Refurbished offices shine in the market

The refurbished Lochside Way office building. Picture McAteer Photograph
The refurbished Lochside Way office building. Picture McAteer Photograph
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An Edinburgh Park office building has attracted significant interest since a major refurbishment, underlining the need for Grade A stock both within and outside the city centre.

No 3 Lochside Way has enjoyed high occupier demand following its acquisition by Drum Income Plus REIT and the completion of an £80,000 refurbishment project.

The office building, marketed by joint agents Knight Frank and JLL, has secured new tenants for around 10,000sq ft in the last ten months, with only one 3,900sq ft ground floor suite remaining.

The recently refurbished common areas have had a positive response from the building’s new occupiers, which include biotechnology firm NuCana; fleet management company Gofor Finance; and the legal arm of estate agency Coulters.

Located in a prominent position on the business park in the west of Edinburgh, 3 Lochside Way has parking and very good public 
transport links to the city centre and airport with two railway stations as well as the capital’s tram system, servicing the area.

Simon Capaldi, office agency partner at Knight Frank, said: “No 3 Lochside Way has been a real success story since the conclusion of substantial refurbishment works to the building’s common areas.”

He explains that the building was refurbished extensively two or three years ago and in the past year, after Drum bought it, a further refurbishment of the common areas was carried out alongside redecoration and the installation of a commissionaire.

The last remaining ground floor suite is already generating encouraging levels of interest, according to Capaldi, as occupiers seek high-quality facilities readily accessible to the city centre.

He also points to the size of the suites available to explain the success. “We’ve let a number of suites between 1,500sq ft and 3,000sq ft so the size is quite key.

“It is a knock-on effect of not being able to get that size of suite, at a Grade A standard, in the city centre where there tends to be only bigger suites, or smaller suites that have not been refurbished to a high enough standard.

“A few years ago refurb versus redevelopment was the question and as a city we lost a lot of Grade B stock to alternative uses, so we have dwindling Grade A and Grade B stock in the city centre.” 
For companies which don’t require a central presence for visiting clients or customers, being slightly further out is a
lot more cost effective for occupiers.

Capaldi adds: “It is classed as out of town, but if it were anywhere else, in a bigger city, Glasgow for example, it might not be classed that way as it is so close to all the amenities of the city.”

He believes that it is an example of how a regime of continual upgrading pays dividends: “The investment takes the standard up a level and will reduce voids quite dramatically in the long term.”