Google are to lease 25,000 ft2 of office space near Old Street – home to London’s self-styled Silicon Roundabout – a move which marks a big step forward for the UK government’s plans to create a global technology hub in east London.
According to Business Week, Google will house developers and startups in the seven story building until for the next 10 years – at least – paying about £5 million ($7.8 million) in rent, (excluding the cost of refurbishing the building).
“Silicon Roundabout” – or as the government prefers to call it, “Tech City” is a 4 mile zone from Shoreditch to Stratford, home to the 2012 Olympic Games. It’s already home to hundreds of new, innovative, British startup companies, and is part of the government’s drive to promote and support technology and media-based outfits, whilst reducing London’s dependency on the financial service industry.
Historically, London companies in the same industries have instinctively grouped together, and this is proving to be the case yet again in East London. Typically, technology startups are not uninterested in getting involved with complicated lease detail – they’d rather leave that to someone else; they just want to get in, and get on! Interestingly, this is one of the cheapest areas to rent office space in London, which is of course attracting these dynamic startups. It’s an interesting cocktail – technology startups organically moving to East London, plus political support from the Government, plus Google’s initiative, and all within a stone’s throw of next year’s Olympics. If it works, this area will be completely transformed – making it an exceptional property investment opportunity, given the comparatively low prices of the area.
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