The station effect

Reading town centre positions itself to attract major businesses

Over 650,000 sq ft of Grade ‘A’ office investment is currently being delivered within 500 Aquis House montage small_web.JPGmetres of Reading station, following Network Rail’s £900 million investment in the station.

The ‘station effect’ and improving economic climate has generated increasing confidence in the Reading office market with developers and investors moving fast to create high-quality office space within a short walking distance of the rail gateway to London and Europe.

Reading is improving its offer to major national and international businesses with over 2 million sq ft in total of new premium office space coming on stream as a result of current investment, recently completed refurbishments and scheduled developments.

Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director, Reading UK CIC, said: “The area around Reading station is being transformed as investors respond to the demand for high-quality offices in Reading linked to excellent rail connections to London and international markets.

“Reading town centre is competing strongly to attract inward investment. The existing excellent office accommodation such as The Blade and One Reading Central has brought many major international companies to Reading. With this current 1 million sq ft investment and ambitious plans for Station Hill and Thames Tower, Reading is now strengthening its reputation as the key regional business hub, offering both first-class town centre and business park locations.”

Grade A in development within 500 metres of Reading station

One Valpy                    Valpy Street                 53,000 sq ft

Aquis House                 Blagrave Street             37,000 sq ft

Forbury Place               Forbury Road               372,000 sq ft

Kings House                 Kings Road                  80,000 sq ft

R+                               Forbury Street              103,000 sq ft

TOTAL – 645,000 sq ft

Recent investments - with grade A office space

Phoenix House             Station Hill                    51,000 sq ft

Abbey Gardens South  King’s Road                 77,000 sq ft

Apex Plaza (refurb)      Forbury Road               205,000 sq ft

Reading Bridge             Reading Bridge             116, 000 sq ft

TOTAL – 449,000 sq ft

Planned investment in next 12 months

Thames Tower                    Station Hill/Station Road    183,000 sq ft

Station Hill                            Station Hill                            900,000 sq ft

TOTAL - 1,083,000 sq ft

OVERALL TOTAL – 2,177,000

Nick Coote, Head of Reading Office, Lambert Smith Hampton, commenting on the figures, said: “Reading has the capability to deliver the urban environment needed to retain, attract and accommodate the creative talent sought by occupiers, rather than seeing it migrate to London. The rail infrastructure investment, in Reading and the Thames Valley, will bring new perspectives as journey times to London and Heathrow are slashed.

“Office occupational costs in West London are 60% higher than Reading at the moment so that gap, and the reducing travel times, will stimulate a lot more interest in Reading and particularly its town centre from occupiers. Investors and developers are already positioning themselves for this changing positive dynamic.”

Find out more about investment in Reading town centre