Enquiries for out of town offices in Leeds have increased over the last month, as car parking and the ability to social distance enhances the appeal of sites such as Carrwood Park and Thorpe Park Business Park demonstrating a shift away from the city centre.
“I wouldn’t say people are deserting Leeds city centre but what we are seeing is a clear short-term spike in interest in office sites with car parking, good transport links and smaller private office suites”, explains Jonathan Ratcliffe from Leeds based Office Agency Offices.co.uk, “it’ll be interesting to see if this continues into the medium-term”.
The Post-Covid office market is quite different to what it was before. Employers are listening to what their staff are asking for, and there is a clear shift away from busy central areas and public transport. Out of town sites such as Carrwood and Thorpe Park are ideal for those now driving to work.
“You’d not ideally want to drive into Leeds city centre, so if you are travelling by car to work, as we all are currently, you want to a direct commute and a car parking space. People are actively avoiding other people on public transport. Car parking is the key feature tenants are asking for now”.
The demand for large physical office space in the city centre is set to reduce as the trend for remote working gathers pace – however it is thought some form of office will still be required. Out of town demand is increasing now, as face-to-face meetings go virtual and therefore a city location becomes less important.
Leeds for example has plenty of choice of city centre office spaces, however it is the options on the outskirts where the current demand lies. Sites like Carrwood Park, Brookfield Court on Selby Road and the Thorpe Park development enjoy car parking, superb transport links, cheaper desk prices and more open space.
The benefits of out of town office sites have been clear to Oliver Corrigan who runs serviced office company Workwell which operates Carrwood Park and Brookfield Court: “We have recently completed research that clearly demonstrates the advantages of our rural office space; easier commuting, ample parking, excellent road access and good public transport service, allied to a setting that helps wellbeing and productivity. Post Covid the offer assumes more relevance and importance, with flexible office configuration and creative yet practical space management, ensuring compliance with social distancing rules, meaning more space per person at a lower cost. The enduring benefits of a custom-built facility that enables easy growth really helps too”
“The centre of Leeds is relatively quiet still, however we know once a vaccine has been developed and the fear has gone that they will once again thrive, but for now it’s all about cars and smaller private offices for those wanting to get back to work”, concludes Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk