There has been a subdued level of take-up activity in the Leeds office market during 2020 but there is encouraging news for the year ahead with two large pre-lets soon expected to complete and the largest speculative scheme across the regional cities recently underway at 244,000 sq ft 11 and 12 Wellington Place.
Take-up in 2020 amounted to 490,000 sq ft across the Leeds market, around 46% below the ten-year average in both the city centre and out-of-town markets. Q4 showed a similar pattern of activity, with one stand-out deal of 45,900 sq ft to StepChange Debt Charity at 123 Albion Street.
Two exceptional pre-let deals are expected to complete during Q1: DLA Piper are lined up for 85,000 sq ft at City Square House, although this is a reduction on the 110,000 sq ft expected pre-Covid and an indication of the rationalisation in space that occupiers are looking to achieve.
The largest out-of-town deal for several years is also expected to transact: a 135,000 sq ft pre-let to Lovell Financial at Thorpe Park Business Park. The company has retained its pre- Covid requirement due to the security nature of the business.
In terms of future demand, we are aware of two circa 30,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft requirements in Leeds city centre. There are also a number of sub-5,000 sq ft requirements including one to the Department of Work and Pensions, who are also lined up to take 22,000 sq ft at Navigation Warehouse in Wakefield. With the reduction in requirements and return of grey space, we expect an increase in supply levels but expect occupiers to target better-quality space, so prime space will perform better than secondary.
For some time now there has been very little immediately available grade A space in Leeds city centre. However, the speculative 244,000 sq ft 11 and 12 Wellington Place has recently started on site, with a completion date at the end of 2022. A further speculative scheme is also expected to get underway this spring. Vastint is due to begin construction on the next phase of its Aire Park scheme, the centrepiece of the South Bank district regeneration project. The 300,000 sq ft office development will include ground floor retail and leisure, alongside a new two-hectare city centre park.
TAKE UP Q4
88,793 sq ft
Out of Town
59,925 sq ft
£32 per sq ft
Out of Town
£24.75 per sq ft
244,879 sq ft
TOP FIVE DEALS Q4
KEY SECTOR ACTIVITY 2020
Health and social care
Education & training
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