August 2016 news archive

Quality refurb hits the spot for IMP’s Capability Green offices

The South-East’s never-ending ‘talent wars’ have seen IM Properties (IMP) complete a hat-trick of signings at the Capability Green business park, on the outskirts of Luton.

The latest deal sees one of the world’s largest digital signage specialists, RMG Networks, relocate from Hemel Hempstead to Building 450, where it has taken 4,500 sq ft of ground-floor space on a 10-year lease.

Previous lettings to other international corporations (Oracle and Randstad) took up a combined 41,000 sq ft, and RMG’s arrival means the building is now fully let.

IMP surveyor David Cook said all three tenants were impressed by the quality of the refurbishment programme his company carried out over the previous 18 months, as well as the location; close to Luton Airport, the M1 and the M25.

“Companies which operate from multiple sites are always looking to minimise the time employees spend in transit, and Capability Green is very favourably placed, which is one of the reasons we acquired three buildings here in 2008,” he said.

“We realised we’d have to spend significant sums in bringing the office accommodation, and the surrounding areas, up to the standards expected by modern occupiers, but we do pride ourselves on thinking for the long-term, and we saw the investment as very worthwhile.

“Since 2008 we’ve put close to £4m into these buildings, and it’s very satisfying to see that our commitment is paying off.” 

IMP’s agents on Capability Green are Savills and South-East specialists RARE. Guy Parkes, director and founder of the latter Reading-based agency, says the regional office scene is driven by the need to attract and retain talent.

“It’s been a constant refrain for years, and I don’t think it will change in the foreseeable future, but the labour market is so tight here, that companies are competing fiercely with each other to find people with the right skill set, and then to keep hold of them,” he said.

“Being able to offer your staff a smart, efficient and contemporary place to work, with good parking availability and easy access to the motorway network, is a key selling point for many employers.

“IMP were sufficiently astute to recognise that Capability Green was great as a location, and that the pent-up demand was present, but they also realised the office stock was too tired to attract major corporates as tenants.

“They bought these buildings at the right price, have been very proactive in managing their assets, and the investment they have made has really paid off. It’s still a strong office market with a shortage of stock, but these three lettings show what can be achieved when property owners are willing to invest.”

Knight Frank advised RMG Networks.