Commercial Property News

Our magazines are published bi-monthly with in-depth features and news for the commercial property industry. On this page we have the latest news to keep you constantly updated on the market. On the left hand side of the page you can search our archived news which is stored monthly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2023

Knight Frank's Sheffield Occupier Survey released

The Sheffield Occupier Survey, by property consultancy Knight Frank, illustrates widespread commercial devotion to the city with more than half of the respondents having a Sheffield base for 20 years or longer, and all those surveyed planning to remain in Sheffield following future lease renewals.

More than 100 city-based companies received the survey, providing a unique insight into what key drivers of commerce want from the city, with new office developments seen as necessary or long overdue by almost 70 per cent of participants, and 100 per cent recognising a need for more hotel and conferencing facilities.

Tim Bottrill, partner at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank, said: "To see that there is healthy demand for new office space, hotel and conferencing facilities is an excellent indicator to us that commercial interests within the city are objectively focussed on stability and future growth."

New office developments are widely applauded in the survey and Blonk Street, adjacent to the Wicker, comes out as the most favoured location, closely followed by nearby Riverside Exchange, with Wards Exchange off Ecclesall Road and Velocity following respectively.

The survey showed that 48 per cent of businesses polled had an interest in moving to a new scheme in the city, while only 14 per cent found the new build rental rates to be prohibitive.

Tim added: "One of the most encouraging findings of the survey is that nearly 50 per cent of Sheffield respondents expect their business to require more staff, with an additional 40 per cent expecting to remain stable. This provides a positive signal to the fortunes of the Sheffield office market and its future growth.

"The survey also highlights that proximity to clients and competitors is cited as a key reason for city businesses staying put, another good indicator that trade in the city business region is stable. This is backed by strong results for skilled labour availability and good value accommodation.

"Sheffield has changed dramatically during the last ten years and we are now witnessing complete swathes of development along inner city roads such as Arundel Gate, which offers 38,000 sq ft of stunning Grade A accommodation at Oneleven, and another 40,000 sq ft of Grade A office space which will come to market through the proposed redevelopment of the former Post Office site at Fitzalan Square, among its projects.

"On Trippet Lane, there are several attractive period developments including Walsh Court, which provides open plan accommodation through newly refurbished office suites covering 26, 012 sq ft, with flexible floorplans. Another Walsh building in Bells Square, on the lower side of Trippet Lane, has received a high-class makeover featuring a unique and striking self-contained courtyard and 2,680 sq ft of open plan accommodation.

"It is this calibre and diversity of accommodation that makes Sheffield a niche environment both for settled businesses and those looking to locate here."

Skilled labour and good value office accommodation were rated by the survey's participants as the principle draw for businesses looking to locate to Sheffield, with high quality of accommodation, a thriving business environment and good infrastructure also likely to draw new companies into the city.

Demand for retail and leisure accommodation is also high among those polled, with 96 per cent looking to see the city's leisure facilities increase and 80 per cent looking for more retail accommodation - further suggesting that the Sheffield business sector is focussed on growth and longevity.

Andy Topley, director of regeneration at city development company, Creative Sheffield, welcomes the report.

He said: "Securing strong business has always been key to the success of Sheffield's development. The work to regenerate the city over the past ten years has created a superb infrastructure for businesses to locate to. Sheffield now boasts some top class office space and the Knight Frank report demonstrates that there is a healthy commercial demand for the city to continue its evolution, despite the uncertain economic climate."

The research, conducted in June 2008, took findings from companies employing approximately 1,500 staff collectively, occupying approximately two million sq ft in total - with 75 per cent of those surveyed located in the city centre.