Record year for office take-up in Liverpool’s Commercial District

OFFICE take-up in Liverpool’s Commercial District during 2018 increased by an impressive 46.8% compared to 2017, the highest take-up since records began, according to new figures released by Liverpool BID Company.

According to the latest Commercial Office Market Review, produced in partnership between Liverpool BID Company and Professional Liverpool, which provides an objective and independent review of Liverpool City Region’s office market over the previous calendar year, there is now an extra 582,084 sq ft of occupied office space in the city’s commercial hub located around Old Hall Street. Likewise, 2018 was also a record year for Liverpool City Region as a whole, with 867,586 sq ft being transacted, representing a rise of 32.7% on 2017. This is the seventh year running that take-up has achieved in excess of 500,000 sq ft and shows continued confidence within the region.

The release of the 2018 Office Market Review, now in its 14th edition, comes ahead of MIPIM, the world’s largest property market in Cannes, France, where the BID will present its findings to potential new investors from around the world.

Responding to the report, Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, welcomed the figures, but said there were challenges ahead, particularly the lack of Grade A office space availability, which the BID is addressing. He said: “It is fantastic to see that Liverpool City Region’s office market continues to prosper, a scenario echoed here in the Commercial District, which recorded a record take-up. This is great news and again shows the Commercial District as the preferred destination of choice in the city region for the professional sector and creative and digital industries.

“However, the report does highlight the challenges we face. The fact that there is now no vacant Grade A office space remaining in the Commercial District is a major concern for the sustainability of the district. But work to reverse this is in play. Our investment in the Commercial District SRF (Spatial Regeneration Framework) and our participation in MIPIM demonstrate our ongoing commitment in safeguarding the future growth of Commercial District BID for the benefit of our levy payers and wider city economy. It’s also encouraging to see the ambitious vision for the creation of Grade A office stock in Pall Mall now taking a step closer to realisation.

“Driving investment into the area, promoting sustainable employment and its connectivity with other key developments across the city region, such as Liverpool Waters, remains our utmost priority for Commercial District BID over the coming years.”

Andrew Byrne, head of Property Group at Professional Liverpool, the body responsible for collating the date for the Office Market Review, said: “The report once again highlights the challenges faced in the market, with lack of Grade A availability and the limitations which the existing stock has for filling this void. However, for the first time since 2011 we are seeing active development of Grade A offices within the fringe of the city, which is hopefully the start of the next phase of growth within the region. Despite having no Grade A availability, the Commercial District has once again dominated take-up and 2019 is shaping up to be another positive year for the district. However, the refurbished stock is unable to mask the lack of new build for much longer. It is vital we see development within the Commercial District in the not too distant future.”

To view the 2018 Commercial Office Market Review document: