The Weekly Wrap | 27th July 2020

27th July 2020
The Weekly Wrap | 27th July 2020

Letting completes at Valiant House

We are pleased to announce a further post lockdown deal over the ground floor offices (1,584 sq ft) at Valiant House, EC3 with facilities management firm Baltimore FM.

The deal adds to a string of recent completed transactions we have carried out within the city office market despite the impact of Covid-19 and the traditional summer period.

For further information please contact Jack Wells (07741 900 431) at Newton Perkins.

Baker Mckenzie’s shot in the arm

Elsewhere in the City of London, law firm Baker McKenzie has agreed to prelet 153,000 sq ft at 280 Bishopsgate, EC2, as its new London headquarters.

The building was purchased last December and is being developed by CBRE Global Investors and King Street Real Estate, in partnership with Arax Properties, which acquired the building. The joint venture is refurbishing the vacant former London headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland to provide 280,000 sq ft of office space, including a new rooftop terrace and balconies overlooking Spitalfields, with completion due by autumn 2021.

Baker Mckenzie have signed a 15-year lease and will work closely with the developers and architects Hassell.

The deal represents a further sign of pick up in market activity and provides a welcome shot in the arm.

FTSE 100’s Return to the office

The ‘return to the office’ seems to be the media’s current hot topic, with businesses constantly drawing up strategies for how and when to bring workers back to the workplace.

The Evening Standard have released an interesting article showcasing the results of their survey of FTSE 100 businesses to find out how many UK-based workplace staff they have, how many are either operating from home or from the office, and what ambitions there are to get more of the employees back to the office.

Responses from 53 company’s reveal that unsurprisingly, only small numbers of workers are now back in offices, with socially distanced measures in place. Whilst several businesses are not expecting to see the bulk of employees returning to their offices until next year.

Below is some of the feedback from organisations, who have offices in London and/or other areas of the United Kingdom:-

Aviva: The insurance company has about 17,000 employees across different locations throughout the UK. As at last week some 500 people were working from sites to different degrees. A spokesman for the firm said: “The safety and wellbeing of our people continues to be our priority. While we have prepared our buildings for the safe return of a small number of people who need or want to work from the office, the majority of employees will remain working and serving our customers from home for the time being.”

The spokesman added: “We will create ways of working that enable us to improve productivity and deliver the best possible outcomes for customers while providing colleagues with flexibility that helps us attract and retain the best and most diverse people.” 

BP: Oil giant BP has around 6500 office based staff in the UK, most of who have worked from home, if they can, since March 13.

In the UK the firm is now starting to open some of its offices to a small number of pre-selected employees whose roles are better suited to being in the office. A number of new measures are in place such as 2 metre distancing and one way systems.

BP said: “We will continue to very carefully monitor the success of these reopening measures, as well as the wider trends of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, as we decide when and how best to further open up the remaining offices in the UK.”

For the full article click here.

TFL announce 24-hour bus lane trial

Trials of 24-hour bus lanes will take effect in London as more passengers want to travel off peak during the coronavirus lockdown, Transport for London (TfL) reported.

The transport network will make the lane restrictions a day and night option this summer in order to check the effect on traffic and public transport journey times.

TfL manages major roads in London – known as the 'red routes' – and the 24-hour bus lanes will be included.

Over a billion bus journeys were taken on these roads last year, and TfL is extending the lane hours to reflect the changing demand for travel in the wake of the pandemic.

Londoners travel every hour of the day as a result of a pandemic lockdown, with less emphasis on the morning and evening peaks, the network added.


Planning Approved for Museum of London's New Home

The Planning and Transportation Committee of the City of London Corporation has approved plans for the new home of the London Museum in West Smithfield. Designed by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan with conservation architect Julian Harrap, the project is one of the biggest cultural ventures in Europe.

The aim of the proposal is to turn the current campus into a 24-hour cultural attraction that honours its historic framework.

Paul Williams, Principal Director at Stanton Williams, said: “This is a pivotal milestone not just for an ambitious architectural scheme for London, but also a testament to the vital importance that culture and education play for the evolution and resilience of our global city. Because London’s story is a story of renewal, reinvention and cultural diversity – a story that will be actively told by the Museum of London from its new home at West Smithfield for generations to come."

The museum will use historic buildings both above and below the ground.  The plans also call for the space to become a centre for learning and to fulfil the museum's ambition to reach every child in London.


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