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Development corner of Weston Street/Leathermarket St

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Tuesday 30 October 2012 11.28am
Looks quite nice !
Tuesday 30 October 2012 1.02pm
Agreed - good design.

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Tuesday 30 October 2012 1.34pm
I disagree - I don't think it is very sympathetic to its surroundings at all!
Tuesday 30 October 2012 1.59pm
Its surroundings are very mixed indeed...from The Leathermarket to the 2 tower blocks opposite and the very mixed architecture in Leathermarket Street from the Leathermarket JMB building through to Leathermarket Court and The Morocco Store....and of course Leathermarket Gardens. There is no theme or style and IMHO I too think the building looks OK. I do wonder however if it will be saddled with the often empty ground floor office problems so many buildings in the area do?
Tuesday 30 October 2012 3.21pm
I really like the design but I agree with Urbanite that there does not seem to be a great demand for commercial space in the area.
Wednesday 31 October 2012 9.55am
Hi,

There is absolutely great demand for commercial space in the area - it's just that certain variables must be met.

For example in the Leathermarket office complex next door, they have a great many units, of which probably 90% are currently occupied. Same with the old Sarson's Vinegar Brewery/Maltings on Tower Bridge Road, it has been 100% full for a long time, they currently have only one small unit available.

Bermondsey Street as well is always in high demand; I deal with a lot of the offices there and there's very little availability because the area is sought-after!

Where ground floor space is concerned, the main thing is security - regardless of what area you are in, you should have security shutters. As long as the space has good natural light, a good floor plate (layout), is priced correctly and is in a desirable location (such as this development), it will be taken.

I'd say that, where ground floor space is concerned, the two most common problems are location and shape. For example, if the location is in front of a busy road with lorries whizzing around all day, and it isn't in a nice parade like Bermondsey Street where you have lots of places for your staff to get food/have a drink/relax etc, it is going to be more difficult to rent or sell.

Secondly, with some buildings the commercial ground floor space is often an afterthought, and you will find office wrapped around residential staircases creating lots of dead space making it harder to rent/sell and effectively lowering the respective achievable prices.

I hope that gives you a clearer insight into how ground floor commercial space works!

:)
Wednesday 31 October 2012 10.42am
That would imply then that the empty units on Southwark St beneath the Bankside 123 development are considered an undesirable location, so when the development of flats on Great Suffolk St were built this should have been pointed out to the developers so they wouldn't provide us with an identical situation. One I predicted before the development was even completed.

I'd also say God forbid every shop front felt the need for shutters, it leads to an ugly night-time scene which feels both oppressive and threatening. One of my guides for traveling anywhere I'm not familiar with is a trip to the local newsagent to see the stock of newspapers and how many shops have such shutters in place. I always find it a useful indicator to the local environment.

Appreciate the insight mind.
Jac
Wednesday 31 October 2012 10.54am
James B- wrote:
Hi,

Secondly, with some buildings the commercial ground floor space is often an afterthought, and you will find office wrapped around residential staircases creating lots of dead space making it harder to rent/sell and effectively lowering the respective achievable prices.

I hope that gives you a clearer insight into how ground floor commercial space works!

:)

I think you have hit the nail on the head here and this is the biggest reason why there is so much unlet commercial space and not as you say lack of demand. I dont think location has much to do with it either as anywhere is SE1 is central and not all business need large footfall past them.

The biggest is problem is that the majority of the developments around here are predominately residential and built by developers with a specialist knowledge of residential properties. The commercial space is then added to residential developments because that is what is required by planning. As the developers specialize in residential not commercial properties they do not fully understand the requirements of commercial spaces, or as you say they fit around the residential which is where the developers are making their money. So we end up with commercial space that is too big or too small. the wrong shape or quite simply doesn't work.

Classic examples are at the two ends of Long lane. Empire square residential developers with limited knowledge of commercial space = empty units for a very very long time. Bermondsey square commercial developers = space was let from the moment it was available. (no idea if they are well designed flats or not)
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