More than 100,000 sq ft of quality office space is to come on stream this summer at Hampshire’s fastest-growing business destination.
Northwood Regional UK, the landlord of Lakeside North Harbour, Portsmouth, has invested £9.5m in refurbishing two connected buildings at the thriving 125-acre business campus by the M27 and M275.
Office suites, from 5,500 sq ft, or floors from 10,921 sq ft, will be available to lease at 2000 and 3000, with practical completion due July-end.
Other parts of the business park, including flagship Building 1000, are fully occupied, with 3,000 people working for 75 companies on site near the M27 and M275.
The new offices, on floor space formerly occupied by IBM, which has its UK headquarters at Lakeside, can accommodate up to a further 2,000 people.
Nick Turner, Asset Manager Director for Northwood Regional UK, said: “Lakeside is Hampshire’s fastest-growing business destination and our £9.5m investment in the high-quality refurbishment of more than 100,000 sq ft of office space shows our strong confidence in both the regional economy and the campus’ future.
“We’ve already had a number of strong enquiries from companies looking to base themselves at thriving Lakeside, which has unrivalled facilities for a business location, including cafes, a convenience store, hair and beauty salons, child day nursery, charging points for electric vehicles and greener energy from solar PV panels.”
In a separate development on campus, work started in July on the construction of a 150-bedroom, four-star hotel under the Village Urban Resort brand, with a swimming pool and gym.
Russell Mogridge, business space director at commercial property consultancy Hughes Ellard, joint marketing agent with Vail Williams, said: “This is the largest tranche of office space to come on the market in the Solent Corridor for some years, with the finishing touches taking place.
“Given the success of Lakeside to date, the superb refurbishment of Building 2000 and Building 3000 will attract high-calibre companies looking for a lovely working environment and excellent road, bus, rail, ferry and air links for employees.
“We already have terms out on 30,000 sq ft of space to a number of business sectors and the new auditorium for Lakeside is a big attraction, giving occupiers the ability to host training events and seminars.
“The launch of the new space is superb timing as there is a severe lack of available office space in Hampshire and the Solent Corridor.”
A free and regular shuttle bus also connects workers and visitors to local bus and train stations as well as the city centre.
Key features for the new offices include flexible office suites with air conditioning, a roof terrace with far-reaching views, excellent connectivity, generous floor-to-ceiling heights and recessed lighting, on-site dedicated facilities management team, managed conference and meeting room facilities, parking, 24/7 security and showers and lockers for cyclists.
Lakeside’s management team held a guided behind-the-scenes tour for existing occupiers, with a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the impending practical completion of the refurbishment scheme.
Occupiers at Lakeside include IBM, Babcock, Regus, Bouygues, Market Makers, Portsmouth Education Business Partnership, Hippo, Porsche, Verisona Law, The News, Handelsbanken, Douglas Stafford, Astute, Coffin Mew, Starbucks, Tops Day Nursery and Helistrat.
According to research for Lakeside, there is a youthful, well-qualified employment pool of more than 665,000 potential workers for companies to draw upon, with the private sector accounting for almost half of existing jobs in the catchment areas.
Furthermore, the working age population is forecast to grow by at least 2% by 2022, marking a stable recruitment area for employers.
Research also indicated that more than a quarter of the South East’s university students are based within catchment, with an emphasis on IT-based fields.