Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Evolving to Meet the Occupiers' Demands

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Evolving to Meet the Occupiers' Demands

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ian Parker, Partner In Charge, Gva Grimley, Newcastle

Over the last 20 years business parks have evolved to become a key part of the commercial property market and a business sector in their own right.

The imagination and expertise of business park specialists in the UK are now being exploited with great success in other parts of Europe.

Business parks are now expected to be much more than a mere destination, in part owing to the inability of city and town centres to meet the ever-increasing demands and requirements of a 21st century office occupier.

Restrictions in town and city centres, such as the listed building status of many, have prevented office occupiers achieving overall efficiencies in respect of space planning of buildings that they require, particularly in terms of IT issues where voids between floors are essential to accommodate high- tech infrastructure.

Occupiers require efficiency and flexibility to help to drive down overheads and buildings must also accommodate the requirements for ease of communication between departments.

Consequently, the business park has proved to be a highly acceptable alternative to the traditional city centres with the added bonus of environmentally friendly landscaped settings and availability of parking.

Transport is another key issue, both public and private. The high ratio of car parking in out-of-town business schemes is an essential prerequisite and "unique selling proposition", compared with city centres.

Increasingly improving public transport is also a key criterion in terms of an inward investor reaching a decision to locate in a particular area. There is no point having a strong pool of labour unless they can get to you.

Even though the Government is actively seeking to switch the emphasis to public transport and is planning to restrict parking ratios at the out of town business parks, they will still remain significantly advantageous compared with city centre locations. …

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