Hat trick for Cheffins as Cambridge's most iconic office building achieves record rental values

Cheffins has let over 13,000 sq ft of space at Quayside with a total rent in excess of £420,000 per annum.

Deals were closed with three key occupiers, Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd, Audio Analytic Ltd and Unipart Logistics, with some tenants paying on average over £36 per square foot, making this a joint record price-per-square-foot paid for office space in Cambridge city centre, along with CB1 on Station Road.

Cheffins, which manages the building on behalf of Magdalene College, delivered a full refurbishment of four office suites over twelve months which completed in April 2017. Cheffins’ role in the management of the building included; negotiating the buyout from a 50 per cent equity holder; providing consultation to the college in agreeing a project team including architects, engineers to M&E consultants; taking vacant possession of the offices and fully managing all refurbishment works throughout the entire project until eventual re-letting of vacant spaces. Whilst at the helm of this extensive project, Cheffins has provided significant savings to the college throughout each level of the process, whilst simultaneously achieving an uplift in rental values of over 50 per cent. All of the suites now have air conditioning, raised access floors, suspended ceilings, lifts and feature lighting, as well as having access to extensive cycle and car parking in the basement. We have also incorporated a series of plans to further enhance desirability for the next decade.  

The second floor office, known as Suite 1, comprises of 4,798 sq ft and has been let to Amadeus Capital Partners over five years at a rent of £36 psf. The company, which finances a number of young businesses in Cambridge, is upsizing into this new office space after a period of growth. The third floor offices comprise over 5,955 and have been let to Cambridge success story, Audio Analytic. The company, which creates embeddable sound recognition software for consumer products, is moving from its previous premises on St Andrew’s Street following its fast expansion and significant VC investment. The last office, known as the first floor suite 2 comprises 2,365 sq ft and has been let to global giant, Unipart Logistics, and will be the company’s first foothold in Cambridge.  

Quayside was built in the 1980s and represents one of the most sought-after office buildings in Cambridge city centre. It has views over the Cam and Magdalene College and also is home to a number of bars and restaurants on the ground floor.  

Steven Harvey, Associate at Cheffins comments: “Rents achieved at Quayside are reflective of its desirability and profile as one of Cambridge’s most iconic buildings. In such a central position, interest came from all over the world as more global companies look to get a foothold in Cambridge. As the city continues to be one of the leading economic powerhouses in the UK, we are still seeing that supply against demand in Cambridge is causing an uplift in prices across all locations. During and following its refurbishment, the Quayside building quickly became noted as a must see option for occupiers and the quality of tenants achieved is reflective of this. The building offers everything from quality office space, views over the River Cam, a huge range of restaurants and bars as well as city centre car parking. As take-up rates continue to show Cambridge’s stellar performance for a market of its size, we expect to see an increasing number of buildings delivering refurbishment projects as stock begins to tire. Quayside is an example of how costs of refurbishments can be easily off-set by prime rental values and these will continue to perform as Cambridge enjoys inward investment from a variety of different sectors alongside the tech and bio-tech industries.”  

Gareth Brewer, Associate at Cheffins comments: “This is one of the largest refurbishment projects which has taken place in Cambridge in recent years and it has really gone to show how providing the very best in quality of office space can pay off with uplifts in rental values. The College has appreciated the significant saving and subsequent profit we have provided throughout this process and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw other landowners taking on similar projects in order to attract the highest quality tenants.”  

Dr Chris Mitchell, CEO at Audio Analytic comments: “We are incredibly proud to call the Quayside our new home. Cheffins and Coel have done a great job on creating a wonderful, modern space that will support us as we continue to grow.”      

For more information on office space for rent please contact: Steven Harvey at Cheffins on 01223 271941.

For more information on building consultancy and management services please contact: Gareth Brewer at Cheffins on 01223 271986.

For media information, please contact Sophie Richardson, PR Manager at Cheffins, t: 01223 271990.

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