Westfield’s Stratford offices proving occupiers will come east …

There is a lot happening in and around the Olympics Park just now, so time for a quick update on some of the more important elements.

I was at the launch yesterday of One Stratford Place, Westfield’s first 130,000 sq ft office headquarters development at Stratford City opposite the Olympic stadium. The developer plans more than 1m sq ft of offices at the site eventually.

A number of interesting things emerged, which I think again prove just how much is changing in the area.

Firstly John Burton, Westfield’s development director, suggested that some time around now the three millionth visitor will have been to Stratford City since it opened two weeks ago. That is a lot of punters.

Secondly, Westfield said it was under offer to lease more than 50% of the offices already. It refused to discuss names, but again that is a very positive sign that occupiers really do want to come to the site and the area.

As importantly, I learned that a number of very significant requirements have been looking at the remainder of the offices for as much as 400,000 sq ft HQ deals. One name that seriously looked at a move was EMA, which in August decided instead to stay at Canary Wharf and prelet 250,000 sq ft at 25 Churchill Square.

Property experts at the event said the big “game-changer” will be when a big Docklands tenant does decide to up sticks and move to Stratford. Why would they do that?

Firstly rents are between £10 and £15 per sq ft cheaper. Secondly, the site has a decent shopping centre and collection of sporting venues on its doorstep.

But most importantly the transport into the site is very good. I can vouch that it takes under 20 minutes to get there from Bond Street on the tube and the offices are directly outside the station entrance. Westfield’s Burton joked that a lot of people had arrived way too early for the function because they had overestimated how long it would take.

Anyway, there is a real sense that aside from being a location that retailers want to be at Stratford now has what it takes to bring in major office occupiers.

The big question is will it benefit the local population? Would be great to get some responses on this.

Anyway, my full story on the Westfield launch can be read here.


About Paul Norman's Olympics blog

News Editor of CoStar News, a commercial property news service. Regular blogger on the London 2012 Olympics and what it means for property and the the regeneration of East London
This entry was posted in Media centre, OPLC, Stratford City. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Westfield’s Stratford offices proving occupiers will come east …

  1. Canary Agent says:

    Stratford is not substantially cheaper than Canary, as rents in Canary are in the mid £30’s per sq ft except in the highest tower space or on part floors. The views from the Westfield designed offices are not in the same league as Canary where you are in an established CBD location with a tube taking only 15 minutes to Green Park. Some perspective is needed here.

  2. Hi Canary agent, thanks for this welcome dose of reality because I possibly did get a bit carried away here. Just to say there was no intention to downgrade Canary Wharf or other established locations. Just wanted to say that despite a deal of cynicism about Stratford’s office location aspirations it was clear at yesterday’s launch that there are a host of reasons why it can succeed. Thanks again for putting things in perspective.

  3. Canary Wharf estate agent defends Canary Wharf shocker!

    He would have a good point, of course, if everyone who commuted actually lived in Green Park, like some sort of upper class womble. It is perfectly clear, however, that with Stratford having the Jubilee and DLR, and Central line, and the District one stop away, and the Overground, and trains out to Shenfield and onwards, and the 5 minute journey into Liverpool Street, and the Javelin service to St Pancras and Kent, that it beats Canary Wharf hands down in terms of transport links. It might not yet cut it in terms of other services, but it is early days. As someone who works in finance in the City, and who has turned down offers from firms in Canary Wharf simply because of the difficulty of getting there, I’m pretty confident that Stratford will be a successful commercial centre.

  4. Mark says:

    Why spoil the sporting and recreational character of the Olympic Park by pampering to the needs of fat greedy executives and turning it into just another Canary Wharf ? This is symptomatic of a society in which corporate concerns overshadow any other. Greed: for money, for space, for office space in the best location.

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