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Five transactions involving office space in St Ives over a period of less than two months has transformed the office market in St Ives according to Barford + Co, the St Neots based firm of Chartered Surveyors and Planning Consultants.

The office market in the Huntingdonshire area was the sector which was most adversely affected by the recession and downturn. Demand reduced to very low levels in the period 2008 to 2013 and the actual and potential supply of offices in St Ives alone (available buildings and land with planning permission for office development) reached circa 250,000 sq ft. However, the market has been turned on its head by the spate of recent transactions. These include:

  • Building Si One at St Ives Business Park – an 18,060 sq ft office building sold to Cambridge Maintenance Services;
  • Building Si Two at St Ives Business Park – an 21,354 sq ft building sold to multi-national food giant LDH (La Doria) Ltd;
  • Suite 1A/B Kings Hall at St Ives Business Park – ground floor office suite of 1,650 sq ft let to Bright Solutions UK Ltd;
  • Suites 2A to 2C Kings Hall St Ives Business Park – whole of first floor, with an area of just under 7,000 sq ft, has been let to Organised Computer Systems Ltd;
  • West Wing Si Two, St Ives Business Park – 5,122 sq ft suite let to  1 Life.

Barford + Co acted for Four Churches in the lettings of the two offices at Kings Hall. Barford + Co and Juniper Real Estate of Cambridge were joint agents in the sales and letting of Buildings Si One and Si Two.

Commenting on behalf of Barford + Co, Director Phil Halmshaw said “This is a remarkable turnaround in the office market in St Ives. Whilst the demand across all commercial property sectors is improving in response to the better economic circumstances, to complete the sale and letting of 55,000 sq ft over such a short period is unprecedented, even in periods of very strong economic activity. This really is “number 10 bus syndrome” – you don’t get any for quite a while and then several come together”.

The general position with office availability in St Ives is also being influenced by the availability of land. The development of the last area of land at Compass Point Business Park, Needingworth Road, St Ives is presently being undertaken by Linx Printing Technologies. The company is building a new facility on the last four acres at Compass Point and this has taken a further large area of office land out of the market.

Huntingdon has also seen a good level of take up over recent months with the following deals having been concluded;

  • 2 Archers Court – 1,346 sq ft of ground floor/first floor space – sold on behalf of the Conservative Association;
  • 4 Archers Court – 711 sq ft of first floor office space let to Qubic Recruitment;
  • Centenary House, a number of serviced office suites let quickly on behalf of MAGPAS.

St Neots has not been left out of this period of deals, with the following being of particular note:

  • 21a Huntingdon Street – 811 sq ft of first floor office space let to King Lawes Legal;
  • Suites 13 and 15 Davey House – 739 sq ft of ground floor/first floor offices let to a private individual and Business Collaboration Company.

Mr Halmshaw concluded “Whilst the level of office enquiries has not yet returned to that seen in 2006 and 2007, these transactions evidence a much improved market and we will be pleased to talk to anyone with offices they would like to sell or let as well as parties looking to take on office space”.

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