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About Soho Office Space

Office Prices & Info

The district of Soho, located in the heart of London, has been known as a leading entertainment centre since the early 20th century. Over the years, this area has experienced a significant transformation and has been given a makeover that has attracted new business ventures to the district, boosting the local economy and making the area more attractive to visitors and investors alike. Yet, Soho has managed to retain its trademark bohemian feel, which for decades inspired filmmakers, writers, and artists. Being located in the heart of London's West End, Soho is a very desirable office location, and particularly so for small businesses.

The business environment in Soho

Although Soho has a varied industry base, the area is mostly known for being one of Europe's most important business hubs for companies in the media, creative, and entertainment sectors. Some internationally renowned and award-winning companies in these industries that are now based in Soho include Ingenious Media, Double Negative, and BBH. The district has a lively start-up scene that has been mainly led by initiatives like the Soho Business Club.

There are several record companies in areas like Denmark Street and Gerrard Street, whereas media and creative companies are clustered around Golden Square. Independent fashion boutiques and companies operating in the textile sector are generally located along Berwick Street, one of Soho's key thoroughfares.

Due to Soho's proximity to central London, Soho is one of the most visited areas in the British capital and is home to a great deal of hospitality businesses, particularly restaurants, pubs, live music venues, and coffee shops. It is estimated that this sector accounts 38 per cent of the district's total income, and that there are approximately 55,000 square feet of commercial office space devoted to hospitality within Soho's boundaries. Retail follows close behind, generating 26 per cent of the area's income and taking up 38,000 square feet of floor space. More recently, efforts have been made to increase the amount of office space available in Soho in order to make this district more competitive and suited to the needs of the local economy.

Office space in Soho

According to the latest surveys, there are approximately 37,000 square feet of office space in the district, and office-based firms generate 16 per cent of Soho's total income. Soho has one of the largest concentrations of small businesses in the West End, which means that the majority of companies who decide to set up business here are looking premises that can accommodate between 3 and 8 employees. Average office footage in Soho ranges between 2,500 and 4,000 square feet.

The creative sector is one of the most important office occupiers in Soho, as it is believed that more than 20 per cent (1 in 5) of all the creative jobs in the city are based in this district. Likewise, 70 per cent of employees working in the film industry work in Soho offices. These sectors require office space that is equipped with modern and scalable infrastructure. The same applies to the ICT sector, which has also been increasing its presence in Soho over the past five years.

However, and as it is the case in other parts of central London, a situation marked by limited supply and growing demand has pushed rental values up across Soho, with some parts of the district experiencing price increases of up to 30 per cent. Office space prices have been also driven upwards by the so-called office conversion trend, which has caused Soho to lose more than 30,000 square metres of floor space to residential properties. Towards the end of 2014, typical quoting rents in Soho ranged between £67 and £87 per square foot for Grade A office space. Refurbished premises command rents of between £45 and £65 / square foot, whereas the average cost of grade B office space fluctuates between £39.5 and £47.50 / square foot. Occupiers may be able to negotiate rent-free periods of up to 10 months for 5 and 10-year leases, which can create additional value for money. When compared to the costs of floor space in other parts of the West End, Soho appears to be one of the most affordable office locations, since average rents are only lower in Haymarket, Victoria, Euston, and Paddington. Co-working and flexispace have recently emerged as affordable alternatives for small-sized companies that want to establish their presence in Soho.

Forecasts predict that Soho will continue to be an attractive destination for office-based firms in the near future. Market analysts anticipate that growth will be mainly driven by the creative sector, which is expected to experience annual growth levels of 4 per cent until 2020. This will undoubtedly have a beneficial effect on Soho's economy and on the quality of the office space on offer.