suite itself and the wider building beyond offers a host of attractive
wellbeing amenities, including break-out zones, a coffee shop, cycle storage and gym-style changing facilities.

Derren McRae, managing director of CBRE in Aberdeen, says: “We’ve seen a surge in demand for ready-to-occupy flexible space over the past 18 months, so we anticipate a
great deal of interest in [email protected]

“For those looking for quality workspace with a shorter lead time on more flexible terms, it represents an excellent offering.”

Jon Nesbitt, director of FG Burnett, adds: “The fact that tenants’ upfront costs are mitigated to a large extent by the creation of meeting, reception and boardroom facilities, in addition to 60 workstations, will be extremely attractive in a market where occupiers remain extremely cost conscious.”