Business

Grade a office space changing as tenants 'demand more' from buildings

Bedford House in Belfast

GRADE A office space in Northern Ireland looks set to improve significantly as tenants begin to demand more than just prime location and square footage from their buildings, according to commercial property agents Lambert Smith Hampton.

Greg Henry says he has noticed a significant uplift in interest in properties which are going above and beyond the standard offering of grade A space.

It follows a shift in expectation by ambitious companies who have turned their attention to incorporating business and leisure aspects into their working environment.

And forward-thinking landlords have been quick to respond to the demand, with a renovation in Bedford House leading the way in Belfast city centre.

Construction has begun to change the ninth floor of this iconic building into a fully equipped gymnasium, shower facilities and meeting rooms which are equipped with latest high-tech AV/IT facilities, and capable of providing full conference facilities for 50 people.

Mr Henry said: “What we are seeing now is landlords moving to make their buildings future fit by responding to the modern demands of their tenants.

"Bedford House is one of the most highly regarded office buildings in Belfast and it is already home to tenants including EY, Marsh/Mercer, Causeway Asset Management, McCadden Creative and General Medical Council.”

Gareth McMurray, facilities manager for Bedford House, has listened intently to the requirements of these tenants and the landlord has instructed a fit out on that basis.

He said: “We are liaising with top engineers to develop and improve the building's digital infrastructure. We have a real desire and passion to lead the way in digital connectivity. Bedford House has installed the most advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and very shortly a building management system where I can oversee and monitor energy usage.”

Bedford House comprises ten floors of naturally lit office suites, with retail units on the ground floor and a Franklin & James coffee shop at mezzanine level. Nearby occupiers include Invest NI and the head offices of Danske Bank, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.

Mr Henry added: “Not only will this building become one of a small number in Northern Ireland to have a gym and shared meeting space, tenants will also be able to order food and drinks from Franklin & James coffee shop using an iPad in the meeting rooms.

“We are experiencing a high level of interest in the remaining floors particularly as word gets out about the added value options which are being introduced.”

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