RIVAL TO CENTRAL LONDON
Combining affluence, amenity and connectivity, the West London market (which encompasses Hammersmith and Fulham, Chiswick and Ealing) continues to develop an office market to rival its central London neighbour. The £8 billion redevelopment of White City is the standout regeneration project bringing 2,500 new homes, more than two million sq ft of office space and 20,000 new jobs.
White City Place is the centre piece, with the project repurposing six former BBC media village buildings to create a modern office hub. Westfield Shopping Centre has also undergone major work with the 740,000 sq ft expansion opening in March 2018 making it one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. The Elizabeth Line will run through West London in December 2019.
Close proximity to central London has meant that the West London market has historically attracted major corporate and service occupiers. Financial and business services firms account for the largest proportion of take-up over 10 years, 27%.
This percentage rises to 29% if considered over the past two years. Most notable is that flexible office providers have quickly gained a strong presence, taking just short of 200,000 sq ft since the beginning of 2016.
However, given the background of the area, it is little surprise that firms from a digital and media background remain drawn to the market. The TMT sector has accounted for 31% of office take-up over the past 24 months.
2.2 million sq ft of office development has been completed over the past five years, the highest total of any location in the South East. Notably 70% of development has been refurbished space. Blackstone’s Building’s 6 & 7 Chiswick Park and U+I 10 and 12 Hammersmith Grove the only ground up new schemes to complete.
Legal and General’s development of 245 Hammersmith Road is the only scheme where works are actively underway and the 245,000 sq ft scheme is due to complete in Q3 2019.
The development pipeline consists of 1.5 million sq ft which is mostly core in Hammersmith, but beyond this, Commercial Estates Group’s redevelopment of Exchange Plaza in Ealing is expected to start a new extension of the core West London market.
KNIGHT FRANK VIEW
White City, the expansion of Westfield, Imperial College and the redevelopment of Television Centre, have propelled West London to become a recognised and established London hub. Transport and amenity improvement will encourage further development of office space and support business generation in the area.
The market has proven attractive predominantly to TMT and retail occupiers, but more recently, the life sciences market is showing signs of evolving as one of the next big things. Hammersmith & Chiswick continue to perform well, generating improved rental evidence. Forecasts indicate that rents in Hammersmith in particular will move from £59.00 per sq ft today to £62.50 per sq ft by the start of 2021, and in Ealing from £42.50 to £47.50.
Chiswick Park provides the decisive answer to occupiers seeking quality office space with place activation - demonstrating the value of the ‘Enjoy Work’ offer.