The completion of The Lumen at Newcastle Helix (extending to106,000 sq. ft.) in March 2020 was a timely and positive event, which brought forward a significant contribution to the dwindling supply of Grade A. office stock within Newcastle city centre, and the first new office development to complete since 2016.
It was unique in terms of offering brand new Grade A. accommodation in the city centre and has been well ahead of other office buildings either under construction, planned or in the development pipeline. The availability of the office space has accommodated existing and latent demand from both public and corporate companies
The Lumen is a sustainable building built to the highest specification whilst meeting the highest environmental standards and offering flexible floorplates with good natural lighting, secure cycle storage, changing facilities and showers for staff.
The completion of the lease to Homes England, and their fit out of 19,300sq.ft. has endorsed the flexibility of the floor plate, allowing for adaptation in line with Covid19 ways of working. The fit-out has seen a reduction in planned workspaces and an increase in collaboration space, more suited to current ways of working. The new accommodation has provided an office environment which staff want to work in, thus assisting recruitment and retention of employees.
The activity in terms of new lettings since practical completion has been beyond all expectations, as well as bucking the trend in other regional markets this year, with almost 50% of the office space either occupied or at a fit-out stage for incoming tenants. In addition to Homes England the building has attracted Savills, North of Tyne Combined Authority, Newcastle on Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust and has had interest from a number of prospective new private sector occupiers looking to take up further space.
Joint letting agent, Greg Davison of Cushman Wakefield comments:” The building is built to the highest specification which has attracted a good level of take up, as well as setting a new headline rent level for Newcastle city centre.”
Fellow agent, Tony Wordsworth of Avison Young adds. “We anticipate building on the letting success to date in 2021, which will give other developers confidence to proceed with speculative office schemes elsewhere in the city. There is considerable interest in The Lumen and the adjoining next phase 107,000sq.ft. building to be called The Spark, which is due for completion in 2021.”
Councillor Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Employment and Culture, Newcastle City Council said:
“The Lumen has marked another huge investment milestone in our Newcastle Helix story. As we leave behind a challenging year and move forward into 2021 it is positive to see continued demand for office space in The Lumen from businesses who want to be part of the innovative and collaborative eco-system that surrounds it base. World leading research, innovation and continued investment and growth on Newcastle Helix is playing an instrumental role in our post Covid-19 recovery, creating jobs for local people, creating unique opportunities like we have never seen before and positioning our great city as a global business destination. A signal of confidence for the future and testament to everything Newcastle Helix and our city has to offer.”