36% year-on-year rise in Cardiff office lettings as HMRC completes 54,587 sq ft at Brunel House

Largest deal of the year with HM Revenue and Customs

6 July 2016

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Office space lettings in Cardiff for 2016 are up by 36% on the same time last year, according to new figures revealed by Cooke & Arkwright, as the commercial property agent secures the largest deal of the year with HM Revenue and Customs completing on 54,587 sq. ft. at Brunel House.

According to the data, gathered as part of the Cardiff Commercial Property Forum take-up statistics, total space leased in the second quarter of 2016 was 201,882 sq ft compared with 144,613 sq ft for the same quarter in 2015 – a 39% rise. Total floor space leased in the city in 2016 to date is 297,681 sq ft compared with 219,649 sq ft for the same period last year.

The increase for quarter 2 was in part due to Cooke & Arkwright’s involvement in the two biggest deals in the city so far this year– a 54,587 sq ft letting at Brunel House to HMRC, and advising Cardiff University on their 29,000 sq ft lease at Friary House. Both of these lettings were Grade B stock, away from the activity in Central Square.

Cooke & Arkwright’s office agency team, along with joint agent Knight Frank, secured a five-year lease across four floors for HMRC. Bilfinger GVA acted on behalf of HMRC. They will join neighbouring occupants Legal & General in the 15 storey building. HMRC has an ongoing long term requirement for its Welsh regional hub, bringing new work to Wales and accommodating up to 3,800 full-time posts in the city centre by 2019.

Ben Bolton, director of office and industrial agency at Cooke & Arkwright, who is acting on behalf of MotoNovo to secure 71,000 sq ft at One Central Square, said: “For HMRC, good public transport links and accessibility were key, and Brunel House, which is right next to Queen Street station, ticks each of these boxes.”

Commenting on the figures, Tim Lawley, Associate at Cooke & Arkwright specialising in office and industrial deals, said: “A strong year-on-year performance shows the high demand for city centre stock of all types, further reducing available space in the city. With another strong quarter’s performance, there is now not only limited Grade A space available, but also a limit on good quality secondary stock.

“Quarter on quarter, we’ve also seen an increase in lettings in Cardiff Bay and out of town, demonstrating a thriving market across the city.”

Brunel House is managed by Mercer Real Estate Partners. Alex Hardwick, from Mercer, said: “We are delighted to have secured such a substantial letting to the building within such a short timeframe of taking over the building, and look forward to welcoming HMRC to Brunel House. It’s an exciting time in the Cardiff office market with plenty of new buildings under way.

“This letting is evidence of the continued demand for large, flexible and affordable floor plates. We are looking to improve the reception area in the coming months which will only go to strengthen the appeal of the building.”

This story appears in WalesOnline

The Leekes Retail and Leisure Group have substantial property assets within the group and have engaged Andrew West to appeal against rating assessments on these properties since 2010. We have consistently been impressed by Andrew's knowledge of the property market and his negotiating skills have been exceptional. Given Andrew's outstanding performance, we would not hesitate to recommend Andrew to any business large or small seeking to appeal their rates liabilities.

Mike Fowler, Group Finance Director, Leekes Group