Lloyds Bank required immediate space for 100 staff in the Liverpool Street area for an initial 12 months of project work. The high-profile divestment of the business, following a ruling by the European Commission, meant that a new owner was required for part of the bank. It was important to be close to other Lloyds properties and to have the ability to extend the existing IT infrastructure securely and without delay.
A floor of serviced office space was sourced and re-configured to the client’s preferred layout. The necessary IT circuit, a point-to-point leased line, was possible due to the location. Flexible terms provided Lloyds with the key benefits of quick occupation and the ability to extend their stay for another year as they revitalised their TSB brand and prepared it for an IPO. Serviced offices played a further part in TSB’s evolution when it was sold to Sabadell, providing short term overflow space as the businesses co-located.
PWC had to re-locate staff in the London Bridge area after 25,000 sq ft of their existing property portfolio was displaced due to a major local development. They needed an interim solution for an initial term of three years while they acquired and built their new London headquarters and re-furbished their existing West End flagship office. Their plan was to co-locate parts of their business and establish an element of flexible space within their medium-term real estate strategy.
A serviced office operator, having recently acquired a building in the area agreed to provide their entire property to PWC prior to the fit-out process. As such, they tailored the design process according to the specific requirements of PWC providing 300 workstations on a fully serviced basis. An option to roll the agreement beyond the initial term was put in place and the exit provisions enabled the efficient re-integration of staff into PWC property.
PWC said that “the office accommodation was provided on flexible terms in the right location within a very short timeframe. This enabled PWC to maintain business continuity in relation to work flow and the standard of the office space and communications infrastructure. We also managed to minimise employee disruption. The solution eradicated the risks associated with conventional leases and offered the business valuable cost-certainty during a period of transition”
As part of an extensive development and implementation program required for a new NHS IT platform, the NHS needed 500 workstations to accommodate the technical project development team tasked with delivering the new system.
A back-to-back agreement was reached with a flexible workspace provider who offered the ideal property and location. They took the lease and licenced the accommodation back to the NHS. The property was procured for a set term, with the option to extend, and with the total cost of occupation including support services rentalised into a quarterly payment. The provider owned the risk of delivering the property on time and budget.
As the project matured and the wider political environment influenced the use of public sector real estate, there was an opportunity for the client and provider to reach an agreement to assign the property and the outsourced services back to the NHS.
Prime Focus, the leading integrated media services company, had an urgent need for office accommodation, driven by the rapid expansion of their operations to support new contract wins. The search parameters were narrow and almost immediate occupation was required to accommodate 120 people and a state-of-the-art client screening room. They required a self-contained floor in a prestige building with the ability to install a proprietary IT & telephony system in less than 60 days.
A serviced office provider created space in one of their already highly occupied buildings. The existing pro-active relationship between the provider and the superior landlord meant that the alterations required to deliver the essential international communications platform could be completed on time. This gave Prime Focus the business continuity they needed with a guaranteed occupation date and cost-certainty.
Prime Focus’ Facilities Manager said “having to relocate employees and find an office in the right location is crucial for any business, but traditional leases and procurement processes can be inflexible, time consuming and costly. This has given us the prestige without the unnecessary costs and provides the ultimate in business flexibility”.
Following the relocation of a former tenant at 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, Citi explored ways to generate a greater return on their vacant space than that which could be achieved through a conventional letting. They worked in partnership with a serviced office provider to create a business centre which offered high quality facilities to the wider market as well as other tenants within the building. A floor of flexible workspace and a meeting venue was established within Citi’s headquarter building, which generated a substantial return and gave Citi themselves the ability to overflow in and out of the space when required.
Citi’s Realty Service EMEA Head of Real Estate commented: “we benefited from an immediate reduction in empty rates and service charge liability as a result of this agreement. Income was generated at a very early stage and over time the return will exceed letting expectations. The mix of clients has also resulted in a more stable income stream”.
In 2001 Google were rapidly expanding operations globally as their funding escalated. Speed to market was key for their international growth and using serviced office space to enter new markets was the quickest available route. Due to the speed of their evolving business and recruitment objectives, they needed terms which offered low risk and maximum flexibility.
In London, Google initially took a small office to accommodate three employees in the media district for a year. Additional provisions to cover headcount growth over the initial term, rights to renew, cost-certainty and break options were agreed. They were able to grow exponentially within the building, eventually becoming the anchor client while retaining the ability to re-locate at short notice. The cost of risk associated with a longer term conventional lease diminished as Google grew to a size which meant that economically it was best to re-locate to their own property. Serviced offices provided a platform for them to grow and then acquire conventional space at the right time in their business cycle. Years later, they now have a new London headquarters holding several thousand employees. Google still use serviced space strategically as they merge and acquire new businesses worldwide.
KPMG’s long term plan to build and occupy their UK headquarters in Canary Wharf meant that they would need to exit and manage leasing commitments on several buildings in the Blackfriars area. There was a need for fluid workspace to off-set a changing business environment where the wider economy, corporate decision-making process and the numerous variables associated with a major re-location plan were unpredictable. At the same time a new business acquisition meant additional space was immediately required. Location and fit-out quality were important and serviced space was found nearby for the new acquisition and also a number of KPMG-funded projects.
The serviced office provider worked with KPMG to enhance the quality of the existing office space to reflect their corporate standards. KPMG grew their footprint within the building becoming the main occupant while the provider ensured that availability of space was controlled, enabling the KPMG businesses to expand at short notice and then make a phased exit. Bringing agility into their real estate planning meant KPMG Property could achieve business continuity and mitigate the need for additional lease commitments in a location which they were leaving.