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Tech Firms Take Up London Office Slack
Technology firms are busily taking up the slack that has been created by the downsizing in the financial sector in the London property market.
The increase in demand for office space comes against a backdrop of dwindling take-up in the wider market, underscoring the increasing importance of the technology industry to the economy of the United Kingdom. Over the course of the last ten years, the industry has been focusing on taking up the floor space in Old Street, which borders on the city of London, with the heavy concentration of technology firms in the area having grown to such an extent that it has been given the affectionate nickname of Silicon Roundabout.
New data from property services group Knight Frank, however, indicates that the doubling uptake of new office space has come at the same time as technology companies begin to migrate to other areas in Central London.
"Silicon Roundabout has been a magnet for the start-ups for some time but the bigger companies are realising that they need to be in London to hire the best people," says Knight Frank's head of commercial research, James Roberts.
The biggest Tech firm of them all Google has also agreed to take up some of the slackThe rumours are not just rumours anymore, after Google yesterday confirmed that it intends to move from their current premises in Victoria to new office space in King's Cross. The company's lease on its current offices on Buckingham Palace Road will expire in four years' time, in 2016, after which the search giant will be relocating to 725,000 square feet of office space currently being developed behind King's Cross Railway Station.
Google has signed an exclusive agreement with property developers Argyle, and Google has given architects Alford Hall Monaghan Morris the task of designing the new space. There have been rumours circulating for some time since that Google has been investigating a variety of different areas for their future headquarters in London, including spaces in both Paddington and Canary Wharf. The Olympics media centre has also been suggested as a place of interest.
Sharing the complex with Google will be the likes of Camden Council, BNP Paribas and Central St Martins, with Google set to inhabit a campus comprising of five buildings in their chosen location next to the new King's Cross ticket hall, which is set to open later in March.
The complete development, which comprises as much as 67 acres, will also house retail outlets, restaurants, and residential flats in an area that used to be derelict. DHL and London & Continental Railways own half of the complete space, with the other half being owned by King's Cross developers Hermes.