• 09.12.2020

    There's opportunity for everyone in grey space

    Written By: Thirdway

    The events of 2020 have accelerated a grey space boom that began with Brexit and Thirdway are on a campaign to help landlords and tenants breath life and colour back into languishing real estate. Businesses across London are pivoting, shrinking and flexing in an uncertain climate. Many companies have seen out their leases, downsized to relinquish space or gone bust. One of the outcomes is a rise in high-quality commercial space sitting empty. Both landlords and tenants alike can benefit from sub-letting the space but doing so requires a mindset shift – seeing opportunity instead of burden. 

    Most grey spaces need a minimal amount of work before they are ready to sub-let as exceptional commercial space. The key to capitalising on this is strategic investment. 

    Why is this important? For those looking for new spaces, or for a select few, who are looking to increase space – they are looking to sign shorter-term contracts while the future is determined. The grey spaces that are great will be picked up first, and in a market where there is a surplus of space, the greater the better. 

    Our Grey to Great programme doesn’t just re-skin a space, but builds in the future requirements of the businesses that might inhabit it. How is this determined? By understanding what the future of Hybrid Working will look like. 

    2021 brings a new era of a more transient office population. 85% of people surveyed by BCO (British Council for Offices) in September said they wanted to return to the office in some capacity. Tenant space will adapt to meet the needs of those that use it while connecting them to those that don’t, making Hybrid Working the norm. 

    We are working with tenants to help them figure out what Hybrid Working looks like for them. That includes defining their ideal ratio of office-to-home working and how their business can flex and respond to the ongoing or future pandemic crises.  It is only in understanding this, that they can know their short and long-term real estate requirements and make decisions on existing contracts, securing new space, or sub-letting some of their existing. These decisions are being made now and will continue over the next six months. 

    While larger occupiers have grey space to fill, smaller companies are keen to fill it. These empty floors could become temporary homes for businesses seeking flexible, short-term solutions. 

    What’s new?

    • Start-ups, scale-ups, project teams and innovation hubs need a place to do great work as they continue to scale.
    • SMEs are looking to right-size their real estate to suit their new ways of hybrid working.
    • Some larger firms are looking for satellite space on the outskirts of London and beyond while maintaining a central hub.

    Minimal cost, maximum impact

    Our ‘grey to great’ programme is designed to provide a cost-effective solution to upgrading space, in the shortest possible timescale. We are helping transform grey stock into offices that meet the demands of the 2021 market – vibrant, agile, immediately occupiable space without long term commitment. We do this in five steps: 

    • Review and validation 
    • Design 
    • Furniture appraisal 
    • Technology assessment 
    • Construction 

    Grey to Great is a unique approach to London’s commercial property problem.