As a commercial real estate investor, we are always looking for opportunities where there is scope to enhance existing locations, especially where we can create best-in-class assets that will attract occupiers seeking to invest in their workspace.
When Wavendon Business Park came to the market last year, we saw significant potential to develop an outstanding office occupier proposition across its 147,874 sq ft of Grade A office space; building on the existing on-site amenities within 16 acres of attractive landscaped parkland and providing the best car parking provision for this standard of building in the region (a ratio of 1:225 sq ft).
A key element of our approach is that we see our tenants as our customers – it wouldn’t be a business park without them! We ensure that high standards of customer service are delivered through our direct communication with them and the attentive approach of our on-site team and property managers.
We also firmly believe it is to the benefit of all parties that landlords take a much more actively engaged, hands-on approach. I’m on-site regularly and make sure to attend all viewings so potential customers can get to understand our ethos as a business, and we can start to build a relationship.
Landlords have a major part to play in encouraging their customers’ staff back to the office by creating environments that offer great amenities, outdoor space, an on-site community and that tick all the other boxes that define a fantastic workplace.
We are seeing a renewed focus from occupiers on the ways a workplace can support the employees’ wellbeing, especially through proximity to nature, which is proven to enhance productivity and decrease stress, and Wavendon provides the right environment to realise these benefits.
To this end, we are making a considerable investment in the occupier proposition at Wavendon, making the best use of the landscaped setting with a nature trail, more places to sit and enjoy the views, bird baths and bug hotels which will bring even more nature to the park, communal outdoor spaces, and WiFi throughout the grounds to allow customers to meet and work outdoors (weather permitting!).
The range of community events will be increased, incorporating yoga and fitness classes and pop-up street food vendors. We will be expanding the electric vehicle (EV) charging point provision and are in discussion with a solar panel supplier to provide renewable energy to our buildings.
Although there may only be a relatively small number of people working from the site day-to-day, it’s crucial for us that when customers return to the office they will be coming back to a great experience from day one, hence we are delighted to have secured a local operator for the café, which will be opening in March.
By creating environments and workspaces that meet future customers’ needs, we can attract inward investors and major tenants, and Wavendon’s location – just 15 minutes from central Milton Keynes and less than 10 minutes from the M1 – will play a significant part in attracting these high calibre occupiers.
Indeed, having acquired Wavendon in November of last year, we have been working with our leasing agents, Savills and Bray Fox Smith, and are in the final stages of agreeing our first deal to an inward investor which intends to open a new c. 10,000 sq ft office covering Milton Keynes and the wider region.
They will be in distinguished company amongst our existing customers, including Boeing Defence, Securitas Security Services and Unisys. As more space becomes available in the future our focus will be on attracting businesses planning significant investment into the region, either through taking more and better-quality space which we can specify alongside them, or new entrants to Milton Keynes which may want their own HQ building.
Wavendon’s location within the OxCam Arc also provides opportunities to open dialogue with prospective occupiers in the science, engineering and R&D fields, as we can work with occupiers that have specific requirements to deliver more specialised space. This could be delivered in a relatively short timeframe, and we’re keen to start having preliminary conversations with potential occupiers now.
Our experience has taught us that targeted, strategic investment into assets with the right fundamentals in place – such as Wavendon Business Park – has the potential to create a compelling working environment that helps our customers attract and retain talent and supports their staff as we move back to office-based working.
For more information and to enquire about available and upcoming space, please visit www.wavendonbusinesspark.com.