Largest single office building in Edinburgh opens for business

Edinburgh’s largest single office building has officially opened after a major refurbishment to meet unprecedented demand in the capital from the city’s growing technology sector.

One Lochrin Square, the former site of Scotmid HQ is the only self-contained building of its size and scale to reach the market for the next 12 months.

Totalling 64,000 sq ft of contemporary Grade A office space over five floors, owners UBS Asset Management, undertook a speculative ‘defurbishment’ on the building’s ground floor – a new property trend which provides stripped back, attic style office accommodation to attract TMT occupiers. Such a finish is commonplace in London but has never been delivered in Edinburgh. The four upper floors have been finished to a traditional landlord’s Cat A specification.

Reflecting the rapid growth of Edinburgh’s booming TMT sector, nearly a third of all office space transacted across Edinburgh in 2016 involved businesses working in technology, media or telecoms (TMT), compared with a UK average of 16 per cent, according to JLL. In line with 2015 figures, TMT occupiers were the most active business segment during 2016, accounting for 30% of all floorspace taken-up in the capital, outgunning Edinburgh’s financial sector.

Overall office vacancy in the city centre market stands at 4.8%, unchanged on 12 months ago and primarily due to an increase in Grade B space over the course of 2016. The pressure on good quality immediately available space continues to tighten with the Grade A vacancy rate standing at 0.5% – less than 1 years stock.

Marketed by JLL and Knight Frank using one of Edinburgh’s first social media-led commercial property campaigns, passers-by are encouraged to tweet selfies using the building’s hoardings to signify which mood they are in using hashtag #1LSforall.

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Exchange District and beside National Cycle Route 75, the redevelopment has placed a major emphasis on the provision for cyclists with secure storage and extensive new showers.

Toby Withall, Office Agency Partner at Knight Frank, said: “At 64,000 sq. ft., One Lochrin Square will provide an occupier with the only refurbished Grade A office building with its own front door in central Edinburgh. In the context of a market where new or refurbished Grade A product is fast diminishing and occupier interest is increasing, this new offering is set to benefit and ensure there is prime stock for the more diverse range of active occupiers in the market. For businesses looking to occupy a single floor, One Lochrin Square offers a column-free space and is one of only three in the capital offering over 15,000 sq. ft. on one level.”

Craig Watson, Director at JLL in Scotland said: “One Lochrin Square’s owners have seized the opportunity to reposition the property within Edinburgh’s changing business landscape by providing an open plan finish which has never been speculatively delivered before in the city. With 30 per cent of Edinburgh office space take-up in 2016 accounted for by the TMT sector, followed closely by Professional Services, this refurbishment will ensure that the property stands out from the competition and appeals to some of Edinburgh’s younger and more dynamic sectors such as TMT. Edinburgh’s commercial property market is faced with a severe shortage of city centre Grade A stock over the next 12 months so the building is well placed to take advantage of any larger occupier requirements.”