Property sector recovery can be clearly felt in region, says boss

Capitol House in Bond Court, Leeds
Capitol House in Bond Court, Leeds
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EVIDENCE of the improving commercial property market has now firmly spread beyond its origins in the South East to reach parts of Yorkshire, according to a director of a planning practice which is moving to new premises after outgrowing its former home.

Quod North is relocating its Leeds office into Evans Property Group’s newly refurbished Capitol office building in Bond Court.

It has signed a 10-year lease for a 3,500 sq ft suite on the first floor, east wing of Capitol and has exclusive use of the roof terrace in the heart of the city centre.

CBRE and JLL are agents on Capitol and Quod North was represented by DTZ.

Quod North was set up in 2014 by Tim Waring as the northern office of London-based Quod Planning. In the last 12 months, the practice has experienced significant expansion and has outgrown its existing offices at Park Square.

Director Richard Serra said the improving picture in commercial property, which began in the South East, is now firmly evident in parts of Yorkshire.

“From our office windows you can count the new cranes which are springing up in Leeds, seemingly one a day.

“That is the most visible sign that the office market is picking up. It started in the South East and has now spread.

“It is more pronounced in Leeds than in other parts of Yorkshire at the moment, and hasn’t yet been reflected to the same extent elsewhere. But there has been an upsurge in house building activity.

“For Quod, the move is very exciting. We have grown in a very short space of time, and have spread across lots of different property types and sectors.”

Quod North has grown its team to 12 professionals in the last 15 months and is looking at more growth in the short term.

The team is responding to an improving local and national property market, and is advising a range of clients including The Crown Estate, Wykeland, IKEA, Legal and General, amongst others.

In Yorkshire, it is advising on a number of projects including the extension of the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds and the redevelopment of the Yorkshire Post building in the city, and also Princess Quay in Hull, and the proposed new settlement at Whinthorpe in York.

Last year Evans undertook a comprehensive six-month refurbishment programme at Capitol to create 20,000 sq ft of office accommodation on the first and third floors in addition to external improvements to the windows and elevation, a new double height enlarged feature reception, lift and stair refurbishment and full common area modernisation.

Capitol has been a long-term investment for Evans and is home to occupiers such as Cap Automotive and Lifesearch. The transformation is part of a £20m investment programme being undertaken by Evans at the Bond Court area of Leeds.

The Minerva office building on East Parade has become a flagship, Grade A office building for the city and demolition work is underway as part of the development of a 90-bed 5-star hotel.

Tim Waring, director at Quod North, said: “We have experienced phenomenal growth in the last year or so, and Capitol will provide us with a long-term base to continue to expand.”

Alan Syers, portfolio director at Evans Property Group, said; “We are delighted that Quod North has selected Capitol as its Leeds base.”