Blake Morgan
Securing new Welsh headquarters for leading law firm resulting in first pre-let at city's new business district Central Square

Article by

Ben Bolton
Director
Office Agency; Industrial Agency

(029) 20 346346

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THE PROBLEM

  • Recently merged law firm Blake Morgan wanted to consider future property requirments against an impending lease expiry and evolving Cardiff office sector.
  • They wanted to establish if current building would remain fit for purpose for the medium term (apx 10 years) providing value for money and capable of achieving a profile and working environment fit for a modern law practice.
  • Concern over both physical attributes and location; having occupied current building for 25 years in what was then the established professional core of the city; this core was now migrating to the south side of the city.
  • Blake Morgan wanted to ensure that any deal achieved best value both in terms of headline leasehold costs and occupational costs over the life of their next lease.

THE SOLUTION

  • Preparation of report to provide an overview of the Cardiff office market establishing context and background to activity leading up to the instruction, along with our views and forecast for further evolution of the city.
  • Ben Bolton was lead contact, liaising closely with principals in the law firm to establish range of views on propety requirements and key drivers and overriding brief to achieve a property solution.
  • Comprehensive market search, identifying all existing and future property options; analysis of property characteristics, pros and cons, together with their context within the overall city, and views on headline rents and potential incentives.
  • Advise and detailed dialogue to confirm shortlist of credible options.
  • Detailed feedback on each option led to shortlist of three properties where we negotiated best and final terms.
  • Three developer/landlords invited to present to Blake Morgan board for final consideration.
  • Final reports and conclusions, including a Cooke & Arkwright presentation to Blake Morgan, led to a preferred option.
  • Preparation and agreement for detailed heads of terms for final agreement to lease; working with legal representatives through to completion.

THE RESULT

  • The client has secured a more efficient working environment which has allowed them to occupy a slightly reduced overall square footage without a reduction in staff numbers.
  • One Capital Square is a building in the heart of the newly emerging office core of Central Square, adjacent to the proposed BBC headquarters.
  • A favourable financial package ensuring best possible cost from the outset and throughout the lease.