Bristol city centre office demand underlined by swift letting of Freshford House

A recent deal has underlined the demand for office space in Bristol city centre, which saw this year’s Q1 take up at the highest level for over a decade.

Colliers International, acting on behalf of the landlord, let part of the ground floor at Freshford House, totalling 4,709 sq ft, together with five parking spaces, in a deal that went under offer before the departing tenant vacated.

The 10-year letting with a five-year break, at a rent of £30 per sq ft, was to a private tenant represented by Knight Frank.

James Preece, National Offices director in the South West and South Wales office of Colliers International, said the rapid letting of the space, on Redcliffe Way, highlighted how market demand meant companies were having to take a proactive approach to acquiring space in Bristol city centre.

“The first quarter of this year saw the highest Q1 city centre take up in Bristol for more than a decade at 219,420 sq ft, which represents almost three times more take up than the same time last year and was 80 per cent higher than the 5-year average,” he said.

“This intense demand was demonstrated when space at Freshford House became available. We quickly identified a tenant, resulting in it going under offer before the office had been vacated and a void period of just six weeks.

“The market is so constrained that occupiers seeking well-positioned, quality office space in central Bristol are moving swiftly when a suitable premises becomes available, as happened in this case.”

Freshford House, is situated in close proximity to major transport hubs, including Temple Meads railway station. The building features flexible open plan, refurbished office space and parking with secure gated access.

Latest figures from the Office Agents Society of Bristol show that current availability in the city centre is down to 455,000 sq ft – just 3.6 per cent of total stock.

The largest deal during Q1 2020 was the pre-letting of 74,000 sq ft at Halo to legal practice Osborne Clarke. The bulk of lettings in Bristol city centre during Q1 were from the legal and financial sector at 57 per cent. The majority of deals – a total of 77 per cent – were below 5,000 sq ft, which further demonstrates the high level of transactions taking place in the first quarter.