Landmark Cheltenham office building shaping up

Surveyors and other property and construction professionals enjoyed an access-all-areas tour of the £12m new landmark office building taking shape in Cheltenham.

From early 2019 Honeybourne Place will provide more than 64,000 sqft of prime grade A office space in a superb Business Quarter location with excellent transport links.

Developer Formal Investments and contractor Barnwood Construction welcomed more than 15 members and guests of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to see the emerging structure of the first new build office development in Cheltenham for many years.

The six-storey building at Jessop Avenue is designed to attract up to 500 new jobs to a site that had been a private car park. The sustainable highly insulated design, by Roberts Limbrick architects of Gloucester, maximises the use of daylight and features high quality materials including limestone, glass and rainscreen cladding.

With full height glazing, dramatic external lighting and commanding views across the town, Honeybourne Place will be an attractive addition to Cheltenham’s built landscape, from the ground floor up to the rooftop terraces.

The available spaces range from 7,400 sqft on the ground floor to more than 11,600 sqft on the middle storeys with more than 10,000 sqft on the top floor.

Formal Investments, the award-winning developer based at the nearby Festival House on Jessop Avenue, is creating Honeybourne Place as a speculative build thanks to its confidence in Cheltenham’s business quarter. Formal Investments, at the forefront of developing in the Cheltenham office market, believe rent in excess of £30 per sqft is likely to be a reality.

Nicholas King, a director at Formal Investments, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome RICS members to Cheltenham’s premier grade A office scheme, giving them the opportunity to see this substantial building being created in the town. We look forward to inviting them back in 2019 to see the finished property.”

The RICS visitors got a behind the scenes look at progress on the building’s external envelope and the use of mast climber access to the entire perimeter, a system common on major city centre developments but not much used in the Cheltenham area.

Samantha Organ, a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England, building surveyor for The National Trust and chair of RICS Matrics Gloucestershire, said: “The visit went really well and everyone was complimentary. What a fantastic building Honeybourne Place is. The sights from the top were absolutely breathtaking. Whoever takes the top floor will have wonderful views from their offices.

“RICS Matrics is a group for junior surveyors, professionals working towards their chartered status and newly qualified surveyors. We had quantity surveyors, building surveyors, planners and developers attend and we all learned about the design, construction and how they have removed all the internal columns.”

Adam Welland, senior contracts manager at Gloucester-based Barnwood Construction, said: “We are excited to be helping create this excellent new addition to Cheltenham’s Business Quarter. Having worked with Formal Investments on previous projects, we know that Honeybourne Place will be a building of the highest quality and a real positive for the local economy.”

Architect Aled Roberts, a director at Roberts Limbrick, said: “Honeybourne Place is an exciting development for Cheltenham, a striking and contemporary design providing very high quality, flexible office space. Sustainability is designed in, including excellent cycling facilities plus close and convenient connections to public transport.”

Agent Richard Crabb, partner at thp, said: “There has been a significant change in the Cheltenham office market with a major drop in supply and a real shortage of quality, open plan accommodation. Honeybourne Place is eagerly awaited and we are already talking with occupiers needing to move and expand and wanting to stay with the heart of the town.”