York businesses are struggling to find space to grow according to Helmsley Group, however one new redevelopment is set to change that. We look at the latest in office trends in the City.
“Companies wanting to expand or relocate to York are struggling to find enough modern offices. This is especially true in the city centre, where we all know space is an issue,” according to Tom Sykes, Group Asset Manager.
He adds: “Many commercial offices in York have now been converted into much needed homes for local people. As York is such a coveted place to live and there were a limited amount of homes being built, this worked well for both homebuyers and developers alike.”
“York’s heritage means we have a plethora of old buildings, yet most aren’t suitable for modern offices. This means that many growing firms are looking having to look at the out of town business parks such as York Science Park, Monks Cross, or to Clifton Moor where there are good parking provisions and access to the city centre. However even in these locations there is not enough supply to meet the demand.”
He continues: “The Local Plan was recently published and my fear is that not enough land is being allocated to commercial development.
“This would attract more major employers and keep our existing businesses and their staff here. It’s essential that our city provides enough land for new office buildings and companies to be able to flourish and grow in York.
“We don’t want York to become a commuter city to Leeds. People who live in the city should be able to work here too. There’s a real lack of supply for offices in and around York at the moment.”
“Many office buildings in the city centre are either not suitable due to their size, or have been turned into homes because of Permitted Development Rights, a planning policy which encourages development for homes.”
Helmsley Group, which owns syndicated property on behalf of investors, has many properties that have already been converted into residential.
He adds: “Several York based companies have approached us as they look to grow their businesses in the city. They are looking for suitable space with good services and not too much traffic, which at the moment exists only outside the city walls. We have a commercial office building at Monks Cross – Arabesque House – which could be ready within a few months for a local employer looking for a larger space and modern office, yet this is one of the few available at present. As a group we’ve invested over £20m in York office space in the last few years, however this is mostly full and businesses need even more.”
Matthew Tootell, Director at property agency Bowcliffe, confirms: “There’s a real lack of quality office space in York and certainly none with excellent parking provisions and amenities, so the refurbishment of Arabesque House on Monks Cross will create an excellent opportunity for businesses to relocate.”
He continues: “Local firms want to expand and stay in York, though many currently don’t have the opportunity due to a lack of suitable space. York Central is planned and there are more plans at Piccadilly, yet these developments will be a few years in the making and at the moment there’s no availability for good quality offices in the city walls.