Flexible Workspace Demand Attracts Conventional Office Sector

Prince's Dock, Liverpool
Prince's Dock, Liverpool

Developer Peel Group is launching a new flexible workspace solution in Liverpool in September. It’s one more example of rising competition within our sector, which is coming from various sides of the wider commercial property industry. Are you prepared?

Flexible workspace in its many guises, from serviced and virtual offices to hot-desking and coworking space, is appealing to businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors right across the globe. This surge in demand is opening the door to a wave of new workspace operators, and is encouraging healthy competition as well as plenty of industry churn – such as the recent merger between Serviced Office Group and Avanta.

There’s something else too. Alongside new market entrants and consolidations of established business centre brands, we’re noticing a steady rise in competition from other corners of the commercial property sector.

It’s partly evident in the rise of sub-letting, which is picking up pace in high-profile areas like Manhattan. We’re also seeing renewed interest from the conventional office sector. Although the conventional officing sector is more commonly associated with multinational corporates and leases spanning 25+ years, now, it seems demand for flexible working is enticing more conventional operators to cross the bridge into the world of serviced office space.

“Next generation of our offices”

Take a look at Peel Group. According to Bdaily, the development giant has launched its “first ever” flexible office space in Liverpool, and this new foray into short-term officing is a move traditional business centres should watch with interest.

Peel Group, the company behind Salford’s MediaCityUK, has been developing, regenerating and building for over 40 years. One of its projects, Prince’s Dock, is part of the company’s multi-billion pound Liverpool Waters scheme – a large-scale redevelopment of Liverpool’s historic UNESCO listed waterfront and surrounding areas.

At Prince’s Dock, Peel is launching a new flexible office scheme in direct response to market demand for this style of workspace. From September, ‘The Quay’ will supply office space in suites from 100-470 sq ft, featuring all the classic trappings of a serviced office provider including office furniture, short-term flexible contracts, monthly rental, shared facilities and meeting rooms.

Ian Pollitt, Development Investment Surveyor at Peel, explains: “There is currently a growing need for flexible office space which new and small businesses can take without being tied into long contracts. The Quay is the next generation of our offices and plugs this gap perfectly – we are already seeing a lot of interest in the suites.”

Peel’s Prince’s Dock development is home to several high-profile organisations, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Coutts Bank and Atlantic Container Liners. Small businesses and start-ups looking for a flexible yet prestigious base in Liverpool will certainly find a high quality product in The Quay, along with the added benefit of proximity to such high-profile brands.

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Peel isn’t alone, and with demand for flexible workspace rising, we can expect to see more conventional property suppliers and development companies following suit. With their property expertise and market knowledge, you can expect such companies to hit the ground running. Certainly a competitor worth watching out for. Have you noticed any conventional office companies setting up near you? How do you differentiate your offering? Do you consider this sector a threat to your business centre? Let us know.

Image source: Rept0n1x, Wikimedia Commons

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