John Busow and Robin Ellis

Downing enters serviced office market

Liverpool-based property group Downing has secured the first letting of its new Flexi-Office space.

Class Act Theatre UK has taken a suite in the Portal, a newly created area of nine suites for one-to-10 people in the Port of Liverpool Building. The Liverpool theatre company is moving into its first premises after setting-up earlier this year.

Downing has been progressing a £158,000 refurbishment programme to deliver its Flexi-Office suites across its Liverpool portfolio, including No.1 Old Hall Street and Victoria House, James Street. The suites range from 150 sq ft to 1,000 sq ft and are available from one month upwards.

Rival landlord Bruntwood has long offered serviced offices and is increasing its provision across its Liverpool portfolio, after reaching 95% occupancy in its 230 workstations in the city. Bruntwood is due to add 48 further desks at Oriel Chambers in Water Street in October.

Robin Ellis, senior agency surveyor at Downing, said: "Since launching Flexi-Offices in the last few weeks, we've received a significant amount of enquiries and it's clear that there is appetite for a more flexible, low-cost serviced office offering across Liverpool.

"Over the last few years landlords have had to adapt to a challenging market with more flexibility in deals, in particular on lease length and suite specification. Downing has always worked with tenants and prospective customers to best meet their business needs and this has been a driving force in bring Flexi-Offices to the market.

"We've listened to what occupiers have told us and with Flexi-Offices customers get all the flexibility of a serviced office, with a monthly rent that is fully inclusive, but without any of the expensive add-ons that can sting occupiers after they sign up to a serviced office. We expect it to generate much interest in the coming months."

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