Co-working office provider The Office Group is expanding its footprint in the capital, taking out a 20-year lease on a building in Hammersmith.The company is opening up 61,000 square feet (sq ft) of flexible office space across the lower eight floors of 1 Lyric Square, a block located just minutes from Hammersmith tube station. The building is being redeveloped by Schroder UK Real Estate fund, and its refurbishment is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.
The Office Group, established in 2003 by Travelex founder Lloyd Dorfman, is valued at more than £500m and is expanding rapidly in the capital. It has more than 30 buildings in London and competes with the likes of US-based office provider We Work.The business’ most recent deal in Hammersmith follows its agreement on a 20-year lease on a seven-storey building in Victoria, 84 Eccleston Square. The group plans to open the 70,000 sq ft office space by the end of 2017.Dorfman has also instructed Rothschild bankers to sell a stake in the group to fund more expansion.James Lass, fund manager at Schroder UK Real Estate fund, said that the fund has been focusing on parts of the capital that have an “embryonic” office market, and areas where young people are looking to live and work.
“We are looking at places such as Battersea, Whitechapel and Stratford,” he said. “Rents in these places haven’t reached maturity yet.”“We have also been looing at areas like Acton, where people have been moving.”The investment fund would never look at commercial buildings in the City, he said, because “you can’t ignore the job losses”, or the possible slowdown in job growth that might occur when Britain leaves the European Union.The uncertainty surrounding London’s future has been boosting The Office Group, however. Last year, Dorfman said that flexible office space had become more attractive since the Brexit vote because more businesses are nervous about committing to a long lease.