According to figures released by the Leeds Office Agents' Forum (LOAF), Leeds city centre occupier activity last year totalled 1,014,615 sq ft across 141 office transactions, the first time the million sq ft mark has been reached.
The largest office deal in Leeds and also outside of London last year, the UK Government’s decision to locate HMRC and NHS Digital to the city, with a 380,000 sq ft pre let at Wellington Place, helped occupier take-up reach this significant milestone.
Other notable deals included the sale of Sovereign House (80,654 sq ft) to a confidential occupier, Burberry leasing 46,000 sq ft at 6 Queen Street and Sky Subscription Services taking 26,000 sq ft at Central Square.
In the last three months of 2017, five city centre deals over 10,000 sq ft including the 80,654 sq ft freehold acquisition of Sovereign House and the 19,600 sq ft letting to Tech Hub at Platform helped drive Q4 take-up to 216,893 sq ft, a 98% increase on the same period last year.
Dan Hodge from Ryden said "It is a fantastic result for Leeds to smash the total amount of accommodation let in the City Centre during 2017. With the significant 378,000 sq ft pre let to GPU/HMRC at Wellington Place it proves that Leeds is very much one of the major cities in the UK that can accommodate large requirements.
It should not, though, take anything away from the fact that even without this letting, Leeds would still have had a fantastic year.
Other significant deals, including Burberry taking 46,000 sq ft, Sky occupying 26,000 sq ft and Willis Towers Watson occupying 25,000 sq ft, have shown that this is not just about the large pre let to GPU/HMRC. I am hopeful that Leeds will continue to push forward, be a major competitor against the likes of Manchester and become the focal point for the Northern Powerhouse."
The Leeds Office Agents’ Forum was established in 2010. Its members include BNP Paribas, Carter Towler, Carter Jonas, CBRE, Colliers International, Cushman & Wakefield, Eddisons, Fox Lloyd Jones, JLL, Knight Frank, Lambert Smith Hampton, Ryden, Sanderson Weatherall, Savills and WSB.