New schemes and strong demand give Bath’s office and retail property sectors a bright future, says report

July 29, 2022

The outlook for Bath’s office and retail property markets remains strong, according to a new report, with one new and one refurbished office building coming on stream and strong demand from the national food and drink sector.

According to regional commercial property agents Alder King’s latest Market Monitor, Bath’s office sector is, unusually, benefitting from an increase in the supply and quality of accommodation. 

This is the result of the Bath Quays development, where the showpiece 44,470 sq ft No. 1 Bath Quays building is being marketed, along with several prime office building refurbishments.

Bath financial services consultancy and software provider Altus and city-based chartered financial planning group Fidelius will be the first tenants at No. 1 Bath Quays, taking 9,445 sq ft and 5,822 sq ft respectively.

Meanwhile the £4m refurbishment of the Royal Mead office scheme on Railway Place has released 25,000 sq ft of much-needed quality accommodation onto the market.

The work has included replacing of its glazing, fitting new lifts, toilets and showers together with lockers, a drying room and extensive cycle storage.

There are also 36 car spaces at basement level with electric vehicles charging points while its floors have been comprehensively refurbished with new air conditioning, suspended ceilings and LED lighting.

Bath has for many years suffered from a shortage of modern office space – a fact that has led to a number of firms heading to Bristol to find suitable space for expansion. 

Bath & North East Somerset Council funded the development of No. 1 Bath Quays to stem this tide as well as being able to offer premium office accommodation for businesses moving to the city.

According to Alder King, Bath city centre headline rents now stand at £32.50 per sq ft but are expected to increase with lettings at both Bath Quays and Royal Mead. 

Meanwhile, the city’s traditionally strong retail and leisure property market has continued to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic.  

Alder King’s Market Monitor says: “Retail and leisure units in Bath continue to attract particularly strong demand from the food and beverage sector as well as from a mixture of new start-ups and independents together with high-end local and national retailers.”

Recent lettings include Independent Italian restaurant Floriani, which opened in the former Coop Bank on Milsom Street, and Robyn’s Yoga Studio and floral design studio Blomme, both on High Street.

Upmarket homewares retailer Cream Cornwall took the next-door unit – its first outside its home county – while new and nearly new men’s clothes and accessories retailer Alfred, has taken a unit at 27 Walcot Street, adding to its existing shop in Bradford on Avon.

Bath’s industrial property market continued to suffer from a lack of new space, according to Alder King.

Demand for good quality space, particularly freehold, remained strong with a number of active requirements, it said.

“Supply is extremely tight and restricted to second-hand stock at The Maltings and Brassmills Estates. With no speculative development expected, occupiers are forced to look outside the city, towards east Bristol or around Chippenham,” the Market Monitor says.


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