In 2021, Bristol was named the most sustainable city in the UK in a global survey carried out by clothes2order.
This study looked at factors such as renewable electricity sites, recycling rates, average university suitability ratings and the number of charity shops. In 2019, Bristol was also named the best city in the UK for cycling, and back in 2015 it became the UK’s first ever European Green Capital.
Since that time city centre prime office rents have continued an upward trajectory from £28.50 per square foot per annum, to £42.50 per sq ft in Q1 2022, which shows almost a 50 per cent increase.
Lack of supply and continued strong demand has been an on-going theme of the thriving Bristol office market for many years. This coupled with a diverse range of sectors including an ever-expanding tech and media element that has kept investors keen to invest capital into the city.
Many potential occupiers seeking new offices over the last two years have discovered that rents have continued to increase in Bristol. The drip-feed of new or refurbished offices has constantly been evolving with better designed space and far more and Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) credentials built in.
More amenity space is now sought by those who in some instances may have reduced their footprint but are also seeking an upgrade on their existing space and are gravitating to offices with roof terraces, fitness studios, event space, cafés and superb cycle facilities.
From a sustainability angle, many developers are focused on delivering Net Zero Carbon in operation offices. There are a whole host of credentials that demonstrate the considered design that has gone into the development and redevelopment including certifications such as BREEAM, NABERS, Cycle Score, and WELL.
The well advised and better-informed businesses are seeking and considering these accreditations when shortlisting their options.
It has been evident that it is these offices that have achieved the highest rents. CEG’s EQ on Victoria Street has achieved £42.50 psf pax and AXA/Bellhammers Assemby C has achieved £41.50 psf pax, both of which were on pre-lettings during construction. Both offices meet sustainability credentials which has resulted in them setting record high rents for the Bristol office market in 2022.
Tristan Capital and Candour are now on site with the 200,000 sq ft Welcome Building close to Temple Meads, which also boasts a variety of sustainability credentials that will appeal to the modern occupier and no doubt continue to push prime rent levels in Bristol.
This article originally appeared in our Bristol Spotlight.
James Preece is a director in our National Offices team who has almost 15 years’ experience in the Bristol and South West market for Colliers. He’s a trusted advisor to both occupiers, owners and landlords.
To contact James, email James.Preece@colliers.com