High Tech Cambridge

A recent report by property consultant Carter Jonas spotlights the quietly booming Cambridge office market.

Cambridge is the UK’s pre-eminent location for research and development in high value industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and advanced engineering in software and electronics.

The Cambridge office and lab market enjoyed another strong year in 2015, with take-up exceeding 1.1 million sq ft – surpassing the 956,000 sq ft let in 2014.

Granta Park saw work start on Illumina’s new 155,000 sq ft HQ which will open in summer 2017; while Gilead announced a new 93,000 sq ft building and ARM took 195,000 sq ft at Peterhouse Technology Park in the city’s largest letting. However, the majority of deals recorded were in the sub-10,000 sq ft category.

Deloitte, Thales and Carter Jonas agreed pre-lets at the under construction ‘One The Square’ in central Cambridge, totalling almost half of the 142,000 sq ft building, ahead of its completion in November 2016. In the last year AstraZeneca, Apple and Spotify have all taken space in the city.

Metropolis is monitoring the plans of over a dozen companies with requirements or potential requirements in Cambridge. In addition, Metropolis is planning to speak to a further 100 Cambridge office occupiers with leases due to expire in the next two years.

Office and lab developments with outline planning consent totalled almost 3.8 million sq ft in early 2016. Granta Park is set to expand its 120-acre site with the granting of planning permission to provide 365,000 sq ft of new R&D space.

Forecasts for 2016 include greater competition for available space pushing rents to well over £30psf. Some decentralisation from the the more expensive core to the cheaper fringe areas. The pace of office refurbishment to increase as demand grows.

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