8th Sep 2022|Land|Commercial|News|New Homes|

Land and Commercial Futures – Hosted by The Business Desk

Alex Tross, Head of Centrick Commercial, presented yesterday at Colmore Row’s prestigious Boutique Workplace Company as part of an event held by The Business Desk. The well-attended event, which saw industry professionals from Siddall Jones, Bruntwood and Godwin Developments among others, discussed the use of land in and around Birmingham for commercial, industrial and hybrid spaces as opposed to residential places.

What is happening in the land and commercial property spaces?

Smaller units in are seeing an increase in demand, as are local spaces, for employment land. In fact, only 2% of employment spaces remain vacant at the time of publication, which is the lowest on record. There is a blatant need for small-scale commercial spaces in order to mitigate this demand problem.

Another issue facing the commercial space is the planning system’s predisposition for building residential properties, but not considering where these residents will be working. Competition for land is exceptionally high, with all business sectors – from residential, to supermarkets, and offices – vying for plots. Mixed-use schemes tend to be dominated by the residential sector, with the opportunities of the commercial sector – namely for employment levels – being considered as an afterthought.

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What is happening to office demand?

Office demand remains high, especially in city centres, but has evolved says Alex Tross as a result of pandemic behaviours:

“Lockdown has made us look at offices very differently. Many believed that the commercial space was dying: thankfully, the office is not dead, but it has evolved rapidly”

He continued:

“The paradigm has shifted considerably towards talent retention and what occupiers want. This has created more interesting, responsive commercial spaces that evolve with the occupier’s needs. Exceptional spaces are helping employers retain the very best talent by appealing directly to their specific needs”

“Now it’s about roof terraces, great WiFi, and services. It’s about community and facilities within the office ecosystem that helps us justify our longer, more expensive commutes”

Beyond the office, Alex believes that the value of modern commercial spaces doesn’t just focus on what sits within the property’s four walls, but extends beyond this to consider nearby facilities that can add value:

“Offices have started work in a more holistic way that transcends the employee’s desk, but makes employees consider what happens when they step away from their desk – what coffee places are nearby? Are you stuck in a boring industrial park? Are there places to socialise that can make coming to work a more enriching experience?”

Birmingham’s fantastic connectivity thanks to its extensive train and tram networks, and upcoming HS2 station at Curzon Street, bodes well for the future of commercial property values. This is set to encourage an influx in new development bids – commercial, residential, and mixed-use alike – that seeks to enrich their local communities. Thanks to the success of the Commonwealth Games and the pride it has infused into communities across Birmingham, industry leaders are starting to notice a shift in attitudes that seeks to consider social impacts as well as ROI. We expect to see a new influx in new developments that seeks to build upon this feel-good factor, get people living and working back in the city after a woeful pandemic, and continue to thrive.


Want to know more about land and commercial property in your area?

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