Over the years we’ve had plenty of experience finding office space for creative businesses.

So where are the best locations for creative types to set up shop?

Interesting Brief

This week, we took a brief from a firm leading architects to find a single floor of 2500 – 3000 ft2 with good light and a non-corporate feel.

As interesting brief because it was building rather location sensitive.

Our searches are often focused on narrow geographical parameters and we are easily able to bore down into a location, street or even a particular building. Of course we can – and do –  look in numerous locations simultaneously in order to find “the one”, which is what was required in this instance, as the brief asked to find a particular style of building, as opposed to a specific location.

We have come up with loads of potential offices and even I am surprised how striking some of them are. In our initial trawl we have unearthed  over fifteen right sized properties with exposed ceilings, great natural light, and some of the ceilings are 3 metres high!

Alternatives to Soho

Traditionally, many creative businesses have been based in Soho, but in recent years they’ve been pushed out of prime West End locations by high rents, business rates and – increasingly – lack of availability. (Have a look at our office rental guide to compare costs across London). And things are getting worse with some landlords taking back office buildings and selling them for residential development.

Clerkenwell is not immune from this phenomenon  but a high proportion of creative style office space is available within this area around Farringdon Station and Smithfield Meat Market, through to Silicon Roundabout. Kings Cross is another great area for creative businesses. The South Bank and London Bridge have some interesting stock, but not a great deal to choose from.

Negotiating the Lease

As soon as a suitable property has been selected, negotiations commence, which is where our core skills really kick in. Right now there will be a fair degree of negotiability for all but the very best properties, as demand remains fairly weak. However within a year, as a result of restricted development, I predict it will be a lot harder. Having said that – I think overall costs will fall in the medium term. Have a look at my recent post about my prediction for London office rents in the year ahead